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One Tool Inadvertently Helps Cure Others’ Ills

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December 2nd, 2010
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Cool Scripts, WordPress Plugins

So we have not made it a secret on this blog that we are big fans of VaultPress as a product (Disclosure: They are advertisers on this blog). I have been using it on this blog (amongst others) for our protection and have happily paid for our privilege and peace of mind. It has been a little rocky to get started and we have offered and received help and feedback for the issues we ran into during the initial sync with VaultPress. The peace of mind is satisfying, the support is very reasonable, the product is a “set it and forget it” and as such, it runs on its own. I check the security area once in a while and marvel at the number of comments and other statistics that are mildly interesting but not all that helpful.

Then I noticed something last morning that made me think. I know that does not happen often but I like it when it does. I happened to click on the “Activity Log” tab on the VaultPress dashboard and found the following.

VaultPress Activity Log

For those of you that are not the programmer types, the above is a list of all the database “writes” that this blog had performed in the last 3 minutes. Also for the non-programmer types, database reads and writes for the most part, writes more so than reads, are what increases or decreases the time required to produce webpages that are generated by applications with a database back end. That was a mouthful. Simply put, in general, the less interaction with the database or the more efficient the interaction, the more efficient your page. So when I found this nicely tabulated list of database queries with past histories of each entry, I was pretty happy. Now I know which plugin(s) the above queries are from, I can remove them and/or fix them and the problem would go away.

Now back to VaultPress. What an elegant way to troubleshoot errant code that is write intensive! It acts like a scrolling database change log, along with the recent history of all such activity, for each commit! This is the stuff of geek dreams!

Not only does the service offer you peace of mind from disaster, protect your blog from malicious file changes (version update oversights notwithstanding), it also gives you a very elegant way to perceive your blog, in real time, from the perspective of your database.

I can’t wait to find other nondescript ways that VaultPress will prove to be useful. Besides the obvious stuff, the statistics, the security and now the activity log, what other gems have you found hidden in the vaults of VaultPress?

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  1. Jeff Chandler (171 comments.) says:

    Interesting you bring this up as I ventured into the activity log area and just stared at the screen at the various notices popping by. What awe struck me was the amount of activity the site was performing with each passing moment. On a site like this, it was interesting to see all sorts of little things happening.

    And here I though the site just sat on the porch while watching the grass grow.

  2. quicoto (39 comments.) says:

    Interesting point gonna check the activity log right now :P

    I’m using VaultPress for my main blog and it’s just great to forget about backups anymore :)

    Regards



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