Anyone who’s ever suffered an epic fail or, as one buddy screamed, “My site’s been hacked, OMFG,” with much recrimination, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, sure. Hand wringing. Blame. Fault–finding. Anyone who has ever suffered at the hands of such an event?
- Heard that at least twice — recently.
What happened, an automated — malicious — but just an automated script dropped a piece of bad software on the site, and rendered some of the site’s processes less than serviceable. The bad software was merely self-replicating robotic code that served, usually, as a window to bounce spam along its way. I fell prey to a similar type of exploit a dozen years ago and quickly learned my lesson to stay abreast of security updates.
Apparently, some of my buddies are not always so up–to–date.
I clicked through on a typical link–bait headline, about the best ways to make WordPress, this week’s favorite motor, a couple of ways to make WordPress bullet–proof. Of the fifteen or so listed items? At least ten, maybe more, were back-up routines. The preponderance of advice was simple: have a back–up in place. I prefer off–site, independent back-up.
For me, one is on a server farm, I think in Cali., so if the big one hits, all my data, website, and scopes, is still safe in Texas. But if, at the same time, a Left Coast earthquake and a Gulf Coast hurricane? There is always some stuff, remote stash, in the cloud. East Coast. Someplace on the East Coast.
Tool Time Backups
For a bulleted list, though, most of the points were various back–up suggestions, not how to prevent the disaster.
Apple Computers have a built in back–up routine, and that always makes me feel a little safer. That, and the various back–ups of the main databases of my writing, between those two? I feel safe enough.
A preponderance of back–ups adds to mental relief.
Another WordPress bulleted list was the — some number — of free plug–ins that are useful. Of those? One warranted my inspection, but it didn’t get downloaded. First, it was an intriguing idea, but when I accessed the plug–in itself on the WordPress site, it showed that it was not updated. Makes its function suspect, at best, and useless, prone to errors, at worst. Or, it could be an easy mark for a malicious exploit.
WordPress is a powerful motor, and mostly getting better. However, rather than just drop new material on the old motor, for me, I have to look, and even then, that’s why I keep weblog, off to the side, just for testing.
Tool Time Backups
Paying merely for the cost of hosting? It is possible, probably imperative, to have a back–up plan in place. Or several. Between remote back–up options, and a regularly scheduled site back–up at home? Doesn’t take much, and these days, all that is built in as an option.
Tool Time Backups
Listening to a speaker, there was a long and eloquent plea for a specific plug–on that, with one click, that plugin could restore the — WordPress — site in its original form, or, at least the last backup. That “restore” function included plug-ins, add–ons, unused bits and pieces of software that might — or might not — be useful. Could include the cause of the epic fail, in the first place.
As a writer, what I’m most concerned with are my precious words — the rest qualifies as mere window dressings. Curtains, carpet, paint, how the furniture is arranged? None of that matters, and from what I know about computer systems, all of that is a weak link. Besides, it’s just “styling,” and what is most important?
Content is still king.
That’s why, for me, a back–up just needs to be the database.
Running a website that is driven by a database? There should always be a clean and recent — preferably automated – database back–up. Off–site, perhaps more than off one site.