April 10, 2015
Most of us now know that taking a regular backup of your website is essential.
All of the hard work you do writing your quality content, sourcing and cropping / editing your pictures, diagrams and photos. Not to mention the sheer time taken and hard work to organise everything ready to place online.
We provide website hosting to a multitude of business’ and part of our service is to make sure everything is backed up. But, we do on many occasions get the “short straw” when someone has been let down.
I can honestly count at least 6 occasions in the past year alone where someone has come to me and said “my website is down – help!!!”only to find that some plugin has been hacked and files defaced, or worse deleted. When looking the customer “assumed” everything was backed up. Only to find after submitting a support ticket to the hosting company, sadly this was not the case. Generally what then happens is a “he said she said” exchange between customer and web hosting provider about who’s fault it is, and “I thought it says backups are included” etc etc etc
The old adage, “If a jobs worth doing” springs to mind.
Well, most modern websites have website files and a database. Its easy to forget the database.
Web hosting comes in many flavours CPanel, Plesk, WebsitePanel just to name a few. Depending on how much you pay for you may or may not have backups included.
More “premium” end hosting may provide a managed backup service for you.
All else said, no matter what happens, backups are 1 persons responsibility – YOURS !
SO, here’s my tips for making sure your website is backed up.
- Make sure you know your site. Understand the file structure, You don’t need to know what it all does, but understand the basics of what it should look like. So if your site is WordPress, understand the basic folder structure and where things should be.
- Keep things clean, tidy and simple. Don’t store copies of database backups, .SQL files etc – Your web hosting isn’t Dropbox ! (we actually had one customer who had somehow copied their iTunes library into their web space)
- Look at files regularly – are is there anything suspicious ?
- Are there any massive files ? We sometimes see error_log files of 10gb or more – this will slow your site down tremendously. There’s a reason its so big – it needs investigating.
Finally, a backup is only ever as good as the ability to actually use it if you need to.
You have to TEST your backup.
Any good web hosting providers will “loan” you a dummy account to restore your backup to to test it. It should be part of your Disaster Recovery processes.
As a parting thought, whilst this article is about your website backups, think about your other business data. Sage ? Excel ? Word Documents ? What would happen if they all got lost ? Do you back them up ? You should !
If you need any advice about backups, get in touch now!