Choosing A Host That Offers Site Backup

Backing up data is something we are all warned about on a regular basis but it is something we rarely do as often as we should. The loss of personal data can be upsetting and relatively costly, but losing an entire website because you’ve failed to make a regular backup copy can be completely disastrous. Without the regular backup of your site it is possible that you will lose the most recent changes should something untoward happen. If the server goes down then you are the one liable for replacing your site and in the worst-case scenario, if you have never made a good backup, then it could be impossible to retrieve it.

Backup Services Offered By Your Host

Some hosts offer a regular backup service as part of their plans. They understand that if their server goes down then it is they that you will understandably blame. Some services provide a monthly backup, some provide a weekly backup. In fact it is also possible to find services that provide a daily backup service. The amount of backups required will obviously depend on how often you upgrade or make changes to your website. If you do update on a daily basis then a daily backup is the most obvious solution.

Control Panel Backup Facility

Not all hosts directly offer this service but there is still hope. While the host might not directly offer a backup service many control panels offer the same function. Try to take the control for a demonstration run before you decide on your host. That way you can find out exactly what it does and doesn’t offer.

FTP File Backup

FTP also offers a viable method to make backup copies of your site. With some FTP clients it is even possible to automate the running of a backup. This gives you complete control over when a backup is run. You can potentially set it to run automatically at a specific time every single day but in the event that you make any major changes you can also run a one-off backup at that time. This prevents the loss of virtually any data and enables you to store the backup either on the hard drive of your computer or on media of your choice.

Online Backup Services

Online backup services are becoming more and more popular. Using an Internet specific service ensures that your website is safe although in most cases they will use an FTP program similar to one that you could purchase yourself. However, as with any form of remote backup it does mean that you have a copy of your website that is not stored on your own computer preparing you for just about any eventuality.

Backup Software

Specific software also exists that includes the capability to backup your website on demand. This software generally also includes a powerful scheduler to ensure that even if you forget to make a backup copy you are still safe. Website backup software is surprisingly inexpensive and because it is task specific to backing up websites it is also powerful, quick, and offers a range of handy features.

Keeping Copies Of Your Backup

Backing up any files should include making at least two copies. If you create a copy of your website on the hard drive of your own computer then you should save a copy to disk. If your website is mission critical then you should also consider storing this disk somewhere other than next to your computer. While you might believe it unlikely that your site will be completely wiped from the server at the same time as your computer goes down, this second backup copy gives a final element to your site safety.

Occasions When You Require Your Backup

There are numerous reasons why you may require your backup copy. Not all hosting services can take the heat of being a provider on a long-term basis. If they suddenly decide they have had enough of serving your website and pack up their bags you will lose everything on that server with little or no chance of retrieving it. If you have chosen a reputable company that has a good history then this is very unlikely to happen but backing up your website is both free and easy and can also be automated so it really isn’t worth taking the risk.

Servers can be temperamental machines. If managed poorly, kept in the wrong conditions, or completely overloaded they have a tendency to crash. While in most instances this won’t cause a loss of data it can do. In the most extreme of circumstances it could completely wipe your site leaving you with nothing except fond memories. Only when it actually happens to you can you begin to imagine how difficult it is to do anything about it.

Attack From Others

Shared hosting means sharing a server with other websites and other Webmasters. Not all Webmasters are as vigilant as you over the careful use of scripts. They may implement high risk scripts on the server and even though these scripts have nothing to do with your website they can still leave you vulnerable to attack or damage. Hackers and other unscrupulous web users use certain scripts to gain access to and delete or change important files on websites and in server directories. If you have a shared account that doesn’t offer backup as part of the service then you must consider buying an FTP client or paying a service to do it for you.

Off Site Backup Storage

More advanced hosting packages can also suffer the same fate but for other reasons. A virtual private server makes you less susceptible to the actions of other websites on your server but nevertheless a backup is essential to prevent the loss of large amounts of critical information. Managed hosting should, in theory, provide you with the opportunity to demand a regular backup. Backups should be made whenever your service manager makes any changes to your server and you should also be able to request that a copy of the backup be sent either to yourself or to an offsite storage facility. Keeping the backup in the same building as the server is definitely not a good plan.

If you host your own server on your own premises then it is particularly important that you use offsite facilities to store your backup. Because of the power of the Internet the backup can be sent via a secure connection to a storage facility. In the event that you require the backup copy returned this can be done quickly and easily.

Working On Your Own Website

Sometimes it is necessary for us to create backup copies simply because we edit the website ourselves and want to be able to edit the most recent version. Again, this can prevent data loss and in many ways it is no less important than backing up your website for any other reason. As well as regularly saving your work you should use an FTP or backup program to regularly backup your files.

Website Backup Conclusion

Backing up data is a vital part of many people’s working and personal lives. The loss of data can cause financial loss should your website go down and a loss of personnel resource if you need somebody to rebuild your site for you. There are many affordable and simple methods to back up your website and absolutely no reason to avoid doing so. In the long run it can save a lot of time, trouble, and effort.