by Asim K
Danny Cooper’s article, “A Comprehensive Checklist to Creating the Perfect WordPress Website” argues that, 1. WordPress is the number one Content Management System (CMS) for your website and 2. Presents a way to creating a perfect website based on the mentioned CMS. Cooper goes from step A to Z, beginning from purchasing the domain, to creating a database, to backing up the database, the recommended plugins, etc. Among the more technical details, Cooper also relates to the readers a very important post-website step: caching the website and injecting some tracking analytics to track traffic, both steps which, as a web designer myself, I find too often and easily overlooked. Also among the technicalities there are always the most important details: the bare basics. Cooper illustrates the basics of settings up the website in a very easy to understand manner citing other appropriate sources when needed. Although I may not agree with the thesis that WordPress is the best CMS out there (I’m more of a Joomla fanguy), Cooper makes very valid points in great step-by-step curriculum.
And it is the basics that, above all, should not be forgot. On a sunny summer day last week, I walked into my office at the non-profit I work for. Quite routinely, I fired up my PC to begin the daily round of updates I love to hate to make. But waiting for me at the end of the dreaded tunnel of updates I had jotted down on paper was a light (okay, a light for me, but maybe not the org). To my shock and awe, the website was blank. Absolutely no content on the website was present. I sat there for a few seconds, dubfounded, clicking here and there to see if any content would magically pop up, as if databases are run by the magic elves from Diagon Alley who decided they were just playing a silly prank on me (no, unfortunely, Hagrid did not show up telling me I’m a wizard).
Imagine the meat on a skinned squirrel. Now Imagine if that meat was taken out, what do you have? A skeleton. That’s what the website was now, a skeleton. Just as soon as I was able to check the website out, I began getting a flood of emails from our state-wide chapters. San Diego was complaining the website is gone, San Francisco told me that the website is blank, Sacramento emailed asking if anyone elses’ website was working. I emailed each of the chapters back mentioned quite calmly that yes, all of the content from the website is in fact: gone. I had no idea what had happened. Two things I did know at that moment: our host administrator has backups to our data and that I believe in a God. And so I sat praying that those backups our admin had were working, otherwise I could say goodbye to a good 6 years of posts and say hello to a grimey season of website janitorial work (imagine rebuilding a city toppled down from an earthquake, except in the Matrix, and you’re Neo – the only one who can carry out the task). To my blessing and in the name of all the hairs that were saved from shedding out my head that day, our glorious (yet albeit cranky) website admin had backups ready of our website immediately and we were able to get the website up and running in less than a day.
Was the website wordpress? No. Am I meaninglessly going on about databases on another CMS at 11:46pm – fourteen minutes before the due date? Yes. Did our website has backups of the database? Yes. The point is, audience (the few of you who bothered to click this late on my post and made it this far down), that however unlikely you may think a database error might occur, you are wrong. The non-profit website had been running fine for 6 years and all of the sudden there was a wipe for some unknown reason. In Cooper’s article, he suggests various methods to backup his website. Cooper makes it extremely clear and incredibly important. I would say that whoever is looking to start a website, get wordpress, follow Cooper’s article, and say hello to a new life of backup fun 🙂 Because Cooper definitely knows his basic database safety, even for casual users.
Danny Cooper (2011). A Comprehensive Checklist To Creating The Perfect WordPress Website. [ONLINE] Available at: http://wp.smashingmagazine.com/2011/12/14/15-step-checklist-creating-perfect-wordpress-website/. [Last Accessed September 30, 2012].