Backing up your website regularly is an important protective measure. While it might seem like an unlikely scenario, there are many things that can go wrong on your website or web hosting that result in the total loss of your site’s data.
From malware to hard disk failures to simple mistakes in server maintenance, your business website is too important to leave up to chance.
Fortunately, keeping regular backups of your website means that in the event of a catastrophic failure, you can almost always recover your website in short order. With an appropriate backup procedure in place, restoring your website can be a quick and easy process.
Whenever possible, you should run daily backups of all your website files and databases. At the very least, weekly or even monthly backups can save you from the nightmare of a total loss scenario.
A full backup includes all of the files and database records associated with your website.
Website files include all of the scripts, text, graphics, video, and other resources.
Database information is not stored in the same place as your website files and varies a little bit depending on your Web host. Usually, there are tools provided by your host to store and recover your databases. If they aren’t immediately apparent, get in touch with your Web host to determine the appropriate way to back this information up.
Backups can be stored in many places – on your own computer, on your web hosting, or in the cloud. Select the best option for your needs – typically backing up to the cloud, and not your web hosting, is the most efficient and safest place to back up.
Avoid keeping your backups stored on your website. The irony of this is that if something happens to your website or web hosting; you could lose all of your backups, which defeats the purpose.
Via Your Server
Web hosts generally keep server backups, but these are backups of the entire server and all of the websites on them. These backups either overwrite everything when restored, or can be used to pull out specific files for a single website. They’re not the easiest to work with and are very technical, these are not backups you can access yourself.
Via Your Web Host
Most web hosting companies offer a dashboard where you can create/restore backups yourself. These are usually automatically created and could be stored on your website or off-site.
Via a Plugin
These are often the least reliable backups because website owners either setup a plugin and assume all is well, or they setup the backups but the backups are solely stored on their web hosting. This is bad because if your website or hosting goes down, how are you going to access those backups? (Answer: you can’t)
The Best Solution
Do all of them. Backups are the cheapest insurance policy you can get for your website and you can never have too many backups. Disk space/storage is super cheap nowadays and with how easy it is to backup to an online service, there’s no excuse to not be
Make sure your web host has multiple layers of backups on their end. And on your end, you can run a plugin to also be able to create/manage your own backups (and store those backups on a separate service).
Test Your Solution
Having backups is great, but how do you know those backups are actually going to work?
Having multiple backups to restore to, as well as different types of backups is super valuable for this reason alone.
Whatever you choose – make sure you have a backup policy and procedure in place if you care about your website.