This summer, I received a notice reminding me that my domain and hosting registration was set to expire later this year — and I diligently made a little note reminding myself to renew my registrations in October.
On Monday, October 10, 2011, I decided to get the task done, and in the process of doing so, realized that I would probably fare better if I switched web hosts. Miss Cabrina Online used to be hosted through Go Daddy, and I’d had a lot of good experiences running other websites through Blue Host, so I decided to make the switch. I read up on transferring domains, did what I considered to be necessary homework, and began transferring things over. The entirety of Miss Cabrina Online is on the WordPress platform, which is super-easy to use, and a snap to export to a new server if the need should arise. It took less than an hour to reassign the domain to its new home and get things squared away.
Except I forgot one crucial, and very easy step that destroyed everything.
I forgot to export my WordPress content.
I’m just going to let that sit and marinate for a minute.
(This means I basically did not save any of my content). In one stupid fell swoop, I had deleted over 200 articles and blog posts, and all the content that used to be here. Seriously, it was all gone.
He knows how I feel. Image Source
Why This Was a Good Thing
I learned 3 valuable lessons from the mistake (and resulting mess/disaster) I made.
1. Always Back Up Your Files
After five frantic phone calls, an hour receiving help from a rep at Go Daddy, panicked searching on my computer for backups of my blog posts (yeah… I had actually been relying on my host to store everything, and I actually didn’t have updated backups of anything on my hard drive. Lesson learned.) and more time trying desperately to recover my old content, it became increasingly evident that it was too late.
For those of you with technical skill, I did have a full SQL backup of the entire site, but WordPress is a little bit temperamental with the form of backup data it will take. Because I never did a formal “export” of my posts (an option through WP via a one-click plugin) the database backup I had was not compatible with a new WP install.
I had already given up the rights to my old hosting, which meant I also no longer had access to my old (original) WP install. And even though I manually changed my php.ini file to allow for a larger max-upload size, the SQL I had wasn’t WXR compatible and couldn’t be converted.
So yes, I tried everything and it just reminded me that in life, I should always slow down, and take the time to do things the right way. And the more important lesson…
2. Change can be a good thing
…even if you didn’t really want it
Miss Cabrina Online is a phoenix, rising from its own ashes, and has risen as something that (I hope) is a much better and more powerful, well rounded, true-to-life version of its previous iteration.
(The one regret I have is that all the comments, facebook “likes” and all the evidence of pats on the back has disappeared — but maybe there’s more coming!).
I realized this was an opportunity to change the direction Miss Cabrina Online was going in — so I grabbed it, and started writing. I changed my style a little bit, and started creating more of the kind of articles that I enjoy writing.
3. Perspective is Everything
You have to understand, while I knew (and know) that this was not devastating in any serious life-shattering way, it was still over a year’s worth of work (and at least 100,000 words) that I had erased from existence in the course of one afternoon. But for some forced-zen reason I still don’t know, I didn’t have a nervous breakdown that day.
I chose happiness.
Yes, I had a momentary freak-out, and yes I whined a bit. But ultimately, and shortly after my small, self-indulgent miniature panic session, I chose to see the good and the opportunity in the situation. I chose to find the joy in it.
And it was really work — even something as lovely and wonderful as “choosing happiness” does not come easy. But me deciding to let it go, to breathe, and to see the opportunity in this small disaster, is sort of a testament to how far I have come on my little positive-living “journey,” and the fact that I found the opportunity hidden in this craptastic rubble made me feel kind of good about myself.
“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”
The reality is, people are forced to start over every day, and in more tangible ways than this. People who lose everything find a way to persevere, and excel in life, and I hope that my decision to give this website my all during this second go around pays some tiny little micro-sized small homage to those people.