You may recall my story about recently having one of my website’s hacked. It was a frustrating experience that I learned an important lesson from in the end. In order to protect your site’s content and other data, you need to back it up regularly. The reason you need to back up your site is that you could wake up one morning to find that your web hosting provider accidentally deleted everything. It sounds unbelievable, but it happens. Ask around and you’ll hear horror stories. If this occurs, you have to start your entire business from scratch.
If your site goes down, it can often be restored. If you have the files and other data backed up, you can upload everything and it will work just the same way it did before. Backing up your data could mean the difference between a slight setback and losing everything.
Backing up your site is quick and easy. If possible, your site should be backed up daily. If not, it should be done as often as possible.
The Basics of Backing Up
You need to back up your files and database. Your content files are all of the text, graphics, videos, and other bits that make up your website. Backing these up doesn’t just mean making copies of these files. A true backup saves the entire code that was used to create the files. For databases, you need to back up the code that allows you to access the data. If your site blows up, you have a perfect copy of everything saved.
You should store these backup files in as many places as possible. Store them at home, at work, in a detachable drive, etc. They should be backed up on several different servers as well as somewhere in physical form on a disk drive or CDs. Use an encryption software program to encrypt files so that they can’t be corrupted or used if intercepted.
Methods of Backing Up
The traditional method of backing up files is to FTP your files to and from a server for safe storage. However, it takes time to do this. There are now software programs that send the files for you. Some sophisticated programs save time and bandwidth by resending only new files or files that have been changed.
These days, many people choose to send files to the cloud. This means saving them in an encrypted form on the Internet in a secure location. The advantage of this is that your files can be accessed from anywhere as long as you have an Internet connection and the passwords.
There are also backup services you can hire to take care of backing up all of your files for you. If you have many that need storage and you have the budget for it, this is an ideal solution.
Do It Yourself
Your web hosting company may also do automatic backups for you. However, no matter what methods you use, you should always back up your most important website files yourself. This gives you an added bit of protection and puts you completely in control of your site’s data.