So here’s the story of how I built a new portfolio website for myself.. only for it to complete evaporate from the face of the earth. Be warned, it’s a geekpost.
It won’t be a long piece, but the TL;DR is, if you insist on running your own server with your own OS with your own software – make sure you choose a reliable provider! And something about backups..
Early days of VPS (Virtual Private Server)
I discovered a website called ‘Low End Box‘ which links to VPS packages that you can obtain for outrageously low prices. Naturally, I was curious so I purchased a package from a company called ‘Rackulous’ because they had UK based servers. At first I used it tentatively, but as I got more proficient in running websites on my LEMP stack I started moving websites over, beginning with my own. I spent plenty of time developing the new portfolio website and populating it.
Fast forward a few months and I get extremely busy with Generation Revolution. In the meantime, my server has been falling over on its own whim and a few communications trickle in from the VPS provider trying to ‘fix’ the issues. Then one day not just my website but the ENTIRE server has disappeared. I contacted the provider a few times but alas, I never had a response. And that was the life and death of Usayd.com v3.0(?) Needless to say, I wasn’t alone in the issue.
Fast forward to present day!
It’s very deflating to have a website you’ve built disappear from the face of the earth. Yes, logic dictates that I should have had backups. But the steps you take to ensuring the safety of client websites (daily backups, server images etc) hadn’t been implemented for my own! Lesson learned. I have been fortunate to have the wonderful Zahra take on my latest website so finally after some years of no website, I’m back!