Death of Armedliberal.com: Lessons Learned
The content at Marc Danziger‘s personal blog, Armedliberal.com, has been lost along with the domain owing to a failure to back up files and the decision of a third party to shut the site down without notice. That provides, obviously, some lessons about backing up files and controlling your own domain and hosting.
The response in the comments section provides a nice study in the power of networked communication. Several commenters have stepped in to show Marc various places that content is cached online and to offer assistance in recovery.
Commenter M. Simon provides yet another teaching moment:
Which is wy I love blogspot.
The fees are right. And odds are the stuff will be cached forever.
Okay, two lessons: Proofread and/or spell check before hitting send. More importantly, though, your content on free sites owned by someone else is far from immortal. I lost outsidethebeltway.blogspot.com along with a bevy of sports and entertainment sites I had on their servers well over a year ago. Efforts to get them recovered were fruitless, owing to an unresponsive Google bureaucracy. It wasn’t a single occurrence, as several other sites disappeared a few months later.
If you can afford $8-$10 a year for a domain and about that much a month for decent hosting, you really should own your own content. Unless you’ve got a huge archive and major traffic–in which case you will be able to generate advertising revenue to more than offset costs–that’s all you’ll need. Even if your site isn’t making money, it presumably means something to you if you’re putting a lot of time into updating it.