I had a confluence server where I was writing user documentation for tools I am selling.
When my harddrive crashed, I realized I had no backup and lost all of my documentation.
I thought I would have been OK if I had a cloud account instead so I went and got one.
Now it turns out the cloud doesn't support the stepShot plugin which is invaluable for writing my documentation.
Is this a common problem?
Would it make sense to develop my documentation on my Server instance and then migrate what I produce over to my Cloud instance?
Cloud not supporting things that the server version does is a common problem (the list of restricted Cloud functionality is here), as are addons that only work on the server version. I don't know if it's common to develop pages on a server and keep the pages on a cloud. My gut feeling is "No", but there are plenty of experienced consultants on here who can verify that (or not) for you.
With regard to your specific problem, you can create your own backups very easily, and Confluence creates a daily backup anyway - see here for more information. So you may not have lost your work after all. Paying for a server installation and a Cloud installation as well just to get limited disaster recovery backups (Atlassian only keep 7 days worth of backups for Confluence Cloud) doesn't seem good value for money to me, but only you can say if it's good value for money for you.
To fill in the bit that Rob says he's not sure about, I'd say his gut-feel is spot-on. Most people don't write on one system and publish on another because transferring them, while not hard, is also not a really simple intuitive thing to do. Copy and paste a section from a single page is fine, but beyond that, you're looking at import/export, transfer mechanisms, yada yada yada. I don't know of anyone who does it like that (Although some places do have "write once and share via Scroll Versions or other content managing add-ons")
The only place the data backup would have been was on my dead hard drive ...
I had also never migrated to use anything but the evaluation Database.
The other reason I wanted the cloud version is that I wanted to publicly host the documentation I am writing and I don't have the infrastructure (or maybe just the knowledge on how to get my website to link back to a server at my home)
I thought the cloud was going to solve my backup, development and hosting problem, but It really only seems to solve the hosting problem.
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