What I Learned From My Website Crashing
For those of you who own a website, I am sure you have thought at some point how awful it would be if your website one day just disappeared.
Well, it happened to me. I messed with the files in the admin settings for hours, talking to my hosting company through email and online chat. I swear every time they told me to do something that was to supposedly fix my issue, I had made it worse. Or, perhaps they were just telling me wrong information. I can point fingers at them and myself all day long, but what’s done is done. I lost hours of writing, hours from fixing random errors that showed up anytime I typed in my URL, and hours from putting back the few pieces and remnants of the site that I had left.
As I told my mom when talking to her about it, “I’ll take this as a learning experience.”
So what did I learn about losing my website?
1) Backup your website regularly
This is why I said previously that I can put some of the blame on myself. I didn’t back up anything. All my blog posts were never saved in any fashion. I used a handy website, Wayback Machine to recover all that I could. But I wasn’t able to salvage all of it. And even if you save all of your posts, there is a lot more to a website than blog content, especially if you do a lot of customization, uploading photos, and care even a little bit about web analytics and SEO.
It doesn’t matter how well your site is running. It can happen to you.
2) There is hope
(It’s not the end of the world, even if it feels like it)
As I stated before, I was still able to salvage some of my website, from having nothing saved. I pulled from the website that archives the internet sites to grab a handful of my posts and bring them back to life. It wasn’t much, and the posts I wrote that I enjoyed the most are gone forever, but not all is lost. If you have it in you to write, more content will come to you. This brings me to the next thing I learned.
3) I love writing and building websites
This confirmed it. I wasn’t just doing it fill my time with. Writing, blogging, and building websites are things I love to do. If I didn’t love it, I would have quit right then and there.
But that’s not what happened. I came back because I love it. Yes, I had to put a “Coming Soon” page up and step away from the situation for some time to cool down. But I came back. That’s when you know it’s more than just a hobby to fill your free time with…it’s what you love.
4) I should have done more with my site
When salvaging all that I could from my site, I realized how much worse the scenario would have been if I had dozens, hundreds, or thousands of posts. Then it got me to think…”Why didn’t I have more posts?” Why didn’t I apply myself more? Why were there 20 posts and pages to salvage instead of 200? It was a wake-up call, that I needed to write more.
5) I am dedicated and motivated
Perhaps this is a cheesy life lesson to express from this experience, but it’s true. There was a short time that I had flung my arms in the air and thought I was going to quit for good. It was too much work. I didn’t want to start over. That was it.
Then I flipped that energy around.
“I don’t want to quit. I want to write. I want to blog. I want to keep working on my site.”
And that was that. I threw up the “Coming soon” page and starting building what I could back up.
It made me realize that I am not a quitter. I am afraid to quit, sometimes almost to a fault.
Losing my website made me realize that I am more dedicated and motivated than I thought I was. Of course, I needed a little bit of encouragement from those I am closest too, but I clung to that ounce of encouragement and took it to the next level.
I learned a lot from losing the contents of my website. I hope to never have to go through it again, but I feel fortunate to have learned what I did now, instead of 3 years from now.