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Disaster will strike – it always does…

disaster strikesI am an optimistic pessimist. In other words, I expect the worst to happen, and when it doesn’t, I’m pleasantly surprised. In fact, I usually try to act on my pessimistic outlook by planning ahead for disaster. This approach has served me well over the years in my roles as a marketer, product developer, company manager, and now solo consultant.

But inevitably, disaster will strike. It struck my business recently – and I wasn’t prepared. Geez.

You may have noticed that the look and feel of Job Board Doctor has changed. Well, here’s the backstory: My site is built on WordPress – a great platform for what I do, and generally extremely reliable. WordPress recently came out with a major revision (3.0). I blithely upgraded (it’s easy to do, you know) and discovered that my Blog page no longer functioned correctly. It was there, but you certainly couldn’t see any of my recent blog posts.

Well, that was no good. After several days of searching around, I discovered that my theme (the visual and structural underpinnings of the site) does not yet support 3.0. Geez again.

Being a not particularly skilled technician, I thought I would simply ‘go back’ to the previous version of WordPress, as the new one obviously did not like my site theme. Nope – can’t do that, at least not easily. So I finally turned to a new theme – one that does coexist happily with 3.0.

The moral to this story? Really, really expect the worst – and prepare for it. If your job board site is homegrown, have a contingency plan for those days when a patch or an update throws your code in disarray. If you use a job board software provider, make them show you how your site might recover from a disaster. For example, one site I worked with actually ran a mirrored version of itself so that if one server went down, the mirrored one could pick up – leaving the customers happy and unaware.

The worst part about all of this for me? I’m an Eagle Scout – and as you know, the Boy Scout motto is ‘Be Prepared’. Obviously I need a refresher! Don’t be as dumb as me – and if you insist on doing so anyway, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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