I promise I’ll get back to critiquing church websites tomorrow. I’ve got a real doozy. But for today, I’d like us to take a peek into geekness, which I’m dedicating to to Joshua Claybourn … as well as any of you who have data-driven web sites. One of the compelling reasons I’m in the process of converting the Redland Baptist site to a MySQL-driven site is very simple. Backups and restorations are a snap.
Now I know database backups and command-line stuff all sound like the “ugly underside” managing your church or charity web site. But please, if I could only dispense just one piece of advice out of my twenty years in IT, a Master’s Degree and a whole bunch of training classes, it would have to be “Failure to Plan == Plan to Fail.” The bottom line is, system failures occur. It is part of the nature of the beast. So unless you have your data backed-up in a format that is both portable and easy to restore, then it is as worthless as that 1200 baud modem collecting dust on your shelf.
The first thing we need to do is back up our database. For the sake of convenience and consistency, I would create a “shell script” file named “mydump.sh” that I could execute from the command line that would look something like this: