A recent technical glitch made me wonder what would happen if I woke up one day to see my blog content disappeared overnight. What would you do?
I will never forget the shock I received when I installed a security plugin years ago. I activated it and then went to my home page. My blog content disappeared. All of it. Everything. The home page was blank.
Every writer talks about that awful “blank page” we all start with.
But in this case, I had a blog with at least 10 years’ worth of posts. I clicked that little “activate” button and everything vanished.
While I was just starting to have a panic attack, for some reason, I clicked refresh on my browser. Everything reappeared as if it never went away.
Don’t ask me what happened. I have no idea why that happened. But everything was fine from that point.
I had a similar scare several weeks back when my host migrated content from one server to another. None of my blog content disappeared, but instead, it was inundated with lots of special characters that made the content difficult to read.
For a split second — in both cases — I found myself in an uncomfortable situation.
I had to think what would happen if the blog vanished as a whole.
Would I start over again? Would I try to copy and paste or salvage what I could and rebuild? Or would I just delete my website and do something else?
The fact that I hated the thought of ending it or even starting from scratch made me realize something: I am proud of this site. I never really stopped to think about it before. But faced with its total disappearance, I suddenly had to stop and think about it.
I do have a backup plan, of course. So if the content were to vanish, I could get a backup and rebuild. I realize, though, no plan is perfect. In the case of the special characters, the backup would have still caused the same problem when they switched me back to that new server that was (apparently) misconfigured to begin with. Even if I restored an old backup to lose the characters on an alternate server just to get things back the way they should be, my host said the characters would return when I moved to the new server.
I found a way around that, fortunately. But until I did, I really had to think about “the future.”
That scared the hell out of me. For a blog, after all, it’s all about your archives.
Hopefully, that next piece you write will be your best yet. But you have to remember that a big part of a blog’s value is the pages you’ve already published. That’s mostly how people not only find you but why they come back for more.
With that gone, you have no history. You’re back to that blank page.
I didn’t want to be there. Not again.
If my blog content disappeared completely, I’m sure I’d start from scratch. Maybe it would be like living the “If you go back in time and tell yourself” scenario.
I wouldn’t be happy about it.
But I’m sure I’d start again.