Chapter 6: Avoiding and Dealing with Disaster

The biggest headaches you experience when working for clients are likely to be caused by unanticipated problems. You can plan for the site build itself, including launch and addition of content, but many developers fail to plan for problems that might arise after a site goes live.

All experienced developers have tales of disasters that have struck their sites, and each one provides a learning experience. My own worst experience occurred when my hosting provider moved its servers and lost all of my and my clients' data. Luckily I had an automated backup system in place and was therefore able to restore every site using a backup that was just a few days old (with a new hosting provider, needless to say). However, the impact on my time and my ability to take on work while this was being fixed was huge.

Fortunately, by learning from my experience and those of other developers, you can avoid the same disasters! Problems aren't always avoidable, but there's a lot you can do to minimize the chances of them occurring. This chapter describes some common causes of downtime and failure of WordPress sites, and identifies ways you can avoid them where possible, as well as how to deal with problems when they do arise.

What Could Go Wrong and the Consequences

A variety of issues can lead to problems, which could be caused by changes to the site itself, to the pattern of visits to the site, or by external factors such as hacking or server problems. ...

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