You’ve got your business website, it’s there for you 24/7 as your front window to the world. Your reputation online important no matter what you’re selling or who you’re selling to.
If you don’t think it is, just take a look at the many different channels that people can choose to give your business a review.
Someone didn’t like what you sold them? They might take to Twitter, Facebook, Google or, if you’re in the mass-services sectors, then probably trip advisor and Yelp too.
And, we’ve been told for a long while now that first impressions count: this is so true in the online world and often sped up from our offline thoughts and theories around marketing.
Why does this matter to your business website and whether it’s backed up or not?
The silent reviewers.
Yup, those individuals who want to find out more about your business, brand and story, and what you’re all about.
The buyers and browsers who want to share their story with you in the hopes that you’ll help them (service businesses) or that the story about the way that they will feel after they’ve bought “X” will be as much as they want it to be (for products).
So, now that we’ve established your website is an important part of your business’s online presence, marketing and offering, why are backups of it so important?
Well, there are lots of reasons, but one or two important ones are:
- In case your WordPress website is compromised (aka hacked)
- If an update breaks your site
- If there is an issue with your hosting/current website
Let’s discover some more details about these three situations.
A compromised/hacked website
Nine times out of ten, your WordPress business website is going to be live to the world, there will be minimal issues and everything will work as you wanted it to (even without the Genies at Hostini).
Then, one day you wake up and an individual (or a group) of hackers has managed to gain access to your website’s administrator control panel and has wreaked havoc on your website. And, that is not the image you want portrayed to current or prospective clients.
Now, we could look at the different ways a hacker has gained access and defaced your website, but that would make this article too long. Most times, they’ll have managed to get into your WordPress website through a vulnerability in your WP core, theme or a plugin, which is (in general) usually due to one part or all of these not being kept up to date and thus secure.
But, when you get to the point of loading up your website because a colleague, friend or client says that it looks weird, doing the updates at that point isn’t going to help: just as we don’t just wake up one morning in and weigh 2 stones heavier than we want to, it’s usually over a long(ish) period of time of neglect.
And more than one backup is important too: until the origin of the hack is identified (i.e. when the hacker gained access), as a recent backup a week ago might contain any malicious code or backdoor access that could be used in the future to
Many times we’ve seen business owners and entrepreneurs have their website’s hacked to then get their hosting company restore from a previous backup only to be hacked again a few days later. The vulnerability was already contained in the backed up versions of their website. Not a great start to the week if you’re dealing with that.
Now, I’m not going to go into how a professional should be brought into clean up your hacked website today because the backup will save on both time and money. Yes, you can hire a professional to de-hack your website, many people do.
But, what happens when a part of your code has been removed by the hacker and it’s going to take a lot of time and effort to figure out how? Time and concern are going to be constantly on your mind.
You update your website and everything breaks
If you have access to your own WordPress business website then you probably understand how important it is that everything is updated and works as it should.
That means updating the theme, plugins and the WordPress core. But, what happens if something breaks when you click update? And it’s your LIVE SITE! Oh F*&%!
Backups aren’t just for the eventuality of your site being hacked because, let’s face it, that day might never happen.
They’re there for peace of mind that should something go wrong then your website can be restored to a previous point in time so that the user experience for people interacting with your business won’t see too many huge bumps in the road.
If something happens with your host/current website
You might host your WordPress business website with a hosting company and deal with the billing and communications with them, as well as some of the technical things.
Or, alternatively, you might use a freelancer or a company to manage your hosting account and update your website.
In either situations you want to ensure that both you and the provider has reliable backups.
We’ve heard one too many stories where the hosting company or freelancer that a business owner was relying on only had one set of backups for the business owner’s website. It then transpires that those backups were corrupt (and always were) due to a technical error. Oh dear.
Or, it could be that disaster strikes and the hosting server goes down and it won’t be up for another few days: if you had a full backup of your website then you could redeploy to another location without too much downtime.
The best situation for both of these is to have a reliable backup system in place.
How backups work at Hostini
We manage backups a little differently at Hostini. You might find that a lot of hosts will say they’ll do the backups for you “off site!” If you’re happily thinking that “That’s great! I don’t need to do any more backups” then we’d advise you to stop being so naïve.
Things happen, backups become corrupt, data might be unrecoverable and then you reliance on the hosting company retaining a single source of backups goes up in smoke. If your website is anything like most businesses out there then you’ll have pages with content and images, and blog posts dating back years: it’s depressing to think that you might have to start all over again.
So, how do we do it?
We take daily (or hourly, depending on your plan) backups of your WordPress business website at the server level and store those for four weeks (much like what any hosting company would do). We then take daily (or weekly, depending on your plan) backups at the CMS level: WordPress to three different locations for 12 weeks.
Then, we take a manual backups of your website (backing up via SFTP) once a month (and retain this for 12 months).
We can restore your business website to an earlier point of time when source files don’t contain any malicious code or hacking, and where all parts of the content management system can be updated and secured.
Backups aren’t a convenience, they’re a necessity. Some might say that Hostini’s backup strategy is a little bit of overkill. We’d argue that we have your interests in mind and that backups are the best contingency plan against many issues that may happen to your business website.
Looking for more information about our backups? Click here.