Why are backups so important?
Posted January 12, 2019 by Lee
If you have a website, then you might see advice telling you constantly to create backups of your website. It’s relatively easy to do this, and you can even use plugins in most cases that do it automatically for you. However, why do you even need to worry about it? Here, we explain how backing up could save you a lot of time and stress in the long run.
Avoid update failure
A vast portion of the world’s websites created with WordPress. Of those that aren’t, there is still a vast majority created on other template sites, where you use a centralised system to build your own customised and unique site where you often have to update either your plugins or your entire site, to get them up to the latest version.
However, now and then, something may go catastrophically wrong during these updates! Often it’s a case of a plugin not working with the new back end, or a setting that you’ve changed in the past is incompatible with the new system. Whatever it may be, it can bring your whole site crashing down – and that means you can lose everything overnight.
If you have backups available, you can restore your site to the previous backup, which means that you can have everything running again in no time at all. However, if your backup is a few months old, or you don’t even have one at all, you could lose a lot of your content and updates. Imagine having to restart your website from scratch! Even if you have your content saved to your hard drive, you’ll still need to repost and reformat every page and blog post you have ever put up. That could take a long time, and a lot of your sanity – and it’s all completely unnecessary.
Dodge service attacks
Rival companies, hackers looking for customer data, or bored teenagers with nothing better to do with their time – any of them might one day decide to take down your website. Whether they remove it from the web entirely or replace all of your content with their own (that makes you look bad), the outcome is the same: your website is gone, and you have no way of getting it back. That is, of course, unless you have a backup!
You’ll first need to find a way to make your website more secure, ensuring that they can’t come back and do it again – change your admin passwords immediately and