Back in 2005, I started my first blog, which was my business blog. It was going along okay until March of 2006, when things started looking a little shaky with the hosting company. My friend Kelvin had learned that the hosting company was having issues, while at the same time trying to get someone to buy them out.
Lo and behold, in April everything just up and crashed. By crashed, I mean all their servers went at once, including the servers that they used to back things up. In an instant, all was gone, and it looked like it was gone for good.
Luckily, I had all the pages for my website on my computer, and was able to get that back up quickly once we moved to a different host. However, the blog was totally gone. I had to make a decision; start all over or give up the ghost and move on with my life.
On a fluke I realized that I could actually recover all of my posts via Google. It seems they had cached every post I’d written; whew! However, now was the long part. I had to look up each post individually, copy it to my computer, then paste it into my blog space. I decided I wanted them in date order as much as possible, but I know I didn’t get them all in there properly. At a certain point I didn’t care. I had recovered about 125 posts, and decided to leave some that really didn’t say much alone. It literally took me about 12 to 14 hours to do it all, but I got it done. That was one of the ugliest days I’d ever put in, but I felt it was necessary to get it all in.
Of course, most folks would say just to backup your blog and it will all be just fine. Actually, that’s not totally true. Depending on your host, it’s possible that your backup file will be much too big to just move over. That’s the problem I ran into when I was trying to upgrade my blog to PHP5. The size of the file I backed up was around 4.3 MB, which isn’t super huge to me, but the largest file one could import to my server was only 2.5MB. Luckily I was able to convince them to help me out, as they said it wasn’t something they normally did for their customers. And I was glad I didn’t have to do it for my other blogs, which were already on PHP5 but weren’t showing it until I did what was required of me in that post above.
I mention this because there’s a possibility that I might be doing a recovery project for someone that’s going to involve this, as well as image searches for the posts. It can be a long and detailed project, but it’s nice to know that the search engines cache that stuff and gives you an opportunity to recover whatever you need for at least a short period of time.