If you run a blog with a healthy group of followers, a business website that helps you get traction on your sales or are expanding your company’s market penetration to include multi-site integration, you need to have a website backup plan that protects you if servers go down, hackers attack or another kind of catastrophe wipes out all your hard-written and designed content, leaving your fans seeing nothing but 404 pages.
There are many reasons to backup your site. For example, many web hosts don’t back up your website regularly. And those that do, simply do so for their own protection and don’t make the files available to their customers. Furthermore, storing the original development site isn’t enough. If you developed your site on a test server or your computer, you need to remember that changes happen all the time to your site. If you run a forum, blog or CRM system, your most valuable content is user uploaded content, and having the original website saved starts you back at square one in the event of a disaster. Having a backup allows you to restart your site from a time period just prior to a virus or other cyber attack. A WordPress database contains every post, comment and link you have on your blog; therefore, it’s important to back up both the site and the database.
What Are the Backup Choices?
- Backup Buddy: This tools works well if you only use WordPress-based blogs and not a full enterprise website. It also is good if you don’t run your own server or have the capability to install software on your server. Backup Buddy offers complete database and files backup, and is convenient to create and easy to restore.
- CodeGuard: For a single site, such as a blog, CodeGuard’s interface is user friendly, simple to set up and features real-time updates, malware detection and alerts when something happens to your site.
- Copy Your Files to Your Desktop: If you are a WordPress user who has an understanding of UNIX-based shells, you can copy the files to a folder on your computer and then zip or compress them. But, if you do this, don’t make it your only option. If hackers can get to your site, they can also get to your local computer.
- Mozy: If your site is more than a blog and you are operating a startup or growing business, you need a cloud-based backup solution that can handle the complexity of your site. Mozy’s enterprise-level solution integrates with Active Directory, so the login is seamless without additional passwords to manage. Storage is pooled at the organization level, so you can custom configure policies and group users by unique characteristics. Mozy easily accommodates custom installations, too. Once you have configured your settings, the automatic backup kicks into gear with every change.
What Can You Learn From Others’ Mistakes?
- Back up to more than one location: If you decide to have your backups managed for you, learn how to back up your site manually. Then, keep separate backups in three separate locations at all times. This might sound like a lot to do, but if you schedule time for running your backup’s regularly, you’ll be in fine shape should any one location get corrupted.
- Back up everything: Although your posts and comments feel like the most important aspects of your blog, your plugins, themes and pages are what make your page functional. Back up the site and the database every time you make a change and aim to back up each time you publish new posts.
- Test your backup solution: If you have automated backups set up through a service provider, that’s great. But if you are also taking the time to do manual backups, you should test them from time to time. Relying on another company or their servers takes control out of your hands. You’ll feel more confident knowing that if catastrophe strikes your service provider, you can restore your website yourself.
Do you regularly backup your website? Have you ever lost work because you hadn’t backed up?
Please share in the comments below!
Marie Hartung worked for Microsoft for 11 years and now runs her own businesses as a Realtor and Freelance Writer. She lives in Monroe, WA with six different species of animals in her home.