Are you sure you want to reset database?
I didn’t quite understand what the words in the little grey box meant. I was just trying to install a backup plugin on my website, and this thing popped up.
Oh well, I thought. This probably needs to be done in order for the backup to happen. I clicked ‘YES’.
What an error that was.
I went back to view my site, and was faced with this:
I felt a surge of panic. NO NO NO! What the hell have I done??
I checked my WordPress dashboard. All my posts were gone. I felt sick.
Yes folks, I had wiped my entire website. Without any backups. In fact, I had deleted everything whilst trying to do a backup. The irony of the situation was not lost on me.
As you’ve probably guessed (considering that you’re reading this right now), there is a happy ending to this story. Thankfully, the company that hosts my site had their own backups on their servers, and were able to restore the entire site within a few hours. (They said: “The fee for this is fifteen dollars. Is this ok?” and I was like “I DON’T CARE, I’LL GIVE YOU A HUNDRED!!!”)
Anyway, I was able to have a relaxing end to 2013 after all!
So what did I take away from this experience?
1. I realised just how important this blog is to me.
You know how they say you don’t truly appreciate something until it’s gone? That’s exactly how I felt. This blog has been a labour of love; it’s like my baby. The prospect of losing it broke my heart.
2. Nothing is every really lost on the internet.
You can find old versions of any page using Google cache, or the cache on your browser. (Note that this can serve as a reassurance AND a warning!)
3. Ask your friends for help before asking Aunty Google.
After the incident, my natural reaction was a panicked search for “undo WordPress reset database”. The first answers I got from the forums were along the lines of “If you don’t have a backup, there’s nothing you can do…” so of course I assumed that all was lost.
After posting a sad status update on Facebook, however, a bunch of my techie friends came to my rescue, and gave me not just one, but multiple solutions as to how I could recover my site. Amazing! I’d like to send a huge thank you to Doug, Karl, Bryce, Dean and Steve who gave me great advice and helped me recover files that I thought had been sucked into oblivion.
Of course, these days you can ask Aunty Google anything about anything, but often you have to trawl through a lot of crap to get to a solid, useful answer. So never underestimate the power of asking real people for help first!
4. Always. Back up. Your Shit.
Have you ever not realised how much you care about something until you almost lost it? What did you learn from your experience? I’d love to hear your thoughts!