The other day I had a friend ask me for a best practice in backing up his self-hosted WordPress blog. At some point his blog crashed and he lost just about everything. This is no good, especially when backing up and restoring WordPress has become so easy!
I follow a rule of data security that no data is secure until it lives in three different locations. For my blog that looks like this.
The fail here is that at any given moment, two or three of these might be in the same place. If I’m at home with my laptop, my portable hard drive and my Drobo, and my apartment blows up, I’m done for. Your third space should be someone in the Cloud or some other safe online backup location away from your other backups.
For my blog it is much easier. I use two plugins, WP-Database and UpDraft to do daily and weekly backups of my MySQL database and the actual files behind my blog. In addition, my host provides daily, weekly and monthly backups.
Here is my backup structure.
Most hosts will only backup your website files, not your database. They leave this up to you. But with a blog, all your most important content is probably the posts which live in the database! Let’s learn how to create a fail-proof* blog backup. Continue reading →
I have been dealing with some sluggish blogs for a while now. Seems like it has been getting worse and worse every day.
PowWeb is my host for all of my sites and I really love their service, but recently my blogs have gotten several 500 series error messages, especially on my PiczarPhoto.com website. I talked with their support people and, well I haven’t been too impressed.
Their servers for regular data are blazingly fast and the features are amazing, especially the database and entire site nightly backups. Incredible.
Plus unlimited bandwidth and storage and MySQL servers.
Sadly, the MySQL server I’m on seems to be on the fritz. I went ot Pingdom.com to figure out just how slow the site was and did some research on how I could fix some things on my end., even if PowWeb couldn’t or wouldn’t fix things on theirs.
This is what the speed of my site was like when I first tested it.
It’s Just Justin
Anyone find it interesting that both sites take 18.7 seconds to load? Crazy huh?
Well, then I ran the most awesome WP-DBManager plugin on both sites. This plugin will allow you to easily backup/restore/delete/repair/optimize your site’s database.
I especially like the repair and optimize options. I had never really noticed a difference but decided that I’d run both of these and then do the same test through Pingdom. Check out the results.
It’s Just Justin
What did that addup to?
It’s Just Justin was 40% faster
Piczar Photo was 52% faster
That’s a huge improvement. The MySQL server is still too slow, 11 freaking seconds? Bullshit. However, a 40-50% increase in speed is always welcomed. Next I will try a few WordPress Cache plugins, though I think WordPress already had a caching system built in.
Hope this helps someone else out! So go out and download Lester Chan’s awesome plugin WP-DBManager and any of his other awesome plugins. I also use his Blog Poll plugin, awesome.
I began blogging back in 2002 using the site Xanga. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world and the community behind it was pretty great. I even paid the $25/yr to get Xanga Premium, and paid for a few friends just to keep them blogging. It was a pretty sad state, in high school and into college and stuck on Xanga.
It wasn’t long into my college career that I decided to make the move to something a little more powerful. MoveableType was the answer to my prayers. For the first time, I was in control of what I wrote, how it was presented and I didn’t even have to pay for it. I had tried LiveJournal (yuck) and Blogger (not bad but kinda boring) but there was something about another company potentially owning my material, or being able to shut me down, that bothered me.
As I began to grow my blog and needed more flexibility, and when TypePad started to want to charge me for features I used to get for free, I began another search for a great blogging platform. That is when I was introduced to WordPress, which had only recently changed from b2.
Moving my site over from MoveableType was supposed to be really easy but I was new to the whole MySQL thing and, well I deleted most of my posts, possibly all of them.
Back when my blog first started, I was afraid of people reading it. Now, my friends and dorm mates all knew the address and read the blog, but anyone outside of that; well that made me quite nervous. My father had recently gotten a new job in a high position with a boss would was very much against homosexuality and if they found my blog, he could lose his job. Or so my brother convinced me.
Heck, my family didn’t know I was gay, I wasn’t really out to them; and that’s even a little iffy these days. But I was terrified that a professor or a family member would find the site and I’d be done with. So I kept the blog as a subdomain of my main site, Soundwise. I haven’t updated Soundwise since, oops.
It wasn’t until I moved to California that I felt comfortable with a blog that had its very own domain, and it even had my name in it. But that was the trick, if someone asked me, “I hear you have a site/blog, what’s the address?”
I would simply respond, “Oh, yes! The address is really simple, it’s just justin dot com.”
They would go, “awesome, I’ll have to check that out”
Booyah, tricked. Now, if I wanted them to make it to my site I’d just say, “Oh yeah! just go to www.itsjustjustin.com“
Now-a-days I don’t worry so much. I am more or less completely out to my family and no longer have skeletons in my closet to worry about. I have made myself public and in many ways that is incredibly freeing.
Not only have I found a way to release stress and tell a story; I’ve found a new way to making friends. In the past two months I have made so many incredible friends through blogging and through one guy in particular, Jester from Jestertunes.com.
Here’s a quick list of bloggers I have recently befriended or have been inspired by their site…
I read these blogs regularly and so do a lot of other people it seems. Snackiepoo seems to average 20-50+ comments on each of her blog posts, and that’s really nothing compared to some other bloggers who are getting hundreds of comments.
So what I’m here to find out is, how do they do this? I don’t care about monetizing my blog, that would be awesome but I just like blogging. I love to write and to post my photography out there and my thoughts on whatever comes to mind. But it seems that my hiatus a while back where I stopped posting really hurt me, I’m down to 50-300 hits a day. That’s too big of a range and only a comment or three per post? How disappointing.
I get the most hits on nerd posts. If I write about Apple or something totally nerdy, especially if I complain about something nerdy, hits galore.
So what is the key? What is it that makes people keep coming back and gets them to post comments? I’d love some input, especially from the guys on my blogroll.
To me, blogging is like High School all over again, we are all battling to make it to the top and we don’t mind shitting on anyone in order to get there. Well, I don’t care to be on the top, I just want to maybe make it up the bank of the mountain a bit; and I could use your help!