Recently, I’ve had a problem with a blog that I manage. Due to a server issue, the database was totally screwed up. It was weird. The first thing I noticed is that the posts for the last five (5) or so days were gone. I thought that some absent minded tech had inadvertently restored a previous backup.
Then I noticed that not only posts were gone, but some settings reverted back to their original values. Upon closer inspection, I realized that certain entries in certain tables in the database were deleted. Hmmph, who knows what the problem was. So I figure that it should be a simple enough task to get a backup from my web host. I was wrong about that, very wrong.
Now let me first state that I was also wrong in not maintaining my own database backups. There is absolutely no excuse for this, so I take full blame for my problem. If I had a database back up, I wouldn’t have been in the situation that I’m in right now. Anyway, moving on. After over 4 days of moving back and forth with tech support, they were able to supply me with their earliest backup, which was dated the day after my database meltdown. So I was screwed, or was I?
There were two tools which saved my butt. First, FeedBurner. With FeedBurner, I was able to recover the titles and content for all of my posts, but simply going back to my feed. To accomplish this, I used Google Reader.
I had one other small problem: The links of my posts are not dependent on the date, by default, but on the category. This is where Google’s caching feature comes in handy. I used the post titles and searched for the web page in Google, by using the site: feature. This did two things: it gave me the link of my post, so I could see what was the main category. I could also view a cached version of the page to see any other relevant information.
So, something to note. FeedBurner + Google search cache = Instant Blog Back Up.