Help - Lost 9 Months of Work - Dev. Team Deleted my Content

35 replies
Man... last freaking thing I want to do is ring the emergency alarm here on New Years Day... but this is calling for some drastic measures.

My site at SentientPotential.com was worked on my a development team who aparently deleted ALL of my previous work... 9 months of interviews with the world's leading experts in Philosophy, Artificial Intelligence and more.

I'd probably pay 10k to have this site back up and running, this is my life's mission, PURPOSE-level stuff, and it's not all gone and all deleted.

THE SITUATION:

The content was probably deleted MONTHS ago, but I thought the dev shop was just using placeholder blogs for no reason (go to sentientpotential.com, you'll see the placeholder content).

So... Bluehost tells me there's no backup that long ago.

The dev shop tells me they got nothing, and they wish me the best (after deleting 9 months of videos and articles).

WHAT NOW?!

I'm willing to do anything but murder and theft to get this content back.

Archive.org <--- is giving me an error notice

Wordpress <---- DOESN'T have a "deleted posts" section... I have NO idea why (so I can't find deleted stuff)

I'm willing to do positively whatever it takes to get this content back - I positively can't have all this work ruined like this - and again - whatever it takes I will do, and whoever I gotta pay I'll pay, right here and now.

What would you do if you were me?

Guys, thanks, this one means probably 10x more than you know.

All the best,

-Daniel
#content #deleted #dev #lost #months #team #work
  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    Originally Posted by DanFaggella View Post

    Man... last freaking thing I want to do is ring the emergency alarm here on New Years Day... but this is calling for some drastic measures.

    My site at SentientPotential.com was worked on my a development team who aparently deleted ALL of my previous work... 9 months of interviews with the world's leading experts in Philosophy, Artificial Intelligence and more.

    I'd probably pay 10k to have this site back up and running, this is my life's mission, PURPOSE-level stuff, and it's not all gone and all deleted.

    THE SITUATION:

    The content was probably deleted MONTHS ago, but I thought the dev shop was just using placeholder blogs for no reason (go to sentientpotential.com, you'll see the placeholder content).

    So... Bluehost tells me there's no backup that long ago.

    The dev shop tells me they got nothing, and they wish me the best (after deleting 9 months of videos and articles).

    WHAT NOW?!

    I'm willing to do anything but murder and theft to get this content back.

    Archive.org <--- is giving me an error notice

    Wordpress <---- DOESN'T have a "deleted posts" section... I have NO idea why (so I can't find deleted stuff)

    I'm willing to do positively whatever it takes to get this content back - I positively can't have all this work ruined like this - and again - whatever it takes I will do, and whoever I gotta pay I'll pay, right here and now.

    What would you do if you were me?

    Guys, thanks, this one means probably 10x more than you know.

    All the best,

    -Daniel
    Daniel,

    BlueHost is the only one who could theoretically help you. However, backups aren't guaranteed, I'm sure.

    If you had access to the hard drive, SOMEONE could recover the data, but without that, it's impossible.
    Signature
    Free Special Report on Mindset - Level Up with Positive Thinking
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8829759].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Publisher1953
      Alas, if the deleted content has been gone for several months, it is probably gone for good. When I crashed and self-deleted all of my blog's content this time last year, I was able to recover about 50 per cent of the stuff through Google cache scraping (with the help of a contractor who ran the scraping program), but I think you are too long gone for that.

      So that means plan b -- rebuilding things from scratch perhaps recovering some of the videos and other content you have stored/saved elsewhere.
      Signature

      President, Construction News and Report Group
      Constructionmarketingideas.com

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8829776].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        my oh my WOW
        Signature
        Success is an ACT not an idea
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8829794].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Some thoughts to look into...

        Were the videos hosted on your site, or another service, like YouTube? If the latter, you can probably get those back.

        Did you keep copies of any of the content on your local computer(s)? Even unedited originals are a good place to start rebuilding from.

        Did you give copies to the people you interviewed?
        Signature
        .
        Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8829797].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Dan,

    You don't have backups of the content?


    Paul
    Signature
    .
    Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8829765].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JRJWrites
    Did you have ANY sort of backup plugin in place before the content deletion?

    I know EXACTLY how you feel - I accidentally "deleted" my site two days ago. Fortunately, I had UpdraftPlus (backup WP plugin) installed 24 hours before the incident occurred.

    Regards,
    JR John
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8829767].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Curious ... why did they delete all that content?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8829796].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DanFaggella
    Hey guys.

    Yes, lesson learned, here, I REALLY needed to have an automatic backup of some kind... but I ddin't...

