There are so many things you can do to keep your website safe, from choosing a reliable web hosting partner, to limiting access, and using hard-to-guess passwords. However, another very important activity is performing regular website backups.
There are so many reasons why backing up your website on a regular basis is such a good idea. Backup serves as a fallback for recovering your website if your website gets hacked or you lose your website for any purpose.
In this article, we will walk you through some really good reasons why you should backup your website regularly and how to go about it.
What Is a Website Backup?
If you own a computer or mobile device, you probably run periodical backups to an external device or cloud storage, so that should you lose your device, you can always get back your important data from where you stored them.
The same principle applies with website backup.
This is simply making a copy of your website data and keeping that copy in a safe place where you can readily access it when needed. When doing website backup, you can choose the amount of data to copy. Some people backup only the content of their website, while others prefer to have a copy of the entire website, including content and databases.
In some cases, what you are able to backup will depend on your web hosting or online backup provider, however, the more stuff you can backup, the better.
Backing up your entire website is vital if your website runs on a content management system like Joomla or WordPress, because you will need all the site files to get your site exactly back to the way it was before.
If you are not sure of the backup properties of your web hosting or backup provider, you can always contact their support team to find out or you can visit https://www.openhost.co.nz/backup to get an idea of what to expect from a reliable online backup provider.
How Often Should I Backup My Website?
It is impossible to tell when and how a website disaster will occur. You may have a fully functioning website one day but wake up to a blank page the next. This is why it is advisable that website backups be done as often as possible, so that if it happens that you have to recover your website, you will have a recent backup to choose from.
Everyone has a timetable that suits their backup requirements, but it would do a lot for your peace of mind if you can do daily backups. On the other hand, if you schedule makes it difficult to do daily backups, you can choose to do it every week. Thankfully, backing up your website requires very little technical expertise. Once you have set up your backup account, just a few clicks of the mouse is all it takes to secure a copy of your website.
Why Do I Need To Backup My Website?
To protect against human error
Mistakes are bound to happen. You might inadvertently delete an important file on your site or make changes to your site code that affects its functionality. There are different ways to fix errors like these but none will resolve the problem as quickly as restoring from a recent backup will.
If you don’t have a backup of your site files, you will be forced to spend too much time trawling through your site’s backend, looking for the cause of the problem, and you may have to pay a programmer if you don’t have the necessary skills to detect the problem and fix it.
However, restoring your site from the most recent backup back to the way it was before the error is the fastest way to get your site back up and running without losing valuable data.
Reverse problems that occur after updates
Regularly updating your website is necessary to ensure it functions smoothly and is well secured. However, it is not uncommon to see websites crash after performing the necessary updates.
There are several reasons why this happens. It could be that the update is not compatible with your website’s software version or certain third party software like your plugins or themes are conflicting with the new update. This is quite common with a content management system like WordPress where wrong updates result in white screen of death (WSOD).
But WSOD is not enough reason to avoid updating your website. To be on the safe side, it is advisable to create a restore point before installing any updates. This restore point is usually the most recent backup you made before doing any work on your site.
If after updating your site develop performance or functionality problems, you can easily roll back the update by restoring from the recent backup.
Resolve virus and malware problems
In recent times, the number of DDoS, malware, and virus attacks on websites has doubled. These exploits take advantage of vulnerabilities in the websites and hosting providers’ platform to inject malicious instructions into the affected sites.
Even if you are on top of the current security best practices for websites, attackers are always developing new ways to exploit websites, and there is no way you can tell if your site will be the next to fall victim. Also, bear in mind that these attacks are not restricted to big websites only, small websites are equally susceptible to attacks, particularly sites built on the WordPress platform.
If you fall victim to this cyber attack, troubleshooting and erasing the virus and malware can be quite tricky since you may not know when the attack occurred and when last your site was clean.
Failure to resolve this security threat will put your website and your users at huge risk, as the infected files can be used to harvest their personal information. But when you have a clean backup ready to use, you will be able to restore your site to its original clean state easily and quickly.
Makes migration easy
In a perfect world, once you find a good home for your website, you don’t ever leave. But this is not a perfect world and there are a thousand and one reasons why changing your web hosting provider is a good idea.
Most people, especially first time website owners make the mistake of choosing the first web hosting provider they find on Google. Unfortunately, this usually ends in a lot of problems and heartaches.
If you made the mistake of choosing the wrong web hosting company for your website, the best solution is to migrate, but this is a lengthy process that involves moving your entire site from one server to another. Fortunately, it does not have to be this tedious. With a recent backup at hand, all you have to do is simply install the barebones of your website, and import the backup into your current installation. This will give you back your full website as it was originally.
Saves loss of time during rebuild
If you are a victim of hackers, or you lose your website for any purpose, rebuilding from scratch can be quite frustrating, time consuming and expensive.
If you site has been online for some time, chances are you will not remember all the things you had there. If you don’t have a recent backup to recover from, you will be forced to start your site from scratch, and there are no guarantees that your site will look the way it was before. Or you may decide to take the easy way out and forget about having a website.
But when you have a backup to restore from, no matter how bad the damage is, you can get your site back up and running in very little time, and no one will be able to tell you had a site disaster.
There are so many reasons why you should adopt the habit of regularly backing up your websites. Backup gives you the peace of mind to know that your site is safe and secure, no matter what may go wrong.
Additionally, there are lots of tools that help you automate the backup process so that you don’t have to do it all the time.
If you don’t have a backup system in place for your website, consider one today, so that your website can be 100% safe and your investment protected.