This morning I got an email from a company offering a free whitepaper on choosing ‘the best CMS for your business.’ I signed up and downloaded it – this is the first thing I saw when flipping through it:

“PHP is a general-purpose scripting language for web development. It is also used in some open-source CMS offerings. Because it’s easy to learn, PHP is often used by small companies for simple websites. Medium and large businesses however, are much more likely to choose .NET for its compatibility with Microsoft technology.”

So let’s see… these are some fairly good-sized companies that have PHP-driven sites:

  • Facebook
  • Wikipedia
  • ING
  • IKEA
  • US Small Business Administration
  • Friendster
  • Flickr
  • PhotoBucket
  • Sourceforge
  • Yahoo! Answers
  • Garmin
  • Digg
  • Wake Forest University

They don’t sound so small. Or simple.

I’ve used a number of plugins to backup WP – none of them (the free ones, anyway) have ever really fit the bill as an all-in-one solution. You usually either get the database or the files, and you need both to fully recover from a server failure or hack job.

I’ve been using WP DB-Manager for quite a while for database backups – it seems to work very well except for the annoying nag message that comes up every time you upgrade it. The only  way I’ve determined to get rid of the nag (following the detailed instructions given by many bloggers does not work) is to open up the PHP file and manually comment it out – which only hides the message, but since backups are working correctly I can live with knowing that. This is a pain, though, and it scares those diligent clients who actually do those upgrades when they see the notice.They have no way to remove it.

Today I installed BackWPup, a plugin that was updated in April 2011. BackWPup has a comprehensive interface that seems to do it all. You can set up and schedule different types of jobs: DB backup, file backup, WP XML export and optimize/check the DB tables. You can choose which DB tables or files/folders to exclude from your backup, too.

Lots of options for storing your backup as well – from emailing a zipped copy to yourself, to backup to a WordPress directory or FTP, and other options like Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud, Dropbox or Sugarsync.

It looks promising and has had many positive reviews – over 55,000 downloads to date with an average rating of 4 1/2 stars. I’m giving it a try and the first backup will occur tomorrow night. Fingers crossed – maybe this will be The One that handles all my WP backup needs.

[flickr]photo:5802116955[/flickr] 9 weeks old
[flickr]photo:5802116619[/flickr] His favorite beach in NC
[flickr]photo:5802117299[/flickr] Wrestling with my husband and Micah
[flickr]photo:5802117529[/flickr] Reflecting with Micah

On June 3, 2011 we had to euthanize our 14-year-old English springer spaniel, Tucker. He’d had bad arthritis in both hips that made getting up and sitting uncomfortable for awhile, but otherwise was pretty healthy. Then in February he began a four-month bout with cancer and had been doing fairly well until a few weeks ago, but really took a turn for the worst the night before. We had him at the emergency vet’s until about 1:30 a.m. and were told all we could really do was make him as comfortable as possible.

Friday morning we made an appointment with our vet. It was a beautiful day, so we planned to have lunch outside with the dogs. My husband carried Tucker outside to the front yard and we all hung out quietly for a few hours, enjoying the warm sun and cool wind. He seemed to be fairly comfortable after he finally settled down and was breathing a little easier. Our younger spaniel Micah laid near him, their backs touching.

We went to the vet at 3:30 in the afternoon. We talked about the night’s ordeal and the x-rays, and came to an agreement about our decision. In one way it was one of the hardest things we’ve done, but in another, there was no difficulty at all; we knew it was the right time. Knowing it didn’t make it any easier and the tears were plentiful.

We were beside Tucker petting him when he died. He seemed comfortable and knew we were there with him and the vet and his staff were very kind to us, which we appreciated immensely.

It’s so quiet in the house. We spent the weekend with Micah, and each other. It seems very strange in the house; Micah looks around for him but less frequently than a few days ago. We began going through pictures for a photo album and talked a lot about Tucker, which seems to help. I posted some of the images on Flickr and a few others here, some scanned from old prints we found in boxes in the closet.

We plan to scatter his ashes at a few of his favorite places – the beach near the NC/SC border, a mountain trail near our current home. He loved being outdoors, and preferably wet and dirty, at least until the last year or two.

Tucker was a special dog and we will always love him. Micah’s a special dog too – we plan to provide her some company by adopting a rescue dog near her own age in the next month or so.