    Cache scraping won't do, they blocked the spiders when it was in development mode.

    Bluehost said they can't reocver data from that long ago.

    Here's the thing: I'd be willing to bet lots of money that SOMEONE out there, some company or person, would be able to snoop out this content and recover it - SOMEHOW. If there WAS such a person or solution - what would it be - and what would i do now to exhaust all options.

    I'm willing to spend days of my life and thousands of dollars if need be in order to recover this data.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8829822].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author agmccall
      Originally Posted by DanFaggella View Post

      Hey guys.

      Yes, lesson learned, here, I REALLY needed to have an automatic backup of some kind... but I ddin't...

      Cache scraping won't do, they blocked the spiders when it was in development mode.

      Bluehost said they can't reocver data from that long ago.

      Here's the thing: I'd be willing to bet lots of money that SOMEONE out there, some company or person, would be able to snoop out this content and recover it - SOMEHOW. If there WAS such a person or solution - what would it be - and what would i do now to exhaust all options.

      I'm willing to spend days of my life and thousands of dollars if need be in order to recover this data.
      You need to find and go to a Hacker site. I do not know of any but I know they are out there.

      But, like Paul said. Do you have copies of these interviews and what not. It really does not make sense that you do not.

      al
      Signature
      The Flu? Not worthy of a mention here???
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8829845].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DanFaggella
    Only videos are saved elsewehre, and SOME of the articles... not all articles are saved elsewhere.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8829894].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Dan,
      Only videos are saved elsewehre, and SOME of the articles... not all articles are saved elsewhere.
      Did you happen to email those to anyone? If so, they might also still exist in your sent messages folder. Or the recipient(s) might still have copies.

      Did you post them anywhere else?


      Paul
      Signature
      .
      Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8830432].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ADRD
    You'd need access to the hard drive BlueHost use to automatically generate backups. It would be pure idiocy if they aren't running automatic backups regardless of your decision - however sometimes this is an optional "paid" benefit of a host, so you may have a hard time getting them! If I were you I'd probably open Microsoft Word and dedicate a few days to writing the content again.
    Signature

    Native English Writer

    Currently looking for people who require 3-5 articles per day (2000-2500 words). Please contact me for a sample!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8829984].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
      Originally Posted by ADRD View Post

      You'd need access to the hard drive BlueHost use to automatically generate backups. It would be pure idiocy if they aren't running automatic backups regardless of your decision - however sometimes this is an optional "paid" benefit of a host, so you may have a hard time getting them!
      It would be absolutely ridiculous for anyone to expect their hosting company to maintain backups that are over 9 months old. 99% of companies only keep the most recent backup.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8830568].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    In addition to Pauls' suggestions, check your browser cache for copies of pages that you visited. I notice you also have a Vimeo channel, so can you post your videos from there?

    Also found this
    Warrick - Recover Your Lost Website

    They successfully blocked archives.org from caching your website. You have to send them an email or put it in your robots.txt file to accomplish that. I've done it, but I had a site that I did not want to have a cache saved so I put that in the appropriate meta tag and several search engines ignored it completely, so there may be some caches of your site available using Warrick.

    Another idea is Wordpress post revisions
    Revisions « WordPress Codex

    Found this if you or someone you know visited the pages via Firefox
    http://www.rlmseo.com/blog/recover-d...firefox-cache/


    And try this link.

    http://SentientPotential/wp-admin/ed...post_type=post

    See if that works. If they used delete permanently or the deletion is older than 30 days, it may not work.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8829988].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author malcsimm
    So sorry to hear this Daniel - nightmare!

    This is a ton of content to lose - and you've obviously put a ton of effort into it.

    I expect we've all had situations where we have lost data – following which we have initiated better backup routines. I know I have.

    One thing I know - which may seem like little consolation at the moment - is that it's always many times faster to recreate data than it was the first time around.

    I hope you are soon back on track.

    Best wishes, Malc
    Signature

    You WILL banish # Procrastination, # Email bloat, # Wasting time, # Wasting money
    Getting Things Done PLUS Evernote turned my life around - read here how I do it
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8830446].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Steven Miranda
    You Should look into a service like CodeGuard.com
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8830517].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Entrecon
    Other than short blog posts, I usually write all of my stuff offline and then upload it or copy and paste. I have learned the hard way after typing a long article and then hitting save to only get a timed out message and losing everything I just typed. This also serves as a back-up copy.
    Signature

    Visit My website http://kipferguson.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8830566].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Brandgineering
    You had a US company with a contract?

