It can happen so easily. Do not wait for the miserable experience of losing your website data to put backup measures in place.
Let’s talk about a few key reasons you need a reliable, regular backup solution.
Your site might get hacked
There seems to be a pervasive belief held by a lot of small service business owners that getting hacked will never happen to them. After all, why would a hacker want to target their website, they’re not collecting sensitive information.
According to a March 2018 Security Week article, more than eighteen million websites are infected with malware at a given time each week, and the average website is attacked forty-four times every day. Forty-four times A DAY!
If your site has been hacked, even once the mess has been cleaned up, there’s a good chance you may lose website data in the process. It is vitally important that you have regular, easy to access backups in place to minimize the fallout if your website is ever compromised.
It’s also important that your backups live somewhere different than where your website lives, so if you’ve got backups saving to the web server where your website resides, that may not be enough insurance.
If you can’t get to your website hosting account for some reason, you won’t be able to access your backups, and if the site was attacked, it’s possible your backups are compromised as well.
WordPress upgrade woes
If your website is WordPress based, it’s extremely important to update WordPress regularly to improve features, to fix bugs, and to prevent hackers from inserting malicious code that can harm your website and even cause it to lose position on search engine results.
However, there’s always a bit of a risk that an update won’t go as smoothly as hoped and suddenly a plugin might stop working.
Or, as happened to one of our clients who was attempting to do their WordPress updates in-house, if you close the browser window before the WordPress update is complete, it can break the site.
Shit happens. One of our clients called me wondering why their homepage was broken. Turns out, their administrative assistant had accidentally deleted their homepage file.
Fortunately, we could retrieve the file, but you better believe she was hoping and praying for a backup in that moment.
Having a regular, reliable backup solution enables you to react quickly. Even if your web host provider is consistent with their backups, it’s much faster for you to restore part or all of your site with a backups service.
Let’s look at a real-world example
One morning, I had a panicked call from “Christine”. She was near tears as she explained that her hosting company had mistakenly labeled her account as “terminated” even though she had fully paid through the following Spring.
Her website was gone.
Calls to the hosting company ended with responses of “Sorry, we can’t help you” and “You’ll have submit a ticket to our support email address” (which I will note, still wasn’t responded to *days* later).
So here she was, no website, no help from the hosting provider.
As many small business owners do, Christine relies heavily on her website to attract and engage her clients and was in full-on panic mode, thinking she had lost her website and that she would have to re-build from scratch (not to mention the hit that her SEO rankings would take in the process).
So, when Christine called me, I was incredibly relieved to be able to utter the following words to her:
“Do you remember when I insisted putting VaultPress on your website when we started working together? We have 30 days worth of daily backups of your site. Your website is safe.”
We immediately restored her website on a new hosting provider, updated her domain to point to the new hosting, and had her back up and running that same day.
That is why I constantly prattle on about security and backups.
Do not rely on your hosting company for backups
Christine’s website host used to be wonderful. Stellar customer support. A company I used myself for my hosting once upon a time.
They were bought out and their service tanked.
You can’t put the fate of your website in the hands of your hosting provider. You need to have a solid Plan B.
I recommend VaultPress.
At the end of the day, think of your backup solution as your website’s insurance policy. If you have a WordPress.org powered website, I strongly advocate getting VaultPress.com implemented, which is very inexpensive.
(And if you need help getting it set up, it’s a quick thing for us to do for you.)
Christine keeps calling me brilliant for getting her back up and running so quickly, but it’s not brilliance.
It’s just planning and being prepared.
And anybody can do that.