Don’t Panic it’s Just a Backup: Diving into Website Preservation

If you’re here reading this blog post, chances are you own a website. And when it comes to your online presence, nothing is more crucial than ensuring it stays up and running.  Whether you’re an e-commerce entrepreneur, a large corporation, a school, or a family run small business, the last thing you want is to lose your data.  So we’re giving you the tools to keep your site backed up with little to no technical experience!  But first…..

Why You Need Website Backups

  1. Hacks, exploits, and vulnerabilities OH MY – It’s not something we ever want to think about, but website hacks are bound to happen.  Even the most educated and technically savvy people can experience an exploit.  But with a well maintained and recent backup, a hack can be mitigated in minutes. 
  2.  Updates Broke My Site?! – It may be rare, but it happens.  Automatic updates can be a blessing and a curse.  New content management version and suddenly your site won’t load.  That plugin may come up with a bunch  of new features, but it also included a giant error response on the screen.  With backups, a quick rollback and all is well again.
  3.  Maybe That New Change Wasn’t Such a Good Idea – You’re experimenting with a new look on the website, you refresh the page, and bam it’s no longer loading.  A fresh backup can allow you to bring the site back online and try again.  It’s important to experiment with new designs, but its more important to maintain a backup to keep the creative flow progressing.

How to Create a Website Backup

 We understand why its important to maintain a backup, but how are we supposed to do it?  Well that depends on a number of factors.  Your most important resource is going to be your Web Hosting Provider.  Are you with a reputable host?  Dreamhost, Bluehost, Host Gator, Go Daddy, Siteground; these are just a few of the most popular and dependable providers that all offer easy to navigate backup utilities. 
 
  • Take Advantage of Web Host Tools –   You are paying for these services, make sure to use them.  If you only make monthly updates, then there is no need to create a daily backup.  However if you post, modify or integrate frequently, its important that those backups are equally as frequent.
  • Don’t Forget the Database – When generating your backups, it is also very important that you create a backup of the database as well as the physical files.  Nearly 60% of all active websites online incorporate some form of database.  Make sure your database backup matches your website backup.  If the timestamps don’t line up, it may not be possible to fully restore your site.
  • Keep that Backup Offline! – It is extremely important that your backup is downloaded and stored offline once a copy has been made.  After-all, if a hack can affect your files it can also affect your backup.  I am preferable to a thumb drive, but anywhere off of your hosting account is a better option.  Some people choose cloud storage, some choose an external hard drive.  It’s all personal preference.

Now say your Web Host does not have a backup option, or you’d simply prefer to maintain it yourself.  If you’re running a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, there are many plugin options to create backups.  Some of these options even come with a remote backup location built in.  As with everything, it’s personal preference on what you choose, but make sure to do your research first.  

 

No matter what option you decide to choose, a backup can quickly save you from disaster.  Need some additional guidance, or just have further questions?  Don’t hesitate to reach out to one of the talented Locked Sealed Secured agents!