    You saw your developers face-to-face and met with them weekly/monthly?

    You had an account manager that saw to your every need?

    You had carefully prepared design documents?

    You had duplicate backups done each week?

    etc.

    OR

    You got your developer from Elance or Craig's List and paid the absolute lowest rate possible, cutting corners, etc.

    Just making sure, because if your site and content was so valuable you would have paid more attention to the process and paid a company well to do it all properly. Your developer and hosting company are not the ones to blame. Its all basic project management.
    Signature

    Carl Hartman, CEO Brandgineering | Leaders in Video Marketing and Strategy | Best-Selling Author of Brand.gineering (a workbook & guide to brand strategy in the digital age) | www.brandgineering.org

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8830580].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I don't know if this works for that or not but would a system restore to an earlier time help you at all?
    For the future I suggest having an external hard drive and backing all your work up onto that a couple of times a week. I do that because I would be stuffed if I ever lost all my data.
    Signature

    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Visit my site for more info

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8830613].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    There's possible "portions" or "traces" of the information but it will be difficult if not impossible to track it down without additional information. (It's possible the content is cached on your machine, or elsewhere. This is what we call a "Hail Mary".)

    Your best bet is likely with your host. But if they have policies to DELETE backups after a set interval of time, you're screwed.

    In the future, be more clear with the "non-functional" requirements of your outsourced projects, and ensure that you not only keep redundant, and DOUBLE CHECKED backups, but also make sure to increase your security policy and consider limiting access to your content.

    Also, may I suggest to keep lots of backups. And, TEST THOSE BACKUPS regularly.

    Hope this helps.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8830682].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Chris Chicas
    Good luck man, sounds like there is only so much that you can do.

    Great thread... uhmm... I think I"m gonna go back up all of my websites now.

    Can anyone recommend any good software for WP Backups? Thanks.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8830716].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author garmahis
      Originally Posted by Christian C View Post

      Good luck man, sounds like there is only so much that you can do.

      Great thread... uhmm... I think I"m gonna go back up all of my websites now.

      Can anyone recommend any good software for WP Backups? Thanks.
      Just browse top popular Wordpress plugins
      WordPress › Most Popular « WordPress Plugins
      You'll find a few good ones to try.
      I personally use BackWPup
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8830770].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Other than short blog posts, I usually write all of my stuff offline and then upload it or copy and paste. [snip] This also serves as a back-up copy.
        I try and hammer this into my friends' heads when they start anything online. It's great to do backups of your blog, but they too often won't restore properly, even when the creator knows to back up the database as well as the blog files themselves.


        Paul
        Signature
        .
        Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8830945].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author garmahis
    Try to contact web archive folks. They might have an older version of your site somewhere.
    Probably a generous donation might speed up the process
    http://archive.org/donate/
    Currently it says
    "Page cannot be crawled or displayed due to robots.txt."
    http://web.archive.org/web/http://sentientpotential.com
    That means you or your contractor specifically blocked web archive from accessing your site.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8830764].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author garmahis
    OP, can you comment on this report which says that your site was hacked and defaced on December 11?
    www.sentientpotential.com hacked screenshot - Xatrix Security
    It seems that we're missing some parts of the story.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8830955].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by garmahis View Post

      OP, can you comment on this report which says that your site was hacked and defaced on December 11?
      www.sentientpotential.com hacked screenshot - Xatrix Security
      It seems that we're missing some parts of the story.
      Yes, but it is not hacked now. If you go to the site, you see the dummy posts there, the theme that is supposed to be there, no hacker message. If anyone is a hacker, I would suspect the dev team ... they went to extraordinary measures to attempt to make the site unrecoverable, and they claim they have no backup. I'm not sure we have the whole story.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8831472].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Don Schenk
    DanFaggella Yes, lesson learned, here, I REALLY needed to have an automatic backup of some kind... but I ddin't...
    laurencewins I don't know if this works for that or not but would a system restore to an earlier time help you at all?

    For the future I suggest having an external hard drive and backing all your work up onto that a couple of times a week. I do that because I would be stuffed if I ever lost all my data.
    Please, not just one backup. I've had backup drives and discs fail. Right now I have a 750gig backup drive that is as dead as it can get - doesn't even spin the platters. (Yes, I have another copy of the data.) I have even had CD and DVD backup discs prove to be unreadable. It happens.

    The only safety is multiple backups and test them. I learned that the hard way, and know exactly how you feel about the loss. It's not fun.

    :-Don
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8830979].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Okay. If it was hacked, it's entirely possible the whole thing is there, and just hidden from casual view by the hackers. They usually don't remove database files, and often don't delete anything.

