A painful reminder about backups

I just wanted to drop a quick post before running my WordPress class again this week. I had a really painful reminder that started last week at the end of class. Long story short, uh this is a new blog.

Last week, I ended on WordPress.com and previewed this week’s class being about WordPress.org. I very quickly went over hosting options, shared and virtual. As part of this, showing off, I spun up 12 new Bitnami WordPress instances to show how quick and easy it was.

Being the cheap frugal person I am, as my students shuffled out, I started terminating instances. Select the first four, terminate. Select the next four, terminate. Select the next four, terminate, wait, why did that have five instance names?

Scott terminating instances in AWS.
Careful now… are you sure you’re doing what you think you’re doing?

What did I just terminate? Is that my blog? Is that Scott.Technology?

Oh the fear and panic as you watch the wrongAWS instance terminate before your eyes. Cancel, where’s the cancel! There is no cancel! This is going. This is gone.

Overconfident pride to the point of arrogance, usually preceding a fall.

Oh, thank you Mr. Backup-Plugin

So last Sunday, in between doing a little Moodle work for a client, I went digging for my backups. Luckly, I have set up a backup regime, backing up the database and the uploads to multiple locations. No data loss, but it took far too long to restore, with me only finding the time to finish the job last night.

But for a week, I wore this Badge of AWS Termination Shame.

But thank goodness I did the right thing and had backups on what was vital to me. It was going to be a fun class today without them. So learn from my fail, tick the termination protection setting in your AWS instances, and check that your backups are running.

Now for something completely different…

Some good news meet me when I went online on Friday; ElearningWorld.org featured a “meet the new author” about me! I’ve only contributed one article so far, but here will be a new ElearningWorld.org Article in the next few days. Keep an eye out, and remember, I’ll publish a link to it here on my site.


Kenneth “Scott” Huntley is a Learning Designer with TAFE NSW (Technical and Further Education, in New South Wales in Australia) and WordPress instructor with The Parramatta College.

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