(And really, any time.)
What is Mercury Retrograde?
Mercury rules communications and its moving parts. When it’s retrograde, everything related becomes slowed. Muddled. Or tends to break.
Phones get dropped. Websites go down. Apple pushes updates for the iPhone and immediately has more updates because something invariably broke with the first one.
You send emails with your butt to absolutely no one (been there.)
And Slack goes down. (Watch. It’ll happen.)
But it’s not something to fear.
When I first started paying attention to Astrology, I thought it was! But it happens so fucking often (3 to 4 times per year?) that it has become more of an invitation into awareness than fear. Especially with my business and the technology that runs it. (See how Mercury Retrograde may affect your business with our monthly Astrological Forecasts.)
Every few months, I now pause to look at what systems I need to have in place for the technology stack, or all the different technology-based moving pieces, in my business.
Or, y’know, everything these days.
You can also get your contracts lined up & thoroughly reviewed, send that important email now, make any significant tech purchases, etc., before Mercury Retrogrades. Today we’re mostly talking tech because… this is The Fiery Well, and we talk witchy tech.
How do you prepare your tech for Mercury Retrograde?
You prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
I have what I like to call Mercury Moratorium: a period where you don’t update anything on your website that is critical (WordPress core, plugins, and themes) and don’t buy any new tech (plugins, themes, hard drives, computers) if you can help it.
If Mercury Retrograde has taught me anything, it’s this: take it slow and be deliberate.
Before Mercury goes Retrograde I back everything up.
What do you need to have backed up?
As much as fucking possible.
As often as possible.
Which is why you need to develop a backup system.
How do you develop a backup system?
First, know thyself.
I am horrible at remembering things on my own, especially this year. I have to have a system in place even to remember my systems. For this, I use a maintenance log in my Bullet Journal and a ClickUp List in tandem. I write down when I need to do backups for myself or a client, and then I put that in ClickUp to remind me of all the particular steps for each client.
If you have a hard time adding new things into your routine, know this, and do what you are able as you are able. If that’s first adding a cloud backup system because you have nothing… that’s better than nothing.
Because, second of all:
Know what you are willing to lose.
What’s often not considered in creating a backup system for yourself is: how much data you are willing to lose?
Blog daily and backup daily? At most, you’ll lose a day’s worth of data.
If you blog daily but only back up monthly… you could lose a month’s worth of data.
If you never back up? Well. That’s everything gone.
Develop a system for yourself.
You do not have to suddenly back everything up and have this massive plan with everything in place as soon as you decide to start a system. Take one thing at a time. Make it a habit. Add another. Build your system slowly.
“But, Patty, it’s all in the cloud now. Off-site. So why worry?”
You don’t own the cloud.
You, quite frankly, own nothing while it’s on the internet (yeah, even your website… that’s another post for another day.) So you should always have the cloud backed up to your computer and/or external hard drive.
If you want to own it, you need to be able to hold it.
What needs to be backed up?
This is going to look different to everyone and every business: some will need to add in accounting data, customer information (be mindful of GDPR), inventory data, and more. But everyone should back up their computer, their mailing list, their social media accounts…
And their website.
Wait. Can you back up your social media accounts?
Yes. Yes, you can. And you should because they can delete you in an instant and without notice. If you have that content nowhere else… that’s potentially years of images, video, text -poof- gone forever.
Take a look at this handy list of things to back up and links to how to back it up!
The 5 Things Checklist
- Back It up to a Cloud Storage system (Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, etc.)
- Back it up to a spare external drive (I like WesternDigital, Seagate, and Lacie)
Your Mailing List
Your Social Media
- Download a copy of your Facebook Page and your Personal Profile
- Download a copy of your Instagram Account data
- Download your Twitter Archive
- Download your LinkedIn Account Data
Your Cloud Services
Wait, didn’t we just put everything ON the cloud? Yep! It’s good to pull it down, or download it, once in a while, and put it on a hard drive. Because services, such as Google, are more than just your files: it’s also your data. It’s yours. Take it once in a while.
- If you have a self-hosted WordPress, your host should do backups daily. Simply download one of these to your cloud storage, computer, and spare hard drive. My host of choice, Flywheel, does daily backups, and I grab one every week and save it to my Google Drive and personal computer.
- Set up a plugin like UpDraftPlus and have it running on a schedule. On their blog, they walk you through every step of backing up your WordPress website.
- If you have a WordPress.com website, you can’t fully back up your site on your own without a Business or higher plan. But, you can export your data and save it. WordPress.com does backup your website! (Same goes for Squarespace)
What will you back up this week and continue to do on a regular basis?
You don’t have to wait and rush before Mercury Retrograde. Craft that system. Back up your shit, my witch. And do it often.