Website Backups: Is Your Most Valuable Asset Covered?

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Written by Karen Carps

May 4, 2017

So you have a brand new website. So exciting! You or your web designer has worked hard to get everything working just right, and you’re super pleased with the results. You even understand the importance of your website. It’s the only part of your organization that never sleeps, never goes on vacation, and is always there. Your website is your online face, and you treat it as such. But have you considered what you would do if something ever happened to it? What if you get hacked? How about if something happens to the server and it disappears into thin air? What if I click the wrong thing in WordPress and it goes poof? That’s a pretty daunting thought! For this reason, website backups should be your very first consideration for a new site.

FAQs About Website Backups

My hosting provider says it does this. Do I really need to do my own website backups?

Yes. Your hosting provider probably does back everything up on a regular basis. The thing is that you have no idea how reliable that could be. Where is it being stored? What happens if their building catches fire and all their servers go down? Is it in the cloud? They could go out of business or get hacked and you could never see your stuff again. What would happen then? Having your own website backups is an insurance policy that your website will remain intact if you ever have to switch hosting providers or something happens with your current one. Consequently, you never have to worry.

How often should I be backing up my website?

The answer to this depends. For example, how often do you make changes to your site? The frequency of website backups should correlate to your site’s activity. If you blog often, post pictures, or add products, your website should have more frequent backups. If updates are less frequent, you can probably back it up once a month. I use Backup Buddy for website backups in WordPress, and they have recently completely changed the way things work. This plugin will now do live, automated backups. In other words, it automatically backs up your site and stores it in multiple places when it detects changes to the site. Talk about removing the guesswork! Seriously, this was a game changer.

What if I’m not that tech savvy?

You don’t have to be a tech expert. In fact, most backup software will walk you through it, particularly if you’re using a WordPress plugin. If you’re still timid about trying it, most web professionals offer this service for a nominal fee. In my case, all clients on any maintenance plan, even the most basic one, receive regular website backups. It’s part of the deal. Believe me, keeping your website backed up costs way less than paying someone to fix it.

Are there any free tools I can use?

Yes. As mentioned before, I use Backup Buddy, which I highly recommend. That said, it is a premium (paid) plugin. There are some quality free WordPress backup plugins that are out there. Just remember, this may be a place where spending a little goes a long way.

I can’t stress enough how important website backups are to the success of your site. Ignoring this one simple step can literally make or break your online presence. I pray you never need to use a backup, but it has saved my bacon on more than one occasion. Backup Buddy is literally the first thing I install on any site I’m working on. Being a WordPress professional doesn’t mean I don’t need a backup plan! So keep your website backups current, and keep swimming along!

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