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Blog Backup Problems

I just upgraded to the new version of the Democracy plugin that powers the poll in the sidebar, and in the process lost all existing votes. No problem, I thought – I’ve two separate daily database backups, so extract the sql and re-insert it manually.

Or, you know, not.

My first port of call was BackupMyBlog.com, which I set up in May. In theory, it uses locally hosted .php files to backup the mysql database every night. They say that locally storing the .php files means they never have access to the database passwords. I don’t have enough php knowledge to know whether that’s true, but it seemed useful and trustworthy enough to be worth the risk. I checked a couple of weeks after setting it up and it seemed to be working fine, even if it never actually sent the promised weekly email reports, nor formatted the RSS feed properly. But, when I went to download the latest file just now I was shown a message saying:

Backup of your account has been disabled because the backup client was not found on your blog server.

Damn! It hadn’t backed up since June, nor emailed to let me know, which sucks. The php files were actually still in place, so I reset their settings and it’s still not working, so I guess the whole site is broken.

Not to worry: I’ve another system. Used in conjunction with wp-cron, the built-in (or not) wp-backup plugin is set to automatically email a zip file to my gmail account every night. Except it seems that it inexplicably stopped working at the end of July, after chugging merrily along for months. I’d gotten so used to not even thinking about the emails that I didn’t notice them stop. This *might* coincide with the upgrade to WordPress 2.0.4, thinking about it.

At least this happened with something relatively minor, and not a complete database loss. It still sucks utterly, however. I know it’s up to me to check that backups work properly, but I don’t think I was particularly lax in this case! I’ll post again when I’ve found another solution.

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