Benefits of Regularly Backing Up Your Website
For many people, especially in such a technologically-driven economic climate, websites they own and operate constitute their livelihoods. Therefore, losing their websites could be disastrous both economically and morally. By backing up your website regularly, you ensure that your work, ideas, and investments are all safely stored should disaster strike in the form of a virus, hardware crash, or other form of technological meltdown.
Be sure to have several iterations of your site backed up. Back up your site regularly to include new content, member details, comments, blog posts, updates, et cetera. Additionally, have your website backed up in more than one way, should one way also fail. Consider saving your website information to two separate flash drives, and alternate which drive you store the information on every week. The first week, use the first of the two flash drives. The second week, use the second flash drive. Then repeat the cycle. This way, should a virus corrupt your files, it will only corrupt one set of the files, from the more recent flash drive.
Back up your files online, in your site’s own private area, on a hard disk, or on another form of media. You can never be too varied in the methods you use to secure your website’s files. Consider using methods that are easy to re-use, like CDs that are easy to clear, an external hard-drive, or other similar methods.
Have your backups in several different locations. Should your computer be stolen, keeping all your backed-up files in a nearby external hard-drive may be asking for trouble, as that too may be stolen. Instead, keep a version of the files on a thumb drive in your kitchen, car, or office, should a theft occur.
Choose a web host that has a backup solution. Many web hosts understand the need for backing up important web files, and they may offer you a free, or greatly reduced price, for backing up your files. Spare no expense to keep your website data safe, particularly if it contains personal information.
After each edit, back up your htaccess file. This is important to ensure the safety of your files overall.
When labeling your folders, be particularly careful to be clear in their names– particularly if you will be or have already made incremental changes. These will make file storage and safety much easier for you and people involved in your website, as well as preventing frustration later on.
Without securing your website by backing up your files and site itself, you risk losing your website forever in a matter of minutes. The safety of your site and information is your own responsibility, so don’t rely solely on your hosting company for protecting your material. Instead, take matters into your own hands, and secure your files and information yourself on external hard drives, websites, thumb drives, et cetera. Don’t be a victim of your own mistakes– instead, preserve your website (and possibly your livelihood) by backing up your data.