Yep, even the thought of it is enough to send most folk to sleep but they are way more important than you think. If you use your website to promote your business or the website is an active piece of your business infrastructure (say an online shop) then you need to think about backups. Stuff goes wrong in IT land all the time so be prepared for the worst.
If you only take one thing from this blog post then make sure it is this.
By default your website is not backed up.
Actually that is not totally true, the server guys run a nightly backup in case there is catastrophic failure on the servers. Getting at those backups is not easy though and it costs about €100 each time. Eek!!
How often should you do a backup?
How active your website is really determines how often you should run a backup. Backups take time to do and use up space so it is best to do just what you need.
If your website never really changes then maybe a once off backup will do. If there are small changes month on month then a quarterly backup, keeping a few older versions of the website should be enough. If nothing changes on your website then there is no point going overboard with loads of backups.
If your website changes daily, for example with an online shop, then the backups should also be daily and you should probably keep maybe at least 10 older versions. Online shops use a database to store orders, products, customers, etc. and this also needs to be backed up daily. Imagine if
So how do you do a backup?
With a WordPress website the easiest way is to use a plugin. A plugin is something that gets installed into WordPress, an extra bit of code, and that does the backups for you automatically.
Typically there is a some amount of configuration to do for the backup plugin. Things like how often it runs, and where are the files stored, how many versions, etc. need to specified at the start and some amount of continuous monitoring should happen to make sure things are working as they should.
Some backup plugins are free and some cost money. As with anything you get what you pay for.
Option 1 – Do nothing.
Yep this might be the way to go. What could go wrong? Well not a lot actually if your website never changes. WordPress and the server guys sometimes are forced to make change that might impact your website for security updates but these rarely cause any issues. You are running risk albeit not a big one.
Option 2 – Do it Yourself.
Log into your WordPress site (as an admin) and install a free or paid for plugin, configure it and store your backups locally on your laptop/pc/etc. It is not as hard as it sounds. Updraft is one such plugin I have used in the past and there is a free version with plenty of functionality. You’ll need to have somewhere safe to store the backup.
Option 3 – Get me to do it.
If you want me to do backups and store them for you then I can but unfortunately there is no free lunch. I’ll charge a fee which varies on how often you want them done.
Once-off Backups – cost €20 . You get 1 backups of the website and/or database, and I’ll store them on my infrastructure. This fee would cover the cost of restoring the website if the worst happened.
Quarterly Backups – cost €50 a year . You get 4 backups per annum of the website and/or database, and I’ll store them on my infrastructure. This fee would cover the cost of restoring the website if the worst happened.
Daily Backups – cost €100 a year. Your get a daily backup of the website and/or database going back 10 days (10 versions). As above the fee would cover the cost of restoring the website if the worst happened.
That’s enough about backups me thinks! Contact me if you are thinking of taking option 3.