The most devastating damage this blog took from the recent hack attack + database screw-up was the lost of six month’s worth of blog posts.
Though my webhost has managed to provide me with a copy of my blog’s database before the hack attack took place, the backup was unusable. It sucks big time! So I had to be more resourceful and figure out a way to recover most if not all of the blog posts I’ve lost.
The first solution that came to mind was Google Cache. That neat service by Google wherein they keep a snapshot of the web pages it has indexed. So I tried that but unfortunately, Google has also cached the corrupt pages of my blog so it was also unusable.
My hopes of recovering those lost blog posts nearly died until I saw that my Google Reader has the last 16 posts I’ve posted. Yes, I do subscribe to my own RSS feed. I do this to see how my posts really look like via RSS.
Going back, I thought that if Google Reader had my last 16 posts, maybe it has all the posts I’ve ever published since I had long subscribed to my own RSS feed years ago. Thank the stars for Google Reader, it does have them! All posts from way back to February 2009 were still viewable via Google Reader.
While browsing how far Google Reader had copies of my past blog posts, I remembered another way of recovering the ones I’ve lost. That silent and almost forgotten feed subscription and newsletter service known as Feedblitz.
It allows blog readers to subscribe to their choice of blogs via email. A simple newsletter of sorts that delivers every published post to my subscribers via email. Then I remembered that I had my very first Gmail account subscribed to it way back just to see how my posts were displayed by Feedblitz. I logged in and I almost jumped for joy when every single post I’ve ever published were right there in my inbox complete with post styling, embedded images & videos to boot!
So now, it’s just a matter of copying posts both from Google Reader and Feedblitz to my blog and re-publishing them. This would also be a great opportunity to update some posts that need to be updated and fix the typos I’ve left unnoticed since then.
The only drawback to this method is that the comments and trackbacks the posts have collected over time have been lost forever. Which goes to prove that it’s still best to have a working backup, even multiple backups of your blog’s database.
Nonetheless, I’m content that there’s a sure way to recover the lost blog posts and in the coming years, I know better how to prevent this harrowing experience from happening again.
If you had your own share of blog hack attacks and other methods of recovering lost blog posts do share them for all to read and learn from.