Do you back up your website?

What would happen to your business if your website failed and your web developer didn’t have a backup? If you think that won’t ever happen to you think again! Apparently 40% of small businesses don’t backup their website and couldn’t even tell you where their web files are held. We receive many hard drives for data recovery, where website files are critical.

Surprisingly a number of web hosts don’t back up websites and/or wouldn’t make backups available to you anyway. If you run a CRM, blog or forum, much content is uploaded by users and only exists on the website. The most common threat to your website is from virus and malware attacks. To scan and repair any infections is a long, time consuming practice and it is often better to reload a backup.

If you are running a content management system that’s runs a database, be sure to backup the database as well and any plugins. For a simple website, you may just need to backup the web files. By using FTP you can copy the whole public_html directory from your web hosting account. FileZilla is a good tool for this. Otherwise if you are using a hosting package such as 123-Reg you should be able to backup your web files from the control panel.

How often should you backup? This really depends on how often you are updating your website. Incremental backups don’t need to include plugins, which can significantly increase the size of your backup directory. WordPress can automate the whole process taking the hassle out of backups. There are also WordPress plugins which can backup your website to DropBox.

‘cPanel’ is the control panel for managing your website. If your webhost has given you access to ‘cPanel’, you can easily perform a complete backup using the inbuilt backup tool. This utility allows you to create a zip file which can be downloaded to your chosen destination.

Whatever your chosen method of backup be sure to do it now. If data loss strikes, make sure you can be back online quickly!