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why (& how) you should backup your website

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Our latest blog is all about the importance of website backups. A website backup is like a safety net for your site, enabling you to maintain your company’s online presence even if disaster strikes! If you have any questions or would like us to health-check or backup your site, please get in touch.

what is a website backup?

A website backup is a stored copy of your site’s files and information. It can be used to recreate the website in case there’s a problem and/or your original site stops working.

why are backups important?

A backup is like an insurance plan for your website, enabling you to maintain your company’s online presence even if disaster strikes. Whether your site is hacked or infected with a virus, an integral file is accidentally deleted, your server crashes, or an update goes wrong, you’ll be able to get your site up and running again quickly with a backup. Without a backup, your site might be lost forever and need to be recreated from scratch.

how do you back up your website?

The most common way sites are backed up is via website hosting providers. Some providers do this automatically as part of their services whereas some require additional fees. It’s advisable to check what’s included in your package and ensure backups are regular enough to meet your needs. Alternatively, if you have a WordPress site, you can use a plugin such as UpdraftPlus or BackWPup to backup your site.

There’s also a third option – you can manually backup your website by transferring files from your site onto your computer. This is more time consuming than the methods above and relies on you remembering to back up regularly so we don’t recommend it. For more information, read this article about manual backups for WordPress or view Drupal.org’s advice on backing up a Drupal site.

what is website backup best practice?

Whatever method of website backup you use, there are a few key things to remember:

  1. Backup regularly: If you’re updating your site frequently, you should be backing up your site frequently too. If you only back up occasionally and disaster strikes, you may lose a lot of data (such as new blog posts, page edits etc) when you revert to the most recent backup.
  2. Use different locations: Ideally, you should have three versions of your site – the live site itself, a local backup (on your computer or external hard drive), and another backup in a different location (offsite or in the cloud). This will ensure that even if one backup fails, you still have another backup version available.
  3. Date your backups: Ensure you label all backup files with their date so you can easily find the one you need and don’t have to guess which one is the most recent.
  4. Check backups: Just making a backup isn’t enough – make sure to check your backups regularly to ensure files are being stored effectively and are not corrupt.

For further help with website backups or any other area of website security and maintenance, please get in touch.