If you aren’t tech-oriented, website backups may seem like an unnecessary step to take. After all, what can having a backup do that all of the latest security features can’t?
But the truth is, in many ways, regular website backups are the most potent form of protection you have against all the worst things that can happen to your business’ website and data overall.
Today, we’ll take a look at a few reasons why we always advise clients to make regular backups of their websites and how those backups can save you a great deal of trouble in the future.
Simplify Testing Changes
Whether you want to visualize a different website design or test newly installed applications, immediately introducing changes to your live page can quickly lead to disaster. Compatibility issues could render parts of the page inaccessible. If you add significant changes while your site is live, it could leave your users confused or create a frustrating navigation experience. If you choose to take your site offline first, you’re potentially losing revenue.
We test every website redesign and other significant changes by using a backup in a virtual environment. While not live on the web, such an environment lets us test a webpage as though it were, seeking out functionality issues and allowing us to make tweaks before taking it live. Doing so keeps downtime to an absolute minimum without disrupting your users’ experience.
Bounce Back After Missed Hosting Payments
When you use a hosting service like GoDaddy or WordPress to host your webpage, you have to pay the hosting provider for the service. Should you miss a payment, you may lose your account and everything in it. Most reputable hosts will make multiple attempts to reconcile the issue with you before taking this step, but once they do, the host will delete your files, and you won’t be able to recover them.
Rather than let an innocent mistake cause you to lose business (to say nothing of what you spent on a professional web design), schedule regular backups and save them outside the space your host provides you. Should you ever let a payment slip, you can restore the most recent version of your page after opening an account elsewhere.
Security Against External Threats
Hacks, malware, data breaches, and other external attacks cause chaos for you and your customers. While professional website maintenance emphasizes following the best security practices, attacks against servers and databases constantly evolve. Secure passwords and two-step authentication may not be enough.
When your website is compromised, your host will work with you to boost your security measures and change all your credentials for safety’s sake. But what do you do when hackers destroy your site’s code? Restoring from a recent backup takes very little time and offers a comprehensive restoration compared to manually searching through the code for changes.
Safeguard Against Simple Accidents
A flustered employee makes an errant click, and sections of code get deleted. You try updating your inventory list with a spreadsheet file, only to realize afterward that a column or row was incorrect. A computer with seemingly no issues suffers a fatal error and crashes, leaving the hard drive inaccessible.
These aren’t rare occurrences, but they can be devastating and costly to reverse without a backup. You can set up conditions in your host’s control panel to automatically replace your live site with a recent backup to mitigate the harm. However, in some cases, like computer crashes, having your backup stored locally will do you no good, so make sure you have copies stored externally.
Make Host Migration Easier
A recurring theme with backups is that they help you prepare for the unexpected. A problem that many site owners encounter but don’t anticipate is the need to switch hosting providers. It’s not always the result of a bad relationship or some technical disaster. Still, as an online business grows, it often outgrows the services their host provides and shops around for a solution.
Switching hosts require you to move all of your files from your old host to your new one. It can be a time-consuming process, but with backups in place, you’ll have done the difficult work already. Rather than manually downloading and centralizing all of your files, you can simply use your backup for the transfer and get your site running again much sooner.
Not All Hosting Plans Are Created Equal.
Does your hosting take regular backups? And what’s the fee if you need to revert to a previous backup? Some hosts can charge $250 + for this task, which is a regular occurance for many websites. How many websites does your host have per server? For many hosts this can be up to 1000, which is not only a security risk, but it also slows down your website, affects your SEO and overall client experience.
Backups can save your online business, but it takes more than that to maximize your success. At Seedling Digital, our Gold Coast web design team specializes in professional web design, web site management, SEO and other marketing efforts, and custom brand design and branding (including logo design). If you need a hand designing, building, or optimizing your business website, reach out to us today.