To start this article from a place of complete honesty, not having a website backup plan is like having a king cobra for a pet. It might not be a problem, but if it does bite you, it’s going to be painful. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had as a website hosting technician where the client calls in and says “well – I must have done something because I deleted everything in my website directory, now what do I do”?
If you’re not careful this can be a royal pain in the neck, or it can be a business killer. There are 3 reasons why you want to be 100% sure that you have your website on a backup schedule.
From a DIY perspective, There are many ways to accomplish a good schedule from a technology side of things, but right now I just want you to understand why website backups are SO IMPORTANT.
Website Hosting Companies terms mitigate their responsibility for you website backup.
If you’ve read the fine print for your host (I know you haven’t) you’ll understand that they purposely will put that responsibility on you. Even the hosts that say they have backups, the ultimate responsibility is on you. If you call your host saying your site is hacked or down, they might have snapshot backups. But maybe your last 40 orders are missing, or your latest 4 lead emails got crushed. If you’re calling your hosting company for help, you’re already in trouble here.
You do not want to be reliant on your website hosting company to keep your website operational. They are really good at selling hosting and running servers at a MACRO level. When it comes to each individual site, no matter small the hosting company, you are a number and a bucket. They will not take ownership of this for your business. So you cannot rely on your website host for this.
Freelance Web Designers will not have a plan for what happens if your site goes down or missing.
If you built your website with a freelancer or a group of freelancers (or even many agencies out there) the last backup they have of your website was the day it went live. If you’re not on a maintenance agreement with them, or they don’t offer one, your website is 99% likely to not be backed up.
The last thing you want to be doing if you have a problem on your site is hunting down the web developer that your freelance designer hired 2 years ago. It can be assured – if they are still in business – they won’t have a clue how to get your backup or how they can restore it. This means big problems for your business.
In the last 2 years we’ve rebuilt many sites where this is exactly what happened. It’s a costly venture to just rebuild a website, many times, you’re starting from the ground up again. It’s a really good way to waste an investment that costed you time and money. Make sure you understand their responsibility and yours and you can completely avoid this.
Hackers, Malware, Software Updates - oh my!
Every single day hackers, malware installers, and software updates lurk about trying to take your website down. Like a shark smelling blood in the water, they will look for vulnerabilities and exploit them. There is always a reason to have a backup. Malware can be damaging to your website SEO – and so you should make sure you secure your website. But even the best and most updated sites have problems.
Try as we all might there are occasions where a software update just does NOT go as scheduled. Something conflicts, a PHP version is wrong, permissions on files go bad. Stuff happens even to the best of us. If you are backed up – you’re not going to have problems with this.
If something goes wrong, you can just restore your backup, and life goes back to normal. I’m the kind of person that likes to have insurance. Backups are a lot like firewood if you’ve got a wood burning stove. There isn’t such a thing as too much firewood. You can absolutely never have too many website backups.
Can you see how valuable a website backup schedule is?
I hope by now your convinced that you 100% NEED a backup schedule. If you’re on one of our care plans you’re covered with daily backups on site and off site. That means we can restore your website instantly if something goes wrong. Can you say the same for your business?
If you’re a big DIY person – we’re working on future articles on how to set this up on your own. The easiest way is using a premium plugin called iThemes BackupBuddy. We’ve used this when we didn’t have access to our hosting tools. https://ithemes.com/backupbuddy/. Their tools are pretty easy to navigate. Keep checking back as we develop out our DIY series in the future.
Save yourself hours of trouble, tons of money, and a lot of heartache and double check your backup plan and schedule today.
PS: If you’re not on a website care plan, and you have a WordPress website, YOU SHOULD BE! Find out how to keep your website safe and secure with our Care Plans and Maintenance.