Why do I need a website back-up?
If you have a website for your business you’ve surly heard at some point or another that you should have a current back-up of your site. A back-up is a copy of your website’s files that can be used to restore your website in the event that something goes wrong, or you need to recreate your site. It’s like insurance for your website. Over the years we’ve talked to a number of business owners who questioned needing regular back-ups. Often, we heard “I’m just a small business, I don’t need to worry about hackers. They don’t even know I exist”, “I don’t understand how something can go wrong. Updating should make it work better, not crash it,” and many other misguided thoughts on a regular back-up process. Here are five reasons why every website, big, small, or otherwise, needs a regular back-up process, and a little insight on how often your back-up process should occur.
1. Website Hack
Just because your business or website is small doesn’t mean hackers don’t have it in their sites. Over 30,000 websites are hacked every day, and many of these websites belong to legitimate small businesses. There are many forms of malware that hackers can use to break into a site and wreak havoc. Although a hack isn’t always apparent right away, a good back-up comes in handy once it’s discovered. If you have a regular back-up regiment you can use a back-up to restore your website to it’s rightful glory previous to the hack (and then bolster up your security measures so it doesn’t happen again).
2. Incomplete/Incompatible Software Update
It seems counterintuitive, but sometimes updating plugins on your WordPress site can cause it to crash, mess up design elements, or ruin critical functionality. With so many plugins available in the WordPress repository its no surprise that every single plugin may not be compatible with another. If you’re regularly updating your plugins (which you should to maintain security and functionality of your site) you will also want to maintain a current back up. This way you can quickly restore your website in the event that a back-up goes wrong and you need to go back to a previous version.
3. Server Crash/Error
Depending on the server your website is hosted on you may run the risk of the server crashing and downing your website. If the server crash or error is sever enough it may be necessary to use a back-up to get your website back online. This is rare, but it can happen. If it does, you’ll be happy to have a back-up on hand.
4. Human Error
Sh*t happens. Lets be real. You go to change something on your website, the wrong button gets clicked and bam!….website gone…or maybe just a little messed up. Does it happen often? No, probably not. But human error can cause big issues with your website, especially if someone with little experience is in there playing around. Even if the human error is a few minor mistakes, like images in the wrong places, or the wrong or misspelled words, it may be easier to just restore your website to a previous version and starting again. Sometimes it’s just easier to redo than it is to undo then redo.
5. Switching Hosting Companies
Let’s say you’re not happy with your current website host, or website maintenance provider. A current back-up of your website will make it way easier to switch service providers. If you have a current back-up of your website you don’t need to ask or wait for your current provider to get you one. It saves time, and a few awkward conversations.
How often should You back up your website?
Back-up frequency depends on your website and how often you add new content to it. We see many websites that only add content a couple of times per year. In this case you may be able to get away with monthly back-ups. For websites that regularly add new blog posts, have new registered users, or have regular product changes you would want to update daily, or even hourly.
Having a regular back-up regiment is crucial to the ongoing security and safety of your website. Hopefully this article gives you some insight in to the importance of having a back-up and how often you should be running back-ups. Thanks for reading!