You know that awful thing you hope never happens when you’re making changes on your website?
It happened to me this morning.
I was working on my site, updating plugins, making changes in multiple places, checking the configuration for some obscure setting that took me down a rabbit hole.
When suddenly, when I review my site, it’s not displaying the way it should.
Some update I made caused a problem with search disappearing.
The blog page was empty, there were no posts.
I made multiple changes earlier in the morning, so I wasn’t sure which change to back out.
But I didn’t panic.
I knew I had multiple options available to me to bring back the site before I made changes.
Read on to learn what I did and what you can do to avoid panicking when the same thing happens to you and your site.
Why Planning for Website Recovery and Restore is Crucial
One of the first things I do when I bring on a new client with an existing site is to confirm they have site backup and restore options on their site.
If they don’t, I quickly set them up with my favorite service, ManageWP, for daily backups and restoration.
Because there’s always the time that a change doesn’t go the way you expect. You’ll need to make sure you have a backup you can restore from before you made changes.
When your website no longer displays correctly, or heaven forbid, crashes due to changes you made, you don’t want to worry about trying to bring the site back to the state it was before you made changes.
For me, that means a recovery and restore strategy with multiple options.
My Options for Recovering and Restoring a Site
My first option for returning a site to its previous state is the Simple History plugin, which tracks all the changes made on a website.
If you’ve only made a few changes, they can be easily discovered in Simple History.
You can review the changes in the Simple History log, back out the changes to return your site to its previous working state.
In my situation this morning, that wasn’t the best choice.
I made more than a dozen changes, and didn’t want to take time backtracking all of them.
Because I knew my second choice, ManageWP, was a better option to save me time and restore my site.
ManageWP has become my go-to tool for managing and maintaining websites.
It’s an online service that allows me to automate many website tasks, including daily backups.
What I like about their backup system is the ability to restore from my choice of backup points.
Given my backup was made this morning at 1:30am, that’s the backup point I chose to restore.
Less than two minutes after I selected restore, my site was back to the original state before I made changes.
What a relief!
I’ve been working on the web, and restoring websites, for more than 20 years.
From working with web hosts for days to get a site restored for a client to manually uploading file and database backups and resetting configuration settings, I can’t count the days (or weeks) spent restoring sites.
Today’s site restore had to be the easiest and fastest site restore I’ve ever completed.
Which makes me work so much easier!
And is one of the reasons I rely on and recommend ManageWP for website backups.
While none of us ever want it to happen, changes we make on our websites can have unexpected consequences.
And require us to restore our sites to its previous state before you made the change.
Having a restore and recovery strategy in place ahead of time can help you avoid a frantic “what do I do now?” situation and bring you peace of mind.
And in my case, restore my site in two minutes.
How about you? Do you have a website recovery and restore plan in place? Share your experience in the comments.