which For this week’s edition of Tuesday Tips, we will be focusing on the best solutions for the vital job of backing up your website. In this guide, we will discuss why backing up your site is so important and the best ways to do it.
4 Reasons Why Website Backups Are So Important
Website backups are an integral part of maintaining your web presence. Without proper site backups, there can be dire consequences for your website. There are four main reasons why you should backup your website:
- Just storing the original development site is not enough.
When you develop your website on a test server, you may find yourself thinking that’s enough to protect you. However, this is not true. If you run a blog or forum site, much of the valuable content is uploaded by your users, and therefore won’t exist in any other place than on your site. Consequently, you will want to make sure to backup your entire site regularly to save this content.
- Your domain host won’t backup your site for you.
A surprising number of beginning web designers don’t know that domain hosting platforms don’t back up client’s websites regularly. Of the very few that do regularly backup client websites, most of them only do so for their own protection, and thus they do not make the files available to their clients.
- Backups will protect your site against viruses.
Domain hosts don’t usually proactively run security scans for viruses and malware for clients’ websites. Therefore, by keeping a website backup, you will have the best protection for your site. Having an up-to-date backup also allows you to get your site back to normal easily after an attack. While backing up your site does not prevent attacks, it can fix them when needed.
- By creating a backup, you can be ready to react quickly to a data loss event.
When you backup your site regularly, you will always have an up-to-date website backup which will then allow you to get your site back online quickly after something goes wrong. As is obvious, there are many reasons why you need to get your website back online swiftly, including possible SEO penalties and loss of income, depending on the nature of your site.
3 Best Website Backup Solutions
- Backing up your site manually
Let’s start with the easiest method, which is to manually FTP (file transfer protocol) your files to your computer. There are downsides to manually backing up, however:
- You will have to remember to back up your site regularly.
- It will probably take a long time to download a large website.
- There’s no real way to only download files that have changed (as this will take time and bandwidth).
- You will have to manually monitor the download to make sure it completes correctly.
- You will want to create your own way of storing and managing the backed-up files.
All of these downsides are relatively easy to get over, however. Should you decide to backup your website manually, here are some of TKD’s tips:
- Set reminders to backup your website every week.
- Be sure to backup your website databases too.
- Try keeping a logical folder structure with the date as the directory name for each of your backups.
- Backup to multiple hard drives to achieve maximum protection.
- Backing up your site to the cloud
Backing up your site to the cloud is another great option, as the cloud is almost perfectly formatted to keep backups. The cloud is ever-expanding and compatible with most systems, making it a simple option for beginning web designers. Ways to backup your site to a cloud include:
- Amazon S3: Amazon S3 is arguably the best of all cloud backup solutions. Getting your data onto S3 can be challenging, however, because it will likely require specific server installing software, and you will need to have access to software like this to do so. There are also many tools out there for many platforms designed to easily get your website data onto S3. One trick for WordPress users who can’t install this software on their server is to look into a plugin like Backup Buddy that will backup to Amazon S3 for you.
- Dropbox: While Dropbox is not the most common option for site backups, it makes for a suitable backup tool. Users of WordPress may also be interested in using a third-party plugin that will backup your website on an automatic specified frequency.
- Using an automated backup solution
If everything you just read about managing your website backups seems complicated and time-consuming, you may be wondering if there is another solution. Well, there is! There are a number of managed automatic backup services out there, including:
- Backup Machine: Backup Machine is a backup solution that has a fantastic collection of unique features. This service offers free backups, database backups, plus automated daily website security checks!
- Codeguard: Codeguard has cutting-edge malware detection features and automatic security alerts when your website is changed or updates, and it also offers automatic and manual site backups.
- DropMySite: DropMySite is a simple, no-nonsense automatic backup solution that, like the ones listed before, connects via FTP and downloads your site backups. However, note that this system does not incrementally back up the files. Instead, it re-downloads the whole website every time, which can have a negative effect on your storage capacity. Therefore, this solution is best used on a site with a large amount of storage capability.
Here is the most important thing regarding all methods of site backups, no matter which you choose: make absolutely sure to download the site backup to your computer and keep it stored securely. Remember to backup regularly (we recommend once a week) and store the site backup files safely. This is important because if your website backups are stored on a server and the server crashes, you are now left without a backup.
And that’s the rundown on site backups! When you are ready to establish and employ a quality website backup solution, contact TKD Design!