With the recent security issues with regard to WordPress, I feel it is important to address the three reasons to have an external backup of your website.
1. Your Website is Hacked
Having experienced our site being hacked (luckily it wasn’t very serious) having a backup was our saviour.
Besides our hosting provider backing up our website daily and keeping a copy for 30 days, we use a backup plugin that emails and stores our back up on a weekly basis. We can also manually backup our site, which is good when upgrading software.
By having a backup solution, along with clear guidelines for your backup, you will be able to re-install your website if (touch wood) anything was to happen.
2. Your Hosting Company Disappears
This is not uncommon… particularly with smaller hosting companies, however medium sized hosting companies are not at risk either. In 2011 more than 4,000 Australian websites hosted by Distribute.IT were hacked. The attack caused so much damage that four of the company’s servers were “unrecoverable”. Due to the lack of backup procedures by the hosting company and business owners, sites were lost… and many small businesses had to start again. OUCH!!
Another example, about 7 years ago, was a small web design firm in Australia that created and hosted their client’s websites. Their target market were mainly work-at-home mums. One day the design firm closed their doors without prior warning and those that had their websites hosted with them lost everything.
If you have an external backup, you can find yourself a new web developer and hosting company, and be back online fairly quickly.
3. You Delete the Files by Accident
This is very easy to do! If you’ve created your site yourself and your original files are stored on your own computer, deleting files on your computer (and hosting) is fairly easy – especially if you’re not really technical.
With an external backup being sent to a web-based email account or saved on a cloud-based filing system (such as Dropbox) you’ll definitely avoid losing your website files.
Before you decide on a backup procedure, you need to ask yourself:
- Can I delegate the backup procedure to my assistant? If so, what information do I need to give him/her?
- Does my hosting provider complete a daily backup? If so, how long do they keep it?
- Do I update my site or blog daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly?
Based on your answers, you need to back up as often as your site is updated and hold at least 3 backup copies and 1 older backup, saved on a portable disk drive or on a cloud based filing system.
When saving your backups make sure you save them with the date of the backup and once you’ve got a monthly backup, you can delete the older backups.
For more details about backups, visit WordPress Help.
If you’re overwhelmed, struggling to get things done, or recognise you need some assistance, organise a call with me to discuss your business support needs.