Take Regular Backups

This is advice that you will have heard many times before… but please, for your sake, ensure that you have proper backups in place.

As you well know, all our work and effort can disappear with unbelievable ease. Knock that Monday morning cup of coffee over your portable hard drive that contains the only copy of all your current project code, and you are in trouble.

Big trouble.

To try and motivate you, here are some ideas:

  • Make it your routine – if it is the last thing you do before you stop work, you will look forward to it.
  • Automate it – Script it up, and then you don’t have to remember. Write a batch script, c++ program, Unix script.. whatever your flavour is. Just do it.
  • Treat yourself – buy a new large external hard drive just for backups. You will most definitely want to try out your new toy.
  • Make it easy – buy some software, online space or whatever makes it easier for you.

Backing up is one thing, but backing up successfully is another. Don’t be tempted to do it half-heartedly. Here are some common pitfalls:

  • Check your backups – the most common mistake. Make sure your backups work.
  • Back up your websites – don’t just back up your local files. Don’t trust your host. Back up any important databases or content that changes if you don’t have a local copy.
  • Heed the warnings – if your hardware is getting dodgy, do something about it. Is your hard drive making funny noises but still working? Replace it.
  • Cover all angles – Backup everything. Emails. Online bookmarks. Software settings. Logins.

Hopefully, this has inspired you. Don’t wait until you have lost important data – make it an important part of your work.

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