Take Regular Backups

by Carey on October 9, 2010

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This is advice that you will have heard 1000 times before, and will probably be just about to stop reading it… but please, for your sake, ensure that you have proper backups in place.

As you well know, all our work and effort can dissapear with unbelievable ease. Knock that Monday morning cup of coffee over your portable hard drive, that just happens to contain the only copy of all your current projects code and you are in trouble. Big trouble.

To try and motivate you, here are some ideas:

  • Make it your routine – if it is the last thing you do before you stop work, you will look forward to it.
  • Automate it – Script it up, and then you don’t have to remember. Write a batch script, c++ program, unix script.. whatever is your flavour. Just do it.
  • Treat yourself – buy a brand new 500gb external hard drive, just for backups. You will most definately want to try out your new toy.
  • Make it easy – buy some software, some online space or whatever makes it easier for you.

Backing up is one thing, but backing up succesfully is another. Don’t be tempted to do it half heartedly. Here are some common pitfalls:

  • Check your backups – the most common mistake. Make sure your backups work.
  • Backup your websites – don’t just backup your local files. Don’t trust your host, backup any important databases or content that changes if you don’t have a local copy.
  • Heed the warnings – if your hardware is getting dodgy, do something about it. Is your hard drive making funny noises but still working? Replace it.
  • Cover all angles – Backup everything. Emails. Online bookmarks. Software settings. Logins.

Hopefully this has inspired you. Don’t be one of those boring guys that moans about their lost data – make it an important part of your work.

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