Break stuff, but don’t forget to have backups

Hole
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I’m one of those WordPress guys who rant about keeping regular backups. Even using a fantastic plug-in that automatically runs a backup every weekend. Everything was running great and I had months of backups safely stored on my web server.

Until today, I decided try and install Certbot without testing it on a non-production server first.

Everything seemed to work perfectly. Until I rebooted my server droplet and it was serving up my index.php template as straight code. Certbot and My Digital Ocean WordPress droplet had a conflict, likely I made a mistake.

As best as I could tell Certbot expected Apache to be configured a particular way; perhaps it the droplet’s customizations were at odds. Either way I no longer had access to my droplet via ssh, sshfs, or ftp to download my server side backups. To make things worse I didn’t store any backups locally or on another server.

This could have been easily avoided

  1. Digital Ocean offers snapshots and backups that can be manually deployed at any time. I didn’t bother to create one.
  2. I had months of weekly backups. I didn’t bother to take a few minutes to download one.
  3. My backup plug-in, online communities and my own rants about keeping multiple backups were not heeded.

It’s not all bad – This blog is where I test ideas and break stuff

Of all the posts only three or four contained useful content. The rest was old posts imported from social media and a few bits of custom wallpaper. Nothing was irreplaceable or important.

Feel free to break stuff in production, just don’t forget the backups.

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