Create Website Backups Before You Need Them

Picture yourself as the unfortunate user who woke up in the morning to check their traffic to their website, and saw absolutely nothing.  How did your traffic go from hundreds of visitors a day to absolutely nothing?  Surely everybody didn’t just forget about you.

In your morning daze, before your first cup of coffee, you take a look at your website to make sure that there is nothing wrong.  Little did you know that while you were in your late night slumber, an attacker was quite diligently  hacking your website due to an unpublished vulnerability in your website software.

Quite distraught, you look at the damage.  Not only do all pages show a message that your website was hacked, but all of your critical files and database are now completely missing.  What do you do now?  Is your entire livelihood now gone in one fell swoop?

If you were making regular backups, it’s merely a bump in the road.  You may only have data from last night or even last week, but you at least have something to get back into the fight.

Never Trust That Someone Else Is Doing It For You

Just as you wouldn’t take a salesman’s word when buying a car without verifying the facts, never fully trust your backups to another individual.

This isn’t to say that subscribing to a third party backup service is a bad idea, or that you shouldn’t choose a host that runs backups for you, but always run your own backups as well.  This way, you know exactly what the backups contain and they are safe in your own hands.

Backup In Increments

Incremental backups are essential.  What if something goes wrong on your site and you don’t notice it until several weeks later when you have already overwritten your backups?

Keeping multiple backups of your site throughout different time frames will help you avoid any issues that go unnoticed over time.  I highly recommend keeping daily, weekly, and monthly backups on hand, depending on how often you make changes.

Never Keep Your Backups In A Single Location

Just as something can go wrong with your website, your backups could disappear as well.  We all know that technology can fail and that hard drive that your backups are stored in can do exactly that at any moment.

With the constantly falling price of removable media, flash drives are your best option.  Flash drives rarely fail and can be easily locked up in a secure location.  Think of this as a backup of your backup.  Every time you download a backup of your website to your computer, copy it over to the flash drive as well.

So How Do I Backup My Website?

cPanel Users

Backup Your Website Files in cPanel

Backup Your Database in cPanel

WordPress Users

BackupBuddy

VaultPress

Joomla Users

Akeeba Backup

Drupal Users

Backup and Migrate

 

 

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2 comments

  1. Hello!

    I completely agree with You regarding backups! Thankfully I didn’t had any hacking incidents since I use WordPress, but that does not mean that I am not afraid that it will one day happen.
    I personally use the BackWPup Free plugin. I would like to ask You, what is your oppinion in storing the files on Amazon S3? I mean, while the price is extremely good, I am worried that if someone gets into my site, they will get access details to the S3 bucket too. What do you think? Is it a real possibility?

    Thank You very much for Your answer!

    With best regards,
    Balint Toth

    1. In most cases, it should be fine but be sure that your main server that hosts your site does not have an automatic connection to the S3 bucket.

      Personally, I’ve always been a fan of having an external/flash drive for only backups so that if a machine is hit, that drive was never plugged in and contains the backups safely.

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