Why always make a website wear a helmet?

We've been making websites for about 15 years. Almost every day, we hear from customers who use our plugins and tell us they've had a HD failure and need it replacing. We often send it to them and remind them to use Time Machine backups (they are Mac users). But we often ask them about their websites and ask "what are you doing to backup your website projects?" "Nothing" we hear back. This is a worry. Just imagine they experience an outage. They don’t want the experience of scrambling to rebuild their site again from bits and pieces of old backups, internet archives, and memory. Imagine if it was a client site (most of them are freelancers) and they had a worried client breathing down their necks!

Everyone makes mistakes

We are only human afterall. Even the most conscientious and meticulous people make mistakes. Let me give you a few possible scenarios that would be saved by a website backup:

  • 🔔 Within the hosting or cPanel the webmaster "deletes" the site listing
  • 🔔 An expired credit card doesn't renew the web hosting taking the site down
  • 🔔 The developer adds a plugin or script without testing it and it kills the site making it inaccessible
  • 🔔 A client "updates" WordPress or breaks something in the CMS you are using
  • 🔔 A new user unknowingly deletes a folder that’s in use, thinking they’re freeing up server space.

If the unlikely does become reality, having off-site backups is the only way to guarantee your data is secure.

Those are some realistic possibilities that could happen to anyone. Let's look at some more serious scenarios that are even more likely to happen the you will need protecting against

Site Hacked or Malware detected

It's no joke. According to Forbes Magazine, 30,000 sites are hacked everyday. And with 60% of companies with data loss shutting down in 6 months, a hacked or disabled site could mean at best scrambling around to rebuild the site or at worst no more site nor business. With a backup, after gaining control of the server again, a quick re-upload of the site is all that would be needed.

Server crashes

Hosts (good hosts) do often run backups on your account either as a courtesy or for an extra fee. But if you take control into your own hands then running a private backup will allow you to get back up and running as quickly as possible. Look at the small print carefully as some hosts say they do run backups but only to certain extents and you need to qualify what those are. It's not recommended as the main pillar of your site backup strategy.

Human error

We touched on it a little above but human error could be on the site of the end user (client) or the webmaster. It happens. Editing files late at night directly on the server via FTP, playing around with cPanel, just quickly running a CMS update, adding a small plugin, making a little content change... these small tasks carry risks and could result in a broken site. Hence processes, staging, testing and live production servers. But if you are not a big organisation or have given your site to your client then by adding a backup strategy will dramatically reduce any risk and give you huge peace of mind.

It's all about being able to sleep well at night

Mistakes happen, sites get broken. Having a backup strategy that backs up your site as regularly as you need it to and backs up off server like via email or a 3rd party like Dropbox gives you added peace of mind.

Speaking of frequency, you can decide how often to backup your site (weekly, monthly.. daily!) and can set this by visiting a page or getting the server to visit a page and executing this command under the frequency you set. We have instructions on that and takes 1 minute to setup. The frequency is dependent on your site. How often do you update plugins and themes? Are you running a CMS and make frequent content updates such as image and text changes? Do you add a lot of content to a static CMS with downloadable PDF files? Do you add lots of audio and video files often?

Everyone with a website hopes that they’ll never have to deal with losing data, and we really wish you don't have to. Most people never will — but hedging your bets with a solid backup plan is a small investment with a big payout for your time, money, and security. And that of your client or business. With Backup Frank, we can help you make that a reality.