If you’re a regular visitor you’ll have noticed the site changed, quite considerably, at the start of the month. You’ll also notice things still aren’t quite right around here. There is a distinct lack of content for a start and it doesn’t look like it did before either.
We had planned to redesign the site, we had a rebrand a while back and the site is now run by another company so changes were needed to reflect that. However, we didn’t plan to do this right now: we needed more time to prepare, to polish the design and make sure all our content was backed up properly.
Nothing short of a disastrous mix up with our hosting provider meant we didn’t have that time, and the site upgrade was forced upon us overnight. We woke on the morning of November 2nd to find the site had gone. It’s difficult to properly articulate the feeling of seeing two and half years of work vanish.
As you can imagine, in that time we had produced a lot of content. Over 1400 articles had been written, we had taken over 9000 photographs and added almost 800 businesses to your directory.
It’s been two weeks since we started picking up the pieces so I thought it best to give a little update on progress. We are still trying to pull all the content together, we’ve worked through the backups and (thankfully) have most of the written words but it’s not the same story for our images. We’ve been searching old drives, contacting past contributors and looking for attachments on emails dating back to 2015. When you are a team this small a task like this feels biblical and it’s taking forever. It’s taking far longer than we could have imagined.
I had originally hoped we would restore everything, but it’s now becoming apparent that is unlikely to be the case. My biggest concern is for our contributors, many of whom have worked for free to produce some really great work which had, in turn, formed part of their portfolios. We’ve been focusing our efforts on trying to retrieve that work first while also keeping up with the new stories. Right now most of what you’ll see has been written recently but we are working on the old stuff; it’s not been forgotten.
I’m mindful that other people may have different priorities so if there’s a particular article that you want back up because you wrote it or it’s linked to your business then let us know and we’ll bump you up the list. Send any requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
To an extent, it feels like we are starting again and that’s a little hard to take. I’d be lying if I said morale is at an all-time high right now but we are throwing every waking hour at this and we’ll get there. One positive thing did come from this – I’ve had the opportunity to read a lot of old stories again and that’s been a pleasure. It’s easy to forget, it seems, about some of the really good stuff that happens in Leeds.