Are You Making Backups of Your Website? We tell every one of clients that backup is very important for every website we have. However, we have found this is one of the most underutilized precautions in protecting the vital information that people have on their websites.
Backups are meant to save your site when everything has gone down. Your site could be attacked maliciously and wiped out, the hard drive with the original copy may fail in a way the data in it cannot be recovered or physical catastrophes such as fire and floods could damage everything. This is where the backups come in handy.
The idea is very simple. However, there are several factors that come into play when you are determining, how, when and where to back up. Here are a few of them.
Location is very important
There is the tendency of so many people to store their website backups in public web directories such as public_html and httpdocs. This is quite risky. One of the most important things n website back up is to keep all apps and software on your site up to data and ensure all necessary patching is done to the software. Data that is stored in the public directories often contain lots of unpatched software, which could make the vulnerable to attack. Furthermore, since they can be accessed by everyone, there is always the risk that they may be manipulated.
It is very important to store your data offsite and in a different server from that of your website. Data stored on the same server as the website may be destroyed or infected if the same happens to the original copy of the website. Offsite backup also protects you in case of the failure of the hardware. Should the on site server fail, you can always use the data that is stored offsite.
Make Backup Automatic
You should make all your website backups completely automated. There is no guarantee that manual backups will be made as scheduled. People can get lazy or forget to make necessary backups on time especially if the site is running fine and there are no foreseeable issues.
If the malware writes over custom files or wipes them away, your website cannot be recovered if these files are not up-to-date on the backup copy. Do not take the risk of giving people the responsibility of backing up your website. Let be scheduled, automatic, guaranteed and sure.
Make Backups Redundant
One of the unpolished laws of computing is that data does not exist unless there are at least two copies of it at any time. This means that your backup file needs to be backed up. This is what being redundant means. Your original and the first copy of your website could both be damaged. You should thus have backups stored inn different locations to guarantee that you will get your data back should the main backup have problems. There are several applications available that enable you back up your site to various locations. It may be a hassle, but it is worth the effort.
It is very important to establish whether your backup process is working or not. It is also important to know whether the backup can actually restore your site. You may start with an empty web directory and try to use the backups to restore your website back online. A word of caution though, does not perform tests on a live site but use a test domain. Do not use anything out of the backup files. You may be surprised to find that the files do not restore your site.
It is important to do periodic tests on backup files and change what is necessary. Otherwise, you may end up having back up files that are useless in the time of need. That is it. Keep your backup offsite, automatic, factor in redundant and subject it to random tests and you are safe amidst all the disasters around. It is not just backing up data, but the how really matters.
Written By Mike Tungate
Hello! I am the Web Services Manager @ EnvisionIT Solutions. I create beautiful websites, branding and marketing systems for businesses. Let me know if you have any questions. I am an avid photographer and a lover of musical instruments.