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We all know that backups are important but most website owners still seem to ignore it. A good website backup strategy is one of the most important aspects of protecting your website from unexpected accidents, yet it remains one of the most overlooked ones. It is like an insurance policy, you don't see its usefulness, until you actually need it.

What is a website backup?

Most modern website are a collection of multiple files and databases. A 'backup' is basically a separate copy of these files and database, kept at a secure location.

Why is it so important?

Things could go wrong any-time and in so many ways. Your web server can have a hard drive failure, a malicious attacker could wipe your server clean, or you could delete something that you shouldn't have, you never know. Most of these incident are unfortunate and unplanned and really out of your control.

If you own a flourishing business then you know the importance of a production site being live all the time. You should also know the damage it can cause to your brand image if you have a faulty website being displayed to your visitors.

Most websites are built using third party platforms (Magento, Wordpress etc). They use external themes, plugins and integrations. They are even hosted on remote servers. Any fault or security loophole in any of those things can and will affect your website too unfortunately.

Billions of dollars worth of software and applications face hacking attacks consistently. There are thousands of bots and scripts lurking all over internet which end up causing trouble for innocent businesses, no real good reason.

A good backup strategy can help you get out of this kind of messy situations. You can simply revert back to the last stable backup you have. To add to it, it is probably going to save you a lot of money dealing with the aftermath and clean-up.

What is a good website backup strategy?

This depends on your website and the frequency of changes you do it. A fairly static website with little to no changes does not needs frequent backups. You can make a backup copy once every 1 or 2 months. For dynamic websites, like webshops or informational sites where new content is added every day, we suggest a daily backup of database and atleast a weekly backup of all its files.

Most servers have limited storage space for backup, so it is also advisable to delete older copies of backup. We suggest keeping backup copies for atleast 1 month. So you will have 30 copies of database and 4-5 copies of files at any point.

The best backup setup is the one where backup files are stored on a server other than the server where the website is hosted. That way, even if the main host server goes down for some reason, you will still have access to your backup files. Which you can quickly use to setup a copy on another server.

If you do not have an additional server, you can also keep your backup copies on your local machine. But make sure that these backup copies are safe on your local machines.

How to create a backup?

  • You can create the backup manually from your server cPanel or via ssh terminal.
  • Some web platforms also have backup option in their backoffice.
  • You can also ask your web-developer or server administrator to create an automatic script that creates backups periodically and automatically.

What more should I know?

Reverting to an old backup copy can cause some data or content loss. If something was added to the website after the backup copy was created then that new change will not be included in this backup copy ofcourse. So if you use this old backup on your live environment, you might loose the latest changes you made on the site. But that is a small price you pay when it comes to unfortunate incidents where you loose your live site and all you have is this old backup.
 

Here at Hungersoft, we make sure that all our clients have access to latest backup copies of their projects.
Feel free to contact us in-case you need any assistance or help in setting up a robust backup strategy for your website.

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