In my 5 years of career in web hosting, I have witnessed many stories of data loss, website hack and loss of even entire website database which resulted in heavy losses and shut down of businesses. There are headlines every other day of data being stolen, the website being hacked, compromised and others factors which result in data loss. I understand the pain of shutting down the business and losses occurred but things could be much better if a proper backup strategy is in place. Backup is not only applicable to your laptop, PC but also for your website data. As you store your web files and database on the server where it is hosted, its very important that you have a backup in place.
What if a server on which your website is hosted is down?
What if something goes wrong in Datacenter where your server is hosted?
What if your web hosting company goes bankrupt and you don’t have any access to them?
Some of the other threats for the loss of website data includes:-
• Website Hack
The most common act is this one and most talked subject on web as well. Hacking is primarily done to steal credit card information, other relevant information or just to prove themselves causing trouble to the website owner. Popular websites are most likely to get compromised.
• Data Loss on Local machine
Storing important data on your computer is a good idea but your decision may go wrong if hard drive of your computer crash. Its advisable to have an offsite backup if your website data is really important for you and your business
• Software/Application/CMS updates
Things may go wrong if the application, software or Content management system you are using is not up to date. The website is most likely to get compromised if software, plugins, themes and scripts installed on it are not updated regularly for security measures. Take a backup before performing any update as this can take an entire website offline for any amount of time.
• Viruses, Malware and Trojans
Malware, Viruses, and Trojans are unknowingly downloaded through your website code or firewall. Having a backup of website files makes you secure if anything malicious happens on your website.
• Human Error
Human mistakes are unavoidable. It’s possible that one of your website file or a database table gets deleted because of this. When you backup your files human errors can be taken care of by restoring your latest backup.
These are some of the major concerns and one should always include backups in their IT business strategy. You spend a good amount on your website development, online presence and marketing, however, it costs very less when it comes to backing up your data which is utmost important.
So, How to backup your Website?
Here are the steps to go for it:-
- Please check if your web hosting company offers offsite backup space. You can purchase a backup space set it daily, weekly as per your requirements.
- Contact your webmaster if they have readily available scripts to backup your website. They are the one’s who are fully aware of functioning of Content management systems and their backup options.
- Don’t rely on one option of taking backups. There are many low cost backup service providers which you can think of.
- If you have cPanel hosting plan or Plesk windows hosting plan, you can use inbuilt features of these control panel for scheduled backups or cron job.
- You may also think of using Dropbox for taking your backups.
- If your website is small, you can also take backup on your local machine. Having 2 copies on two separate drives is good idea if one of the drive goes down for any reason.
Backing up your website files and database doesn’t take too much of your time and money, but it’s a huge investment considering all the threats discussed above.