‘Who owns the information, he owns the world’ is a famous quote that has never been more accurate than now. Humanity depends on data. And, the questions of how and where to store it and who to trust are the burning ones. Losing important data is the worst that can happen.
The simple truth that we’ve learned through centuries is — create backups. People used to create copies of manuscripts by rewriting them manually. Now we do practically the same thing when we create backups of our digital files.
The process is so important that a special day exists to celebrate backing up data, and it just happens to be today, March 31.
Technical writers are the people who know that one should treat data carefully. Accidentally deleting or replacing part of technical documentation is a nightmare. So, for every techcomm professional, World Backup Day should hold a special place in their hearts.
Let’s talk about the best practices of data backup and see how software for help writers can help you sleep well at night without ever worrying about data loss again.
Types of Data Backups
I would like to show you different approaches to backing up data for technical writers and use ClickHelp as an example. We care a lot about the safety of our clients’ data, so we have a rather extensive toolset.
It all starts with automatic backups. This means that if you have an online documentation portal with ClickHelp it will get daily updates. Since they are automatic, you can relax and know that your documentation is safe with us. To make this procedure even safer, we are storing the last five backups in two different locations.
Also, these ‘locations’ are not just randomly chosen. We partner with some of the major players on the data safety market. We understand that storing data is a highly sensitive matter, so we take it very seriously. On this page, you get to know the details of what safety options we provide — Security and Reliability. Automatic updates are convenient, indeed. But what if this still feels a bit out of control for you? The next option will be perfect in this case — manual backups.
Manual backups are the best approach for those who want to be in full control of their data. So, it goes like this — you manually export user manuals and can store them on your side.
What is important for the manual backup option in any help authoring tool is the possibility of choosing from a lot of export formats. We all do user manuals differently and a HAT should be able to provide solutions for that. In ClickHelp, you can backup documentation by exporting it to a lot of formats, like:
- HTML5 Web Help
- Microsoft Word
However, in the general case, we recommend exporting technical documentation to CHM. CHM uses HTML and CSS which will make it a lot easier to import the docs later if need be.
Regular Backups via API
Another backup option that a lot of people find convenient — performing automatic backups via the ClickHelp API. Why is it more convenient than manual backups? The main benefit is that ClickHelp actually can upload the data to an FTP server automatically right after the export is completed.
This automated process can be used regularly and you need to take any additional manual actions after the initial set up is done.
We hope that this post made things clearer for you. Backups always make people nervous somehow. But, with this array of options, I’m sure, you will be able to pick the way that fits you better.
Good luck with your technical writing!
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices
ClickHelp – Professional Online Technical Writing Tool. Check it out: https://clickhelp.com/online-documentation-tool/