About a week ago, I got a serious problem with my Simple Drop Cap Pro plugin project. When I tested my plugin integration with Easy Digital Downloads and Software Licensing extension to update the plugin from WordPress dashboard, I got an error told me that the plugin could not be updated because of some problems.
At first, I didn’t bother it because I thought that was a usual error. But when I checked my plugin folder, I was really shocked because my plugin folder completely disappeared. I didn’t know what to do, I felt completely lost because that was my first time getting this problem.
One month worth of work just disappeared like that made me feel so angry and sad. I couldn’t think clearly and was desperate because I couldn’t find the folder inside recycle bin.
I tried to lay on my bed and close my eyes while taking a deep breath. Soon after that, I thought Dropbox could save me. Why? Because I sync all my projects on my PC with my Dropbox account so that all my projects are automatically backed up in the cloud.
My spirit was lifted up again. I started to google on how to restore deleted files in Dropbox. After a few minutes of searching I found an article from Dropbox website that explains how to do so. I followed the guides from that article. And finally I could smile big again because I could see my projects were back in its folder.
From this experience, I got some tips on how to protect your precious projects from unwanted disaster:
1. Always, always, always back up your files.
Either manual backup or automatic backup, you have to back up your files regularly. For example, I regularly back up this website at least once a week. I use WP2DB plugin by Michael De Wildt to accomplish the backup task.
For projects on my PC, I sync them with Dropbox. So whenever I change or make a file in my project, it’s automatically uploaded to my Dropbox account. Whenever it’s suddenly deleted for whatever reason, I can restore it from inside my Dropbox account.
2. Use cloud storage backup.
As I said above, my project could be saved because I used Dropbox to back it up. Without it, I might lose my project forever. There are many cloud storage provider you can use such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Amazon S3. They practically have the same features. The differences are maybe on its storage size and price.
Personally I use Dropbox because since I use Samsung smartphone I get additional storage size for my Dropbox account. Their free plan is also still suitable for my needs. Dropbox also has features that can restore deleted files. In my case above, this feature had saved me from huge disaster.
3. Back up regularly.
How often you should back up your files is relative to your needs. For my projects, I sync my files with Dropbox in real time. So whenever a file has been changed or created, it’s automatically saved in the cloud. For my websites, I usually back up my files at least once a week. If my website was very active, I might back up the files every day.
The problem working with digital goods is once our files were deleted, we might lose it forever. If we didn’t have backup of our files, we might end up swimming in our own tears regretting the loss of our precious projects. So before it happens, prepare for the worst.
Like Indonesian proverb says, “Prepare the umbrella, before it rains!”. It means prepare something in advance in order to handle the problem that might come later.
How often do you back up your files? What’s your favorite cloud storage provider? Any question regarding backup? Post your thoughts below!