Hey guys! I had a major freak out session today when I accidentally deleted a published blog post on WordPress, and then, in the process of trying to restore it, I accidentally hit the “permanently delete” button – not good! If you ever wanted to meet a total klutz, I’m your guy!
As I mentioned above, I was frantic! I had just shared a 1,000 + word blog post to my blog, to Facebook, to Twitter, and to other sites. Now I was embarrassed because there was no page to direct them to any longer.
So, I did what anyone would probably do in that situation – checked Google for help. After scouring a few discussion boards, I discovered no real answer other than a method to restore posts that were sitting in the trash bin. My big problem was the post was no longer in the trash bin, nor was it in my database inside my WordPress SQL.
I finally found a discussion board talking about how to retrieve data from Google’s cache. I had no experience working with cache at any level – other than clearing it. But, I was desperate to save my 1,000+ word blog post I had just blasted to the world so I read the discussion.
Rather than go through a very complex, technical discussion of how cache works, I’ll skip to the cool part. Google’s cache automatically stores pages in its memory allowing the content to be accessible as it was at the time it was cached (a snapshot, essentially). The cool part is that this data is accessible! All you have to do to get to the content (assuming you haven’t cleared your cache since you published the post) is type in:
Site:sitename.com: post title
Once you enter in the above information, and the post is still in cache, it’ll pull up the snapshot of the page as it appeared when it was cached.
This was a beautiful thing! As soon as I saw my missing content all intact on the screen, I shouted for extreme joy. I was able to copy and paste my content back in to WordPress, use the same URL, and publish it again (as if it never happened!)
This was a true time-saving trick for me so I couldn’t help but share it all with you! The idea of losing a 1,000 word post I had worked on all week was really disappointing. Now, I can move on as if it never happened.
This near-disaster taught me one thing. Always save a backup outside of WordPress. Make it a habit of saving posts in Microsoft Word and then transfer them to WordPress. There are also WordPress plugins such as the one I use, BackUpWordpress.
Keep in mind that the above trick won’t work if you’ve cleared your cache since you posted the blog post. So, the best course of action is to always back up to Word and use a backup plugin. Also, if your post is old, chances are it has purged from your cache. There is a website called Way Back Machine that can dig to find your old post if you run into this issue. There is no guarantee that the post will be found.
I learned a valuable lesson today from this experience, but am glad I was able to find a solution and fix my problem. I hope this helps you if you ever run across this scenario.