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Monday, August 15, 2005

Another reason to love Crystal Tech

There is probably a time when a web designer needs to just unplug and go to sleep but I stayed in the office beyond that moment tonite because it seemed like a disproportionate number of clients were having trouble with their sites. Actually, everyone having trouble today is a "edit your own site" client. Which means - they wanted to edit their own content, I set them up with whatever the best solution is at the moment within their budget, and then the fun begins. Because no one really has created a tool for do it yourself site owners that offers the right combination of flexibility and protection against causing things to go awry, I seem to spend more time trying to sort out corners my clients have coded themselves into than I used to just maintaining the sites! And yet, I'd lose massive amounts of business if I refused to create 'edit your own' sites.

Anyway - back to my wonder web hosting company, Crystal Tech: I stayed up way too late trying to resolve a number of different issues clients had with their sites, and in doing so, inadvertently overwrote the style sheet of a site, without having made a copy. The intent was simply to add more line spacing - but I didn't realize that the guys at had tweaked my style sheet during set up, and I had just hosed their change. My last back up of the site wouldn't have had that change either. Gulp!

Tired beyond the point of being able to recode a style sheet when I wasn't even sure what had been done, I also hated the idea of my client waking up in the morning to find their site doing wierd things, before I had a chance to enlist help. And THEN I remembered that Crystal Tech had a new feature called Restore in the control panel of the site. I zipped over there, chose yesterday for my date, picked that one file to restore and voila - I was back in business.

Phew! Crystal Tech, my hero. Bless you guys in Texas for making the daily back ups accessible to your clients.

News 8/30/05 - no sooner than I wrote this, CT announced the service was out of testing and would now cost $10 per use (whether one file or a whole site). If you've hosed something important by accident, this is a small price to pay for salvation.