Hard drive crashes and viruses are a reality for most computer owners. What makes these worse is when you realize you did not backup your data and now you lost everything. Cloud services, like Dropbox and Carbonite, make it easy for people to backup their important files and minimize losses. What about your business website? Do you have backups of your site? Do you even know what your hosting provider offers for backups? Can your business afford to have it’s website down for hours, days or even longer? While an extreme failure might be a rarity, it only takes one incident to find yourself at a total loss.

Types of backups available

 Just about every hosting provider will perform a backup of your site, probably once a week. That’s better than nothing, but you really need more than that to minimize the impact of any loss.  The level of server backups that will be at your disposal will vary from host to host. Most will provide you with access to a hosting control panel. The most popular hosting control panels are cPanel and Plesk.  The control panel will allow you to make manual backups of your site. This is great, but how often will you remember to perform a manual backup. An automatic backup solution would be better. 

If your site is built with Joomla or WordPress, there are extensions or plugins that can be added to your site that will allow you to automate backups. Most of these backup solutions will provide an option to store your backup in the cloud with a service such as Dropbox or Google Drive.  Joomla users can use Akeeba Backup as an option for creating manual or automatic backups. These backups can also be store remotely in a cloud storage account such as Dropbox. Likewise, WordPress users have several free and premium backup plugins available offering similar remote storage. 

Handling web server backups

A good hosting provider considers backups a serious matter. Downtime is not a good thing for your business. Preparation has to be made for any type of failure.  Having backups of your site will ensure that a restoration can take place quickly. 

At AWR Web Design, our solution to backups begins with our dedicated web server. We have 2 hard drives installed. The primary drive runs the server and the websites. The second drive is only for backups. This provides the first level of protection. If the main hard drive fails, the backup drive will not be affected and vice versa. 

Backups of each site are created everyday, with only the latest daily backup stored. Additionally, a separate weekly backup is created and stored. This means that a restoration of a website can take place from 2 available backups, within the last 7 days.  So the obvious question is, what happens in a catastrophic failure of the server. Unlikely, but always prepare for the worst. Each daily and weekly backup is also stored automatically to a cloud storage account. 

Our clients receive these backups as part of their hosting accounts. Each client can also make manual backups and install third-party backup extensions and plugins to make more backups.

Keep your business online 

In conclusion, it is important for your business to keep your website up and running. Every web server experiences daily malicious attacks. Backups of your website files and databases are critical to minimize any downtime you will have in the event of a problem from hackers or even hardware failures. 

What do you think about web server backups? How often does your hosting provider perform backups? Share your thoughts.