    Dan, have you checked the database, to see if it's intact? Or FTP'd into the site to see what's really missing?
    Signature
    .
    Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8830984].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author RockStar87
    @dan I think you can still sort things out, good luck, I'm gonna do backups on my website too.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8831376].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jeskola
    Hello,

    I have a Bluehost Pro account and they have an automatic back up service.

    Go to your control panel and search for backup - then click on 'site back up pro'. Now you can click on the 'free version' - you should now have access to all the back ups they made.

    Now - i have never turned this service on myself nor have i paid ofr it - it's just inside my control panel. I also no longer use Bluehost as they were a bit unreliable - i back up all my sites with a third party service... however when i checked the back up service page - The page says -

    Site Backup & Restore allows you to download and restore system backups. Backups of your files, databases, and configuration settings are created automatically every night. Daily, Weekly, and Monthly backups are stored on our servers.

    I can see that i can restore my WHOLE account there... so i assume that it will be everything going back months (it says in the little blurb right there).

    So - go take a look and see if you can find this service in your CPanel. Good luck!
    Signature

    Don't look to MAKE money - look to HELP people and you will make all the money you can ever want.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8831522].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author jeskola
      Originally Posted by jeskola View Post

      Hello,

      I have a Bluehost Pro account and they have an automatic back up service.

      Go to your control panel and search for backup - then click on 'site back up pro'. Now you can click on the 'free version' - you should now have access to all the back ups they made.

      Now - i have never turned this service on myself nor have i paid ofr it - it's just inside my control panel. I also no longer use Bluehost as they were a bit unreliable - i back up all my sites with a third party service... however when i checked the back up service page - The page says -

      Site Backup & Restore allows you to download and restore system backups. Backups of your files, databases, and configuration settings are created automatically every night. Daily, Weekly, and Monthly backups are stored on our servers.

      I can see that i can restore my WHOLE account there... so i assume that it will be everything going back months (it says in the little blurb right there).

      So - go take a look and see if you can find this service in your CPanel. Good luck!
      Actually - yes i was correct! Ithere is a 'Browse' link on that service and i can see all the files going back to 2010 (when i first created the account). YOu might just be in luck here.
      Signature

      Don't look to MAKE money - look to HELP people and you will make all the money you can ever want.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8831525].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by jeskola View Post

      Site Backup & Restore allows you to download and restore system backups. Backups of your files, databases, and configuration settings are created automatically every night. Daily, Weekly, and Monthly backups are stored on our servers.

      I can see that i can restore my WHOLE account there... so i assume that it will be everything going back months (it says in the little blurb right there).

      So - go take a look and see if you can find this service in your CPanel. Good luck!
      OP: Before you do this, check the database. You need to determine whether or not he wiped the whole database or just deleted the posts in the Wordpress backend.

      The revisions that Wordpress keeps for posts, if you revised a post are stored in the Posts table as are the autosaves.

      Revision Storage Method

      Revisions are stored in the posts table.

      Revisions are stored as children of their associated post (the same thing we do for attachments). They are given a post_status of 'inherit', a post_type of 'revision', and a post_name of {parent ID}- revision(-#) for regular revisions and {parent ID}-autosave for autosaves.

      By default, WP keeps track of the changes to title, author, content, excerpt.
      Revision Management

      Deleting: There is an API function to delete revisions, but there is no UI. That can certainly change.
      You should check your posts table to see if the revisions still exist. Deleting a post, even permanently, may not delete the revisions from the database.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8831583].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author great9
        I'd like to suggest you search through your website's files for malware. These will usually be prefixed with "base64_decode(" or "eval(".

        Also don't forget to update all of the open source software you're using.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8832211].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author bobson8788
    Man that is insane. Let me go backup my stuff
    Signature

    Learn all about starting an online business here: The Online Business Post
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8832832].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author IMMer1975
    How did you determine that it is "gone"? I mean, are you looking only in your Wordpress admin console? Or have you actually gone and looked in the mysql database and the directories on the server? It is possible that your old database exists and your contractor created a new database, or new tables (with a new prefix) in an existing database.

    And before you make any changes or anything, you may want to generate a full backup now. All too often people mess up more during the recovery process and mess up what could have been salvagable data.
    Signature

    Pssst...want to learn how to build marketing funnels in Mautic marketing automation to propel online conversions?

    Or are you interested in learning Wordpress? Check out my free video courses here. Taken by over 25,000 students on Udemy.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8834748].message }}

Trending Topics