Have a website? Have a comprehensive back up plan in place? Maybe you should read this

Every computer user knows the importance of backing up critical data regularly.  The same applies to your personal or company website.  However, many small businesses don’t always update their backups frequently and many more don’t have a backup plan that’s designed to protect against all worst case scenarios.  Whether your site is hosted remotely or in-house, your backup plan should cover all potential factors.

No server is impervious because both in-house and remote servers are prone to failure and other kinds of disasters that could wipe out your website, as well as any stored backups.  And if you’re relying on just one backup method, you could be playing Russian Roulette with the most important resource your business has.  If you lose everything, the cost to rebuild your site can easily be thousands of dollars.  Additionally, if your business relies on your website for its sales and publicity, you could also be facing thousands more in lost revenue.  Luckily, a compressive backup plan is easy to implement and the tools needed to do so are not very expensive.

A comprehensive backup plan should include both on and off-site storage.  If your site is hosted remotely, consider keeping a thumb drive or external hard drive handy for local archives of your web data.  In some places, an 8GB thumb drive can be purchased for as little as $6 and 8GB of space is more than sufficient for archiving many small-medium sized websites.  If your online host goes down for an extended period, an on-site backup will allow you to re-launch your site on another host quickly, reducing downtime.  While many hosts often keep routine backups, some do not.  Never assume that your hosting server will always have the most recent archives.

If your site is hosted in-house, you should consider utilizing off-site backup options to supplement your on-site archives.  Dropbox.com offers 2GB of online storage space for free and also gives you the option to purchase additional space at a low price.  2GB is usually enough for most small websites.  And if you run a larger site, Carbonite offers high-end premium business plans for backing up servers and databases.

Finally, the last step in a compressive website backup plan is strategy.   Having two forms of backup is the first part of your strategy.  The second is making your updates in separate intervals.  You should have a short-term backup that’s updated at least monthly (or weekly depending on how often your site content changes), and a long-term backup that’s updated every 6 months.  In the event that your short-term backup is compromised, such as from malware, you’ll still have another good archive to rely on.

The importance of having a comprehensive data backup plan, when it comes to your business website, cannot be overstated.  In some instances, having multiple backup copies and methods may seem redundant and unnecessary at first.  But if you’re ever unlucky enough to experience a catastrophic loss of data, you’ll be glad to have all the options you can get.  Better to have too much than not enough.

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