Do you have a personal website? What about a business website or blog? How do you back up your website? I hear the crickets out there. There are way too many people who don’t do regular (or any) back ups for their site. I think it’s human nature to think that nothing bad is going to happen. But when your business depends on your site you need to take steps to ensure you have a reliable backup of your site.
Many people assume that their host is backup up their files and therefore they shouldn’t worry about it. I did this once. I hosted with Godaddy and they migrated my server and deleted my files accidentally. It was their fault…but that fact didn’t help bring my site back. I had to rebuild it. I was down for nearly a week. If I had a backup I could have been back up within a few minutes. I think the old saying is “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. It’s very applicable here.
If you are a small business owner, consultant, freelancer, or blogger then your website is very important to your profession. I have this blog and a website for my consulting business. Because of this I have spent a lot of time looking into the options for website backups.
I’m going to look at some options when you want to back up your website. The options change depending on the type of hosting and website you have.
Standard Web Hosting (HTML Files)
When I design a standard website I have the project files on my local development machine. This is not a backup because I may remove it once the site is live and I’m done with the project. Generally I like to use FTP to back up my website. There are automated methods out there such as Drop My Site. But you can just as easily use a good FTP program that allows scripting/scheduling.
Self Hosted WordPress
This is where I’m going to focus because WordPress makes up a huge majority of websites on the net today. This site is WordPress. The good thing is that if you run a WordPress website there are many ways to back up your website. There are plugins, services, and you can still use the FTP method above. I have used the Back Up To Dropbox plugin in the past and it works very well. The only negative is that it can be slow if your site has a lot of media files.
If your server uses cPanel then you can use a cPanel back up service such as Site Auto Backup. The benefit here is that everything is backed up. I currently use this method and I recommend it for my clients. The service works well and even backs up emails and databases. The only drawback is that it uses bandwidth. If you have an unlimited bandwidth plan then it isn’t an issue. But if not then you will need to account for that when you determine your backup schedule.
These are just a few options to back up your website. There are many others. Let me know in the comments below what method you use. If you aren’t currently doing a regular back up then you need to reconsider.