The Importance of Backing Up Your Website
Consider this for a moment; you wake up in the morning, sit at your desk refreshed and ready to take on the day. You hit your website as you do every morning, but you’re greeted by a blank screen. Where’s your website? Why isn’t it loading? What happened? But the most important question of all; what do you do now?
If you have a backup solution in place, your panic is short lived as you make your way to restore the most recent backup. If you don’t have a backup solution, you’re in real trouble. Maybe your host has a backup? Perhaps your web designer has an older copy locally they could restore? But in this case, you’re most likely going to lose some content.
The fact of the matter is, for the sake of your sanity and the integrity of your website, you need a backup solution. Think of it as life insurance for your website, except instead of receiving a payout upon death, you get to bring it back to the land of the living.
What’s the Worst that Can Happen?
You keep your website up to date. You’re the only one with admin access and have a secure password, or better yet, you have 2-factor authentication enabled. You have an SSL certificate installed on your server. You have a security plugin installed that’s keeping an eye on potentially malicious activity. All your bases are covered, right? Well, you’re very well prepared, and good on you for taking website security seriously. But what happens when your server crashes and the hard drive is corrupt? It is just another computer after all, and we all know, computers and computer hardware fails. Here are a few other things that can go wrong that you should consider…
Updates Gone Wrong
If your website is powered by a CMS, it has core software, plugins, and themes that will require regular updates, many of which will be automated. Code conflicts, incompatibility with your server software, and human error can take your website down in an instant. If you aren’t able to debug the error yourself, your website could be down for an extended period.
Malware and Viruses
Just like your computer, your website is vulnerable to malware and viruses. They can find their way in via plugins, themes, and security vulnerabilities in your CMS’s core software and wreak havoc on your website. It’s much easier to restore a backup than to try and clean up the mess made by a virus.
You may be thinking; “Nothing can be gained by hacking my website, why would someone bother?” Simply to prove they can. Hacking is a skill, and like anything else, requires practice. Hackers have to learn somewhere, and your little website might be the perfect place for them to cut their teeth.
Okay, You Get It. Here’s How to Backup Your Website
Thankfully, you have several options for backing up your website, and you might actually be covered already.
01. Check with your hosting provider to see if they’re already backing up your website. If not, there could be an option in the control panel to enable automatic backups. This could very well be a backup solution you’re already paying for, that you didn’t know you had. If you’re in the market for a new web host, we recommend SiteGround for managed WordPress hosting.
02. If you hired someone to design or build your website, ask them what they recommend. Chances are, they can point you in the right direction. We offer a website maintenance service for our clients, which not only includes backups and increased security, but software updates as well, so you never have to lift a finger.
03. If your website is powered by WordPress, we recommend Jetpack for backups and increased security. It’s inexpensive, built by the folks who built WordPress, and comes with a load of additional features you might find useful.
04. If you have a small static website that you don’t update very often, and aren’t looking for another monthly or annual expense, you could periodically download your site and keep a zip archive.
There You Have It
Backing up your website isn’t overly complicated or expensive, but it’s absolutely necessary due to the various unforeseen circumstances that can take your site down without warning.