Have you ever spent hours laboring over the perfect document? Pooled countless resources into that PowerPoint for your next big work presentation? Most of us at one point or another have burned the midnight oil, only to wake up the next morning and find that we accidentally misplaced or deleted our work. Queue the hysterics and frantic crying.
Almost everyone is familiar with the importance of backing up your computer files. You could lose your computer, the hard drive could crash, or you could accidentally fat-finger the delete button. Whatever goes wrong, without backup all of your information could be lost and unrecoverable.
Now, imagine the same scenario but with something much more important: your website. There are a lot of things that can happen to a website in addition to accidental deletion. It’s imperative to back up your site files at a second location to keep your content safe. Still not convinced? Here are five compelling arguments for why you should reconsider.
1. You want a general safety net beyond your hosting service.
You might think that your hosting service is already safeguarding your site from hackers and other potential threats. While many hosting providers do perform some sort of backup, it’s likely that their files won’t capture the most current version of your site — and that’s not a risk you want to take. According to web development firm Bradley & Company:
“[Web hosts] might not run their backups as often as your situation requires … it is never a good idea to solely rely on your web host for your backups.”
Design company 5 Point Digital agrees, noting that many web hosts don’t perform regular backups unless their users are specifically paying for that service. Even when hosts do back up information, it will not always be immediately available to you if you urgently need to get your site running again.
2. The original version of your site has aged.
You might have built your site on your own computer and feel it’s protected because you’re the one backing up your hard drive. However, as the weeks and months pass, that version becomes dated. If you’re taking the right approach toward optimizing your site for search engines, you’re constantly adjusting your language and refreshing content. Meanwhile, assuming you aren’t updating what’s on your computer, that initial version will get progressively further removed from the live site your customers are seeing every day.
Your up-to-date sales text and blog posts are testaments to how much your blog transforms. In fact, your site’s databases are a prime example of how rapidly your data is changing. 5 Point Digital is quick to note: “If your website has a membership or product (e-commerce) component, most of your valuable content is changing hourly. Basically, useful data only exists in one place — your current website.”
3. You want to respond quickly if you’re hacked.
The statistics on hacking are remarkable, even startling. The National Cyber Security Alliance found that 20 percent of small businesses are compromised annually. Amazingly, three out of five organizations that get targeted are bankrupt within six months.
The fact is, you can add many security measures to protect your site, but hacking is always a possibility. In these situations, you have enough concerns just dealing with passwords and trying to prevent intruders from invading again. Routine or daily backups allow you to recover lost, hacked or corrupted files or databases much more smoothly. Bradley & Company adds:
“The beauty of having a complete backup of your entire website installation is that instead of trying to ferret out all the infected code it is much easier, faster and safer to just delete the site and rebuild it from the backup.”
4. You want to be able to sleep at night.
Backup recovery plans are critical so that any website is able to maintain business continuity and achieve efficient, stress-free disaster recovery. 5 Point Digital notes that it can be difficult for small businesses to relate to the huge corporate hacks that often make the news. Nonetheless, these breaches are a very real threat to small businesses. Peace of mind is simple, though, with a high-quality backup solution.
5. It’s a painkiller for an upgrade headache.
Upgrading your CMS software or any module is necessary so you have all the latest security patches in place, but it can sometimes go drastically wrong.
Occasionally errors occur, mainly because most CMS platforms are no longer created by a single developer. According to Bradley & Company, most businesses using content management systems, such as WordPress, rely on various plugins and templates that are built by outside parties. “A CMS or plugin upgrade, a back-end settings change, or a programming change to a custom template can all bring a website down. Having a good full backup can be a good insurance policy should problems occur.”
So there you have it. Five compelling reasons to start backing up your site. Don’t lose hours of hard work by relying on outdated versions or your hosting provider. Back up your website today.
Editor’s note: Stop worrying about data loss. GoDaddy’s Website Backup service will help keep your data safe when servers crash, hackers attack, and malware makes the rounds.
Also published on Medium.