While most people understand the importance of backing up their hard drives, many do not realize how important it is to also back up their website. No server is 100 percent reliable, and your website could be gone tomorrow if you don’t have the foresight to create a backup. Here are three reasons why it’s a good idea to do regular backups of your website:
1. Upgrade Problems
It’s always a good idea to keep your website plugins and content management system (CMS) up to date. However, there is always the chance that the upgrade could break your site, especially since many plugins and themes are built by third-party developers. Something as simple as a minor programming change could bring an entire site down overnight.
If it seems like updates are few and far between, think again — WordPress alone has released 10 updates already this year. Having a pre-update backup can ensure that if a problem does occur, you have a quick solution to keep your site up and running while your various plugins catch up with the new update.
2. Malware Infection
One of the most compelling reasons for creating website backups comes in the form of cyberattacks. Websites are compromised all the time — a report by Sophos Labs reveals that more than 30,000 websites are hacked every day and that 85 percent of all malicious software comes from these infected websites. Should something compromise your site, it’s far easier to load a backup of your site than it is to sift through thousands of lines of code looking for the problem. Keeping these backups off your web hosting account is the best way to protect them.
Creating a backup of your website on your home hard drive is a surefire way to ensure that you have a copy if something happens. Many web hosting services backup sites regularly, but it may not be frequent enough for your needs. If you are adding new content regularly to your site, a backup at home ensures that you never have to worry about an out-of-date backup. It’s a little more work and requires the download of specialized software, but it’s the best way to be sure.
There are many ways to backup your website. Services like Mozy offer multiple options for business-related backups and are a good fit for those who need frequent backups. If you need some assistance, let us know at ‘corePHP’, and we can give you a hand.
For smaller or personal sites, backups can be made manually. For this, you need an FTP program like FileZilla that allows you to copy all of the website files from the root directory to your hard drive.
Your final option is to backup using your CMS. Many content management systems, such as WordPress, have a backup feature built right into them and require little more than the click of a button. Joomla and Drupal have their own options as well, for site maintenance and back-ups. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your CMS and see if this option works for you. In no time at all, you will be making secure backups of your site and avoiding a catastrophe.