Why Do I Need Back-Ups of My Website?

Do you have the piece of mind when you go to bed tonight that your website will  still be up and running tomorrow morning when you wake up? Many folks have learned a hard lesson from the consequences of not having an active backup plan for their website.  It can cost thousands of dollars and/or many hours of time if your site goes down and you do not have your site backed up.

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What Exactly is a Website Backup? 

For those new to the world of owning a website, the simple answer is that a website back up contains all the code, images, information and files needed for internet browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari to read, and then display as a webpage.

A website can have many files and all of them need to be just so in order for everything to work properly.  Additionally, all WordPress websites also contain databases which contain all the information in your pages and posts.  Database backup is an important and often overlooked part of an overall WordPress website back up plan.

Myths About Website Backups

There are many reasons people do not having their sites backed up.  Below are four common myths about website backups –

MYTH 1 –  My hosting company keeps backups of all their websites so I don’t need to attend to that.

Contrary to what many think, your web hosting company IS NOT responsible for the files that make up your site.   While it is true website hosting companies do take steps to protect their customers, they can and do make mistakes and many businesses and bloggers can be affected if something goes wrong with their servers.

Ultimately, backing up your website is YOUR responsibility.

MYTH 2 – I backed my website up when it was first built and have it stored on my hard drive.  That should be good enough.

Having an old backup is better than no back up at all.  However, as time passes, your WordPress website is also going to change and update.  Most times, an old backup can be used as a starting point for restoring a website, but will usually involve a lot of extra work.

It can also mean that you must re-post a significant amount of pages or posts, depending on how much your site was changed since the original backup.

As a further layer of backup protection, I also recommend you keep your backup files on more than one source, for example, on your hard drive and on a thumb drive or other storage device.

MYTH 3 –  My webmaster has a backup copy of my website so I don’t need one.

Don’t assume your web designer will keep your website files after the site is turned over to you.  Some web designers will keep copies of your website in the event they ever need to work on your site again.

My policy to keep a file on my machine with all the files I used to build the website.  However, with WordPress, having backups of your website files is only half of the backup process. All of the information that makes up the actual content of your site can be found in the website database, which is the other half of your backup process. 

It is important to make sure you have backups of your website files AND your WordPress database.  Unless your webmaster makes a special effort to get the database, he or she won’t have that important part of your website.  Your database is also a dynamic, living thing.  It will change as you add pages, posts, and other information.

Frequent and current backups of your website database are essential to the content and should not be neglected.

MYTH 4-  My website won’t get hacked.

An unfortunate reality of the internet is also the presence of malware and computer viruses designed to infect your computer and the computers of those who visit your website.  Even if you have tight security on your site, hackers can still find ways in.  Backups won’t stop this from happening but can help to quickly restore your site should it get attacked.

An active back up plan is essential for everyone who owns and maintains a website.  Having a current and active backup plan is an insurance policy on your website and will give you piece of mind knowing that you are prepared should something go wrong.

There are many resources on the internet which will help you back up your website.  However, if you would like to leave all the worries to me, I would be happy to serve you.  Click on the banner below to see what I offer in my WordPress Website Maintenance Plan, which includes thorough and secure backups of your website on our cloud based servers.

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