Not long ago, everything was humming along normally here at PE until I started noticing some odd errors in the WordPress dashboard. They would come and go but didn’t seem too serious.

I decided to have a chat with my trusty web host admin—who happens to be a good friend. It was a fairly calm conversation until he said this:

Databases started disappearing 10 minutes ago.

very bad news

I’m dumping the whole database server out right now, but already lost a few

how’s your backup situation?

In other words, “this is not a drill.” Cue the standing neck hairs.

That last line should ring in your head

How is your backup situation? Well?

Do you have backups? Yes? Okay, well, have you looked lately to make sure the snazzy automated-and-archive-so-you-don’t-have-to-touch-it-or-see-it gem is actually still running? Or did it get quietly assassinated in the night by last month’s platform upgrade?

Have you checked to see whether the backups produced by your system are usable? Have you even practiced restoring them?

Are you backing up everything you would really need in the event of a total system (not just data) loss?


You don’t know when disaster will strike, but you should assume it will be at a most inopportune and unexpected time. Perfect data storms can form at a moment’s notice. And sometimes thunder claps in a blue sky.

Being a little scared on a recurring basis is useful.

I was OK

Fortunately I had good, regular, and recent backups, so getting my database back up and running went well. But I’m a little more fearful about all of my data now. And I’m glad.