What Are Full Website Backups And Why Do You Need Them?
A digital presence is so critical to business today, strategies to ensure it stays up and running are equally necessary.
These days, a company’s website is so much more than a business card, as it gathers all the important information to allow its products and services to be found on the web, as well as building and strengthening your brand.
Imagine waking up one morning, trying to access your business website and noticing an error on the page, such as “access denied” or “404 error”?
Or, checking that your e-commerce site has turned into a completely different domain that sells completely different products?
Yes, it’s a real nightmare – especially if the content on your website can’t be retrieved.
Have you backed up your website?
Do you know who does- and how often?
Learn more about the procedure that guarantees the security of your virtual space (and the stability of your company!)
What is a full website backup and how does it work
In a nutshell, backing up means making backup copies of files, creating a backup database that can be restored if something happens to the “original data”.
In general, the backup can be performed on external HD, CDs, in the cloud, on pen drives and in applications such as Google Drive, for example
Any type of content can be protected through practice, it’s certainly no different with your company’s website.
A regular website backup ( to several locations) is the best security plan every website owner can have to prevent disaster.
Nowadays, the vast majority of organisations’ data is supported by computer networks, which makes the loss of this content extremely damaging to any business.
It must be remembered that websites are composed of a set of databases that store different content, images, and other main files. With a regular backup of this information, it is possible to retrieve it and keep it available, even if something goes wrong.
Why are website backups so important?
The truth is that there are numerous factors, accidental or intentional, that can leave you at a loss for all the hard work you’ve put into your business website.
Hacker attacks (which can even occur from Updates from providers like WordPress), natural disasters, human errors, computer crashes… the list of possible disasters is long.
Another important issue is that most people believe that their websites’ Hosting Providers guarantee the security of their content.
Do YOU know your Hosting companies Back up Procedures?
The truth is that it is likely that these providers do not have the latest version of the virtual address.
Most hosting providers do not promote regular backups of websites unless the customer pays for this service.
There is no guarantee, however, that this service can be activated immediately after a data loss disaster, returning the website (portal) online.
You can already imagine the disaster: think of a hacked e-commerce (with a direct impact on sales and shipments) or an Agency’s most important client blog/ site is now ‘down’
Regardless of the root of the crisis, one thing is certain: only a recent backup can save a website in any scenario, fixing crashes, restoring the system to a certain point, and recovering crucial information.
Best practices for backing up websites
Start with a base backup…
Also known as a “full backup”, a base backup makes a complete copy of the entire database, making it a more effective security strategy – and a great one to start with.
Unlike incremental backups (which only saves information that has changed since the last backup), a base backup is a solid option for restoring your website if something goes wrong.
The ideal phase to create this backup is right after the site’s creation, after it goes live.
…but also schedule regular backups
Although the base backup is essential because it is a “clean” and initial copy of the website, it is useless to opt for the procedure if there are no recent copies of the latest website updates.
In this sense, the frequency of backup varies according to the constant updating of the website, as well as the risk.
If your company’s page is more static (changing every month, for example), weekly or even monthly backups may suffice.
On the other hand, if the site has constant updates (as in the case of e-commerce), it may be advisable to back up every hour or implement an incremental solution, avoiding losing transaction histories during recovery.
Invest in backup protection measures
Backup copies (as the name says) are your safeguard in case any accident or incident happens, it is essential to protect them as best as possible.
When backing up websites, it is usually the hosting server which takes care of storing the copies, but extra care is needed.
You can for example, periodically download copies for more control.
Another ‘best practice’ is to duplicate copies and store them in different locations and devices, ensuring content availability even if any copies fail.
The encryption of files during storage is another essential measure to ensure the integrity of information. Storage locations are also a key issue: the copy of the website must be in a different place than the server on which the website is hosted.
Ideally, though, there should be at least one copy of the website duplicated with a cloud version.
Test the recoverability of files
Precaution is essential, but it is useless if there is no efficiency when restoring backups. If your company’s website goes down or is compromised, do you know how to get it back and make use of your backups?
In this sense, it is necessary to test the effectiveness and agility of the backup solution, verifying if it is really practical and easy to implement.
Identify and organise backups
As discussed, it’s important to perform both base/full backup and incremental backups, which save newer versions of data.
For this reason, creating a good identification system for backups is essential, to avoid confusion and errors in the use and storage of different versions of the site.
The site administrator may be responsible for carrying out this cataloguing work, as well as for scheduling and monitoring the next periodic backups.
You CAN also enlist the support of a company specialised in backup management and monitoring- which will guarantee the availability of information.
The point is: make sure to take periodic backups of your website(s) to avoid loss of data in precarious situations.