Think back to those college years, when you burned the midnight oil toiling over one term paper or the other; only to wake up to find that you forgot to save your hard work. The meltdown ensued and you questioned everything in life in that moment. Now imagine that happening to your thriving online business.
Your website has been growing exponentially, but one morning you wake up to a crash due to something arbitrary like an influx of traffic. Now what do you do? Did you have a crash plan in place? Have you been backing up your site regularly? If you haven’t, then you’re not prepared for anything.
What else can possibly go wrong?
Or even worse, your website has been hacked and Ransomeware has been used. What’s that? Ransomware is a type of malicious software from crypto-virology that threatens to publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. This can put your users at risk and cost you lots of money. You need to safeguard against any malicious attacks as well.
If you’re still skeptical, we’re going to breakdown the reasons why you should make back-ups of your site regularly. Backs-ups translate to a solid crash plan. In this article, we will also breakdown 3 ways you can back up your website easily.
What is a Back-Up?
Simply speaking a back-up is simply that. When you create a back-up, you create a copy of your website and save it for safe-keeping. Therefore, the only crash plan your website needs is a good back-up. Because websites are continually changing, back-ups should also be continuous and reliable. You need to implement a back-up sequence. Not to worry, at the end of this article you will know exactly what you need to do to safeguard your website and its data.
3 Reasons you need to Back-up continuously
- You need a general safety net beyond your hosting service. Yes your hosting provider has a back-up for their own servers but having a back-up for your back-up is the only way to ensure that your website and its data is safe. Plus you want to have a back-up that is easily accessible to you in the event of a crash or a malicious attack.
- The original version of your website is dated. If you built your website on your computer then the original version has become somewhat aged. While you may have backed up the original on your computer’s hard-drive, that simply doesn’t contain the change that are made on a daily basis to your website. The more you update the live version of your site, the further it is from that original.
- You need to respond quickly if you’re hacked. The National Cyber Alliance found that 20 percent of small businesses are compromised annually online. To make matters worse, three out of five online businesses that are targeted are bankrupt in six months. Even with security measures on your site, hacking is still a possibility. Remember Ransomeware from earlier? Don’t let this happen to you. Routine or daily back-ups allow for quick recovery lost. This is what having a crash plan in place safeguards against.
What are the most important things to know about Back-up?
An excellent back-up solution needs to meet two criteria:
- Back-ups are stored in more than one location. Never place all your eggs in one basket. Back-up your back-up.
- They are created on a regular business. As we said before, your back-ups should be frequent. As your site grows and changes daily, your back-ups should accommodate this.
What’s recommended is that you always keep a local back-up on your computer or an external hard-drive and then one back-up copy in a cloud. Don’t mind the redundancy here, having a back-up of your back-up ensures that you will always have a copy for your website data. Remember anything can go wrong and so it is tantamount that you have that extra layer of security.
Just to reiterate, your backup schedule will need to reflect the frequency with which you update your website. If you’re always publishing new content and getting lots of comments, you should consider weekly or even daily backups. If you don’t update things that frequently, you might get away with bi-weekly or monthly backups but frequency should match how often your website changes.
Now let’s get into the how of creating back-ups. We’re going to recommend 3 easy ways to ensure easy and seamless back-ups.
How to Create Back-Ups
The three recommendations here can function well on their own with addition to the local back-up you should make on your computer or external hard-drive. Choose the best back-up solution that suits your needs.
1. Back-up Your Website to Cloud Storage
With a Cloud Based Back-up, you can customize backup data retention policy based on your company’s needs. You may choose to retain a copy of every single change on your server or you can go for daily or weekly backups. Best of all, you can also opt for a logarithmic retention policy retaining more of the recent versions and less of the older ones. This is great news because it makes back-ups that much more simple. How can do this? Well this specific Cloud Storage options is by Acronis back-up cloud. Acronis use military-grade AES 256-bit encryption to protect your data as well as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) endpoints. All backups are stored on Acronis data centers which have multiple system security and data protection certifications
The cloud-based backup solution by Acronic is a VPS and Server backup that website owners can use independently to schedule automatic backups, monitor website availability and performance, and restore lost or corrupted data in a single click. Acronis is integrated in our backend for your servers, VPS and hosting accounts. You can ask for a free trial when you are not sure.
We highly recommend this method as it is fully automated and makes it easier for you to schedule your back-ups at the frequency which suits your website.
2. Backing-up Your WordPress Site with a Plugin
WordPress has a plugin for almost anything you can imagine. If you own a blog or website through WordPress then backing up is easy with the plugin UpdraftPlus. Once installed UpdraftPlus is easy to use.
Once the plugin is activated, you’ll find a new tab under Settings in your WordPress dashboard. The UpdraftPlus control panel has several options, but its most important functions are plain to see: Backup Now, Restore, and Clone/Migrate.
Clicking on Backup Now will bring up a straightforward screen including a few settings: whether to include the database and files in your backup and the option to disable the remote storage option. We recommend leaving the settings as is and clicking on the Backup Now confirmation button.
Depending on the size of your site and server performance you may have to wait a minute or two, and your backup will be ready. It’s that simple! Restoring a backup is pretty easy too, just click on Restore and select one of your backups from the list.
3. Back-up through your Host
Depending on your web host, you may have automatic back-up included. Our hosting solutions include a back-up with all of our hosting package, and what’s more, you can customize the amount of space you need to suit your website size and budget.
Simply log into your hosting control panel to see what back-up options you have in your Tool box. Remember to set the frequency for your back-up automation.
Creating, storing and automating your back-ups is critical to managing your website and protecting its data. Backing-up your data gives you peace of mind, knowing that your website and all its information, files, photos and customer profiles are always safe no matter what comes your way.
If you do not have a back-up plan in place, the time is now. Choose one of the options mentioned above and protect your data. Now is the time to decide which solution best suits your website:
- A Cloud based back-up system like Acronis (highly recommended)
- A CMS specific solution if you run a WordPress site using a plugin like UpdraftPlus
- A server side back-up provided by your web host
Either option protects you. Again, you don’t want to lose everything and have to rebuild from the ashes. Your website is not a phoenix. Protect your data today.