It’s time for some real talk: how often do you actually back up your website? No matter how important you know it is, if you’re like most business owners, you’ve got dozens of competing priorities on your plate. And backing up your site, realistically, probably doesn’t break the top 10 most days.
Not to get all scare tactics on you, but in a recent study from virus protection company Barkly, 81 percent of the 300 organizations surveyed were originally confident they could completely restore their site in case of a ransomware attack. When Barkly followed up after an actual ransomware attack, only 42 percent were actually able to restore their data.
Of course, malware isn’t the only reason website data can get lost. Simple user error, updates to go awry, and accidentally deleted files can all spell disaster if you don’t have a proper backup.
Let’s come up with a reliable strategy for backing up your site.
First up, what does backing up your site mean?
At its core, your website is made up of a collection of files and databases that store your images, contents, and core files. When you back up your website, you create a snapshot of your files and databases that you can restore if something happens to the working copy.
This means that your ability to back up your site is only as good as your most recent backup copy. So if you haven’t backed up your site for weeks, or your most recent copy is corrupt, you could be losing critical amounts of data.
Where should you store backup copies of your website?
When you’re traveling, you shouldn’t keep your copy of your passport with your actual passport itself — creating backups of your website is no different.
Your web host: Many web hosting companies (like our partner, SiteGround) automatically backup websites to their server. If you don’t know whether or not these updates are happening automatically, get in touch with your hosting company and find out.
On a hard drive: Backups of your website on your host’s server won’t do you much good if that server goes down. That’s why it’s also good practice to back up your website to an external hard drive on a regular basis.
In the cloud: You may also decide to use a service like Dropbox to store copies of your website backup in the cloud. This is especially a good choice if you have a remote team.
How often should you back up your site?
The frequency at which you backup your website depends in part on how often you update it:
- If your website is fairly static, it may make sense to only do backups on a weekly or monthly basis.
- If your content changes daily, it would be smart to back your website up daily, too.
- If you have an e-commerce site with steady transactions, it may even make sense to backup your website hourly.
How do you back up your website?
If you use WordPress, you can use one of the many plug-ins available to backup your site automatically, like BackupBuddy or VaultPress. You can also initiate manual backups within your website hosting service by going to your control panel.
Or, you could make backing up your website easy on yourself by using SiteGround.
Backing up your website is important, but can also be a pain. That’s why we were so excited to hear about SiteGround’s new backup features!
You may already know that IvyCat partners with SiteGround to provide our customers with reliable website hosting services. One of the reasons we chose them as our partner is because they are constantly on the cutting edge when it comes to keeping your information safe and secure. And from what we’ve read of their new hosting backup benefits, this new feature will be no different.
SiteGround Hosting Backup lets you:
- View and manage backups easily with a simple 1-click Backup Tool
- Create and restore website backups quickly and easily with one click
- Avoid data loss due to website mistakes
- Experiment with website updates that you can quickly undo
We’re excited to start using SiteGround Hosting Backup as part of the WordPress Support and Maintenance plans we already offer our customers. If you want to get started using their hosting backup service yourself, check out the SiteGround website, or get in touch with the team at IvyCat to learn more.
What’s your strategy for backing up your site? Let us know in the comments.