Back Up Your Website

Believe me, the last thing you want to do is wake up one morning and discover that your website crashed and you have no backup, no way to get back, no way to retrieve all of those files. You have to start all over. NO fun! And NO good for your business!

Maybe your web host provider has a backup... maybe your web developer has an old copy that doesn’t have the recent changes... Maybe. But do you want your business riding on maybe?

Ultimately, if it is your website, it is your responsibility to maintain a Backup!

Why Backup Your Site?

Server Hard drives occasionally fail

Web servers are just like any other computer. They are made up of electronic components that can go bad, especially hard drives. If the hard drive crashes or the web server goes down, you may not be able to recover that information, or at least not recover it not quickly.

Your site might get hacked

Hackers are busy people and there are lots of them out there. As soon as you put your website up, expect the first hack attack within hours if not in minutes. If your site gets hacked, it is vital to have a recent copy to ensure that you can get back up and running as quickly as possible.

You might make a mistake updating your site

Not making your updates on a testing or development site before updating the live site? You’re not alone. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense going to that extra time and expense. But what if installing that new plugin or updating your CMS takes your site down? If you have a current backup, your quickest option is likely to restore the backup. Otherwise, you may have a long day (and night) ahead of you.

Those are three ways your site can be compromised or crash, but really, they just touch the surface.

How to Backup Your Site?

So, you get it. It is important to backup your site. But how? We’ll touch on four different options.

1. Manual Backups

This is probably the most tedious option, but it is a common method. Basically, you download a copy of all of your files using FTP and then make a backup of your database using a tool like phpMyAdmin.

2. Use an online backup service

If you are on WordPress, you can use an online service such as VaultPress. VaultPress plans start at $5/month and go up to $40/month depending on what features you want included and the number of backups stored. We haven’t used this service, but it is provided by the developers of WordPress and has a good reputation. Other services exist such as myrepono.com. We haven’t used this site either, but they are worth checking out.

3. Use a plugin or extension designed for backups

If you are using Joomla, Akeeba Backup is the go-to solution. It backs up your full website (files and database) and puts them into a single archive file that you can download offline. The premium version also has features such as automated backups, the ability to send your backups to specific cloud-based services, and more. We use and recommend Akeeba Backup for all Joomla websites.

If you are using WordPress, you can look at paid options like Backup Buddy starting at $80 or free options found on the WordPress Plugins site.

4. Use a site-level backup solution

One final option is for you to run backups through your hosting control panel. If your hosting provider uses cPanel or Plesk, you can run backups through that control panel. Typically, you can set these up to run automatically, but you may need to download the backups manually from the server. Be sure and keep a copy of each backup stored offline. If your server crashes, your backups on the server won’t do you any good.

Conclusion

Just one last word of advice: Backup, Backup, Backup. This one simple task may be the difference between restoring your site in minutes instead of days if your site goes down.

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