I have just overwritten the CSS file on my site so it is now all messed up! Is there any way to go back, or undo my changes. my host is bluehost!

Emailed to bluehost and they replied that they dont have backup :( off! Bluehost said, they only backup domains that have less than 2GB.

  • 3
    Do you use source control? – Zack Marrapese Jan 4 '10 at 13:29
  • 5
    go back in time and do backups. – Pascal Cuoq Jan 4 '10 at 13:29
  • 1
    As a side note we should be upvoting this question because it makes the case for us for being relentless about backups. – Mr Furious Jan 4 '10 at 14:30
  • If you are on Windows Vista you might have a previous version of it in your local folder. – Bratch Jan 4 '10 at 20:30
  • Perhaps the CSS file is still somewhere in your browser cache. Copy that (which is easier with Firefox/Chrome than IE) and dig through it. – Halfgaar Dec 17 '14 at 8:41
  1. Restore the file from your backups. You did back up your site, didn't you?

  2. Ask the nice people at BlueHost to help you recover the file. It's quite possible THEY do backups.

  • asked to bluehost guys just now :( – art.mania Jan 4 '10 at 14:07

Ok, so your not using source control, as your not aware what it is and you have no local backups.

You have very few options left to you :

  • Talk to your host, see if they do backups for you, and can restore the file.
  • Look at the Google Cache of your site (assuming there is one) and see if you can obtain your old CSS file from that
  • just checked Google Cache, but no :( off i want to cry! – art.mania Jan 4 '10 at 13:47

Data which is not backed up does not exist. This includes scripts. We have all done this at sometime or other, the important thing is to learn the lesson.

Bluehost do not do backups for you (see their knowledge base). Furthermore the Terms of Service make quite clear that it is your responsibility to take your own backups (General 11.2).

But you probably know this already, which is why you're asking the question on SO. Unfortunately, if you don't have a copy of your latest CSS file there is not much we can do for you.

Now, Bluehost will take backups for their own purposes. It is just possible that they have a backup with the version of your file that you need. So it is worth asking them nicely if they have it, and if they can send you a copy.

Otherwise you can comfort yourself with the knowledge that fixing your broken CSS won't take you as long as writing it in the first place.

  • just emailed to bluehost, hopefully they have back up. i would not mind to fix codes, but i already dont have time and it was pretty big css that has many codes specific for each page :( so, fixing will take time! the time i dont have... buu :( – art.mania Jan 4 '10 at 14:06

Have you tried the cache at Archive.org?

  • tried, but no :( – art.mania Jan 4 '10 at 14:04

First of all, hit yourself on the head for not making backups. Then cry a bit since Google and Archive.org never archived your site. Then go to where your webbrowser will store all the pages it downloads and try to see if your CSS is still there. (Possibly with a different name.)

To see your browser history in IE8, go to the menu-option Tools/Internet Options. With Browser History, select "Settings". (Don't clear it!) Then click "View files" and you get a long list of files that your browser is still storing. Say a prayer and see if your CSS is in this list.



Source Control?

  • i used to work online, so i dont have back up at my local :( i had the old css at my local from the work start. i uploaded that :( what is "Source Control"? – art.mania Jan 4 '10 at 13:48
  • What is source control = ericsink.com/scm/source_control.html – pplrppl Jan 4 '10 at 14:30

If its a windows server check the file/folder properties and look for a Previous Versions tab. If you are lucky and/or someone was smart you may have Volume Shadow copies there to save your day.

MSFT doesn't give good screenshots on their own site so I'll link to something I found on Google.


The first link (part3.html) shows restoring a previous copy. The other one shows setting up previous copies should you want to do so in the future.

+1 to all the people saying you should backup your data. Shadow copies aren't backups. If the server dies the shadow copies go with the original data.

It does however give you a way to have version history without the bandwidth of copying the files to/from the server which can be useful even if you have a proper off site backup.

So you can/should

  1. Backup to disk/tape not connected to the server
  2. Maintain revision history in the Source Control Repository of your choosing
  3. Use Volume Shadow Copies
  4. Keep local copies on a workstation that you use frequently to edit/create content.

Although this is 4+ years old, most of these "Answers" are "You should have backed up your file", I have decided to present an actual answer to the question of "How do I undo a file I have overwritten at BlueHost?"

Here is the link to their solution. https://my.bluehost.com/cgi/help/719

It is a little outdated, so here is the difference to the solution as of Dec. 2014:

  • Rather than "Site Backup & Restore" you will be looking for "Site Backup Pro"
  • This takes you to a page where you can chose "Backup and Restore Basic" or "Backup and Restore Pro" (Pro is $20 a year, but worth it, but the free one will get you a single file as requested by the OP)
  • Once you are in the "Backup and Restore Basic" (FREE) page, look for the dropdown menu at the top left (says something like "daily (Tues Dec 17 11:27pm)")
  • You are given a choice of "Daily" "Weekly" or "Monthly"
  • Select one of those dates and then click "View" at the end of the row where your file is listed.
  • If you are lucky, they backed up your file in one of those 3 dates, at least back to where you can get your site to work again.
  • This amounts to "you need a backup and are screwed otherwise", exactly what the others told. And since the OP didn't use this additional service which might haven't been available four years ago, it wouldn't have helped him. – Sven Dec 17 '14 at 8:36
  • No @Sven, it actually gets you files in history. 3 different times, daily, weekly, and monthly. So, no, this is not a "back your stuff up". If you are stuck on giving it a -1, fine but this actually does answer the question, even if you DIDN'T back them up previously, this is a service that is already on BlueHost now to get lost files. It worked for me today, for a file I forgot I needed. – BillyNair Dec 17 '14 at 8:45

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