I had quite the unsettling feeling during the latter part of the Labor Day weekend. As many of you know, my blog was seemingly wiped off the face of the World Wide Web. Depending on the browser you were using, If you typed in www.brentreser.com you received an error message or other notice stating that the site could not be found.
In the past, Don’t Blink has went offline for a couple hours due to maintenance but the inactivity has never stretched longer than that. On Labor Day I wrote my blog post on my word processing program at around 2 p.m. However, not only could I not access the main site, I couldn’t even access the back-end administration page. Thus, I had no way to post. I would check back every hour (okay, let’s face it, if you know me you can probably guess I was checking every few minutes) for the system to be running again but it was to no avail. As it started to get late in the evening hours, I knew my newest blog post would not be published that night.
When it comes to the hosting and domain registration of my site, I have someone else handle it. My friend from college, Eric, manages it for me and I send him a check on a yearly basis to cover fees. I let him know about the issue. Of course that didn’t stop me from also Googling every possible scenario that could have caused my blog to disappear into thin air.
Unless it is a maintenance upgrade, there is absolutely nothing good about having your website go down. Your readers get confused, your traffic plummets to nothing, and your presence on search engines evaporates. But that is not even the worst part…
I was freaking out that everything I had written for the past five years would be toast. The thought of 1,100 different blog posts, close to a million words, suddenly not being available to me was a little scary. I don’t save my blog posts on my word processing program and with no way to access the back-end of my blog the reality of an enormous amount of content being lost was very real.
I have said before that if my house caught on fire, the one item I would go inside to retrieve would be the box full of my journals. However, the writings I have done for Don’t Blink are about as equally important. Before this past weekend, I had never entertained the possibility of losing my entire blog.
But all of a sudden that horrible scenario was now in play. I woke up on Tuesday morning and my blog still did not exist. I kept asking myself if Don’t Blink would be saved. Eric had responded to me the previous night and said he would look into it. I had a bad feeling in my stomach. Could a site that was not recognized as having even existed over the whole weekend be brought back? If it could, would it look the same and have the same capabilities?
In the afternoon on Tuesday I received the best Facebook Message ever. It was from Eric and it simply said, “Should be fixed in the next 5 hours.” Of course I shot back asking what the issue was. He responded that there was a billing issue resulting from an account update. He said the IT people confirmed that it was an edge case and that they would fix it as soon as they could.
Back at home for the night, I counted down the hours. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to count all five of them. Probably after around three hours, the switch had been flipped and Don’t Blink was in business again. Everything with the site was still intact.
Fortunately for me, this story has a happy ending. But it did give me a scare. If I ever want to write a book, share my thoughts/adventures with my kids, or have something to show for the countless hours I have spent typing at a keyboard perhaps I should look into having some type of a backup. If anyone knows of any solutions or software I should look at to archive my blog, please let me know. I thank Eric for his help resolving this issue and I thank all of you for your patience. Don’t Blink.