• Daily Tasks: Update And Monitor Backup Routines

    July 6th, 2009HARTDaily Tasks

    You know something needs attention when ..

    .. when google sends you an email letting you know that you ran out of room in your free google mail account!

    (click to enlarge to a new window)

    google-run-out-of-space-bottomToday, July 6, 2009 I have literally run out of space in my secondary GMAIL account. I have used up 7,345 MB (7.345 GIGS) of space to freely store backups of all the blogs in the HART-Empire Network, dating back to April 2008 – when the last time I had run out of space. In April 2008, the same amount of space resulted in 5,300 MySql backups (and on 6,660 MBs of space!) however, it seems that some of the backups since then have been in ASCII format and not in MIME or sent as an attachment. I probably should be concerned, but I’m not going to cry over spilt milk.

    You can never be too careful about having backups of your blog and MySQL database and I’m thankful that I have never had to restore a backup to date – except when I moved host providers that is. I think I have a good strategy though, with all my blogs that I have created.


    (1) MySQL Database Backup

    * WordPress Database Backup – I setup daily backups to be emailed to my secondary GMAIL account automatically. Before I do any major wordpress version upgrades, I do a backup and send it to the server’s hard drive and then FTP that file over to my local computer.
    * I am paying for an extra 80 GIG hard drive on my dedicated server, and have scripts to automatically perform grandfathering backups of all MySQL databases only.

    (2) Template and Files Backup

    * After I setup a blog, I do make a backup copy of the ../wp-content/. files to my local hard drive, but I never keep it current. I do it more or less to see what plugins I use when I created that blog if I ever want to compare 🙂 I do make regular backups of my template theme however. Besides backing up the files from the server to my local hard drive (a mirror copy at all times) .. I also create extra backup folders within the active theme that was copies (e.g. /backup-2009-0706/) and create an archive backup of my template at specific point in time. Let’s face it – I can have a current backup, but with PHP i could make one bad change and have two copies of crap. This way, I can always revert to a working theme anytime.


    I have deleted all of my old backups from my secondary GMAIL. I have a third gmail account, and forwarded the latest backups at June 30th for archive purposes .. but really I have no intention of every using them, so I deleted everything!


    Backups are not meant to be restored, unless you damaged them and need to restore the data. This is not the case for me (knock on wood). In case you didn’t know – when you delete any emails or spam emails, you don’t actually delete them from your GMAIL Account. They are transfered to the TRASH folder, and if everything goes well – will automatically delete after 30 days – unless you trigger it to delete everything NOW – like I just did!

    Today’s Task

    I have a clean GMAIL account once again, and I will go back to each of my blogs over the next few days to be sure my blogs have the latest plugin installed, and then set each to automatically make a backup daily. Sometimes, on old backup setups .. everything may be already set, but in the meantime I might have added a new plugin or two that creates more MySQL database tables that are not included in the automated backups. This task will force me to fix that oversight.

    How’s your backup routine? Does it exist? What are you doing to protect your database and your blog? Feel free to tell us in the comment section!

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11 responses to “Daily Tasks: Update And Monitor Backup Routines” RSS icon

  • Great advice for anyone who cares not to start over.
    .-= ** Check out Frank J´s last blog .. Microsoft Video ActiveX Control Vulnerability =-.

  • I’d hate to have to start all over again. Or get a virus. Or my host provider’s server crashes. Or I get hacked into. Or … well, you get the idea 🙂 Lots of vulnerabilities out there – I mean – just read Franks blog!!

  • Good reminder Hart! I’ve only once needed a backup. It was after a server crash and I didn’t have one. Web host had to go back a couple days so all I really lost were some comments. Still better to back up every day just in case. 🙂

  • Chris .. That’s what free google accounts are for! Just set up the plugin to automatically backup your data daily .. and it’s forgotten!

    PS Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  • Clever ideas here. Any way to zip those files to make t hem smaller?
    .-= ** Check out Clara´s last blog .. Fighting Fat With White Tea =-.

  • Holy schmoley, and I thought I had email overload!
    .-= ** Check out Loretta´s last blog .. Happy Independence Day! =-.

  • Clara .. I haven’t figured that out yet. But, I do know that there is a certain point that the wp-db-backup plugin will TIME OUT while trying to email your GMAIL account a large file / backup of your MySQL database. That happens to me currently on 2 of my blogs.

    What happens, is that even though I instruct it to email to GMAIL, it ends up dropping the backup on the server in a folder something like .. /wp-content/backup-92c51 or something like that. Once a month, I transfer the files via FTP to my local computer, and then delete them from the server so I don’t have any burden for space restrictions. Btw – of those two blogs that won’t get emailed .. they are average about 33MB in size .. there hasn’t been problems with MySQL database backups of 20MB or less for me.

  • Great reminders, been there having to start over and it is not one bit of fun. Its one thing when its your own blog and you know you messed up, but if you are doing this for others, there is a sinking feeling.

    Great advice and good reminders for us all!
    .-= ** Check out Susie´s last blog .. The Never Ending Quest To Play The Blues =-.

  • I have an automatic backup that sends the files to individual gmail accounts, except for my kids blogs that are really small and they just go to my junk email address.
    I set up an email to use when I comment on blogs and sign up for things that I want, but don’t want to give up my real email.
    I also go to my host and use their backup process when I think about it, double backups are always a good thing.
    .-= ** Check out McLaughlin´s last blog .. Europe Job and Career Resources =-.

  • McLaughlin .. That’s a good point! All bloggers should also know how to backup the MySQL database directly from the phpMyAdmin in their cPanel, or a basic backup of the entire site. I should write a post about both of those options too 🙂 thanks!
    .-= ** Check out HART (1-800-HART)´s last blog .. How People Count Cash Around The World =-.

  • I see you just left a comment on my blog 🙂
    I just wanted to say that I liked this post.
    Thumbed UP 🙂
    .-= ** Check out John Sullivan´s last blog .. Link building =-.

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