If your website crashed right now, and some or all of your data was lost, what is your plan to bring the website back online and in a reliable working state? … If your answer is one with any uncertainty then you are playing with fire. Keep reading to learn why website data can be lost and more importantly why you should backup your website on a regular schedule.
A number of circumstances can arise calling for your website to be restored to a previous stable condition. I’ve outlined several of these, which website owners are faced with every day. I’ll also discuss common assumptions made in regards to website backups, how easy it can be to prepare for a scenario that requires the use of a backup file and how, for the price of a single cup of coffee per month, your website can be restored quickly.
Reason #1 – Your website gets hacked.
Simple user passwords, security vulnerabilities within the code and third-party integrations are three ways your website can get hacked. Once hacked, regardless of how one of the key pieces that will allow you to restore your website is a reliable backup. Without a backup, you run the risk of leaving behind malware and unwanted code that will cause your website to be penalized by Google and removed from their search results pages altogether.
In this blog post, How I Cleaned Up My Site After It Was Hacked and Blacklisted, WPMU Dev outlines key steps to restore your website if it gets hacked. One paragraph worth mentioning reads like this:
“More seriously, some hosting providers may shut down or even delete your site immediately after finding out your site has been compromised, especially on shared hosting plans.”
How would you like to wake up one morning only to realize that your website was deleted because it was hacked?
There are steps to take to prevent a hack from happening. If you aren’t sure whether your website is safe and secure, reach out for a free security audit and consultation. We are happy to offer insights regarding site security and can go a step further by implementing security enhancements that prevent malicious activity.
Reason #2 – Application Upgrade Fails
When new application versions are released we all want to upgrade right away, and rightfully so. Most of the time new versions make the application more user-friendly and safer because they include security patches that close potential holes hackers might exploit to gain access to your website.
If you have ever worked with WordPress you have probably seen the “New Update” notification. Maybe you’ve updated a WordPress website from the admin by clicking the “Update Now” button. While the WordPress developers have made it very easy to update to the latest version, you are taking a big risk if you are running the update process without having access to a full website backup.
A failed update plus no backup is a recipe for disaster. You could be facing a massive amount of data loss in terms of page content, blog posts, contact forms, menu items, code customizations and more if the update process fails. On the flip side, if the update fails and you have a full backup process in place, restoring your website to a stable version can be painless and quick, ultimately limiting downtime and preventing data loss.
With Cloudways hosting you get automated backups regardless of the plan or server. There is also the added bonus of being able to run a backup on demand if needed. If we are managing hosting for your business we go a step further and take full backups on a daily basis. These backups are stored on a different server than the one your website is running on which adds an additional layer of security and redundancy. Ready to sign up for our managed hosting? We are able to migrate most websites for free.
Reason #3 – Accidental Deletion of Files or Content
At some point, you may have accidentally deleted a file on your computer. Well, the same can happen to the files and content that make up your website. Failed upgrades, inadvertent code changes, malware, or simply clicking the wrong button when editing a file can render your website incorrectly or completely inaccessible depending on the role of the file.
While a routine backup process won’t prevent accidental deletion, it can greatly minimize overall risk and prevent a total loss of data. With a recent backup available you can restore a single file or complete website in a matter of minutes.
Reason #4 – Time and Money is Lost
Not having a website backup plan is bad for your website and bad for business. If you spent 45 minutes a day (Monday – Friday) for a month writing blog posts, and then something happens that forces you to revert to a month old backup, that’s roughly two workdays lost. As previously mentioned, for less than the price of a cup of coffee once a day for a month, we will take daily backups of your website, limiting the loss of data, time and money.
Reason #5 – Common Assumptions
I think many small businesses operate their website either never giving thought to back up their data or they assume someone else is doing it. While it’s true that some web hosting companies do backup websites automatically, unless the process is outlined in a document specific to your account it’s highly likely that their backups are not performed on a routine schedule, which means the last backup they have might be 20 days or 6 months old.
You also can’t assume your contracted website developer has a reliable backup. He or she might have a copy of your website but most likely it’s from the last time they made changes, which could be days, weeks or months ago. Also, their copy may not include your database meaning they might be able to restore your site design and custom functionality but not content generated by you or other team members such as blog posts and page content.
If this is new territory for you, pat yourself on the back because you are thinking wisely about your data and ultimately your business. Just doing a quick Google search on data loss scenarios will serve up countless articles about administrators, developers, etc who did not take the appropriate measures to back up their websites responsibly. If you are in a situation where your business simply can’t afford to lose the content that has been generated get started with RCB Rapid Hosting today. Even if you aren’t interested in setting up or migrating to our managed hosting services, drop a comment below and we’ll gladly respond as best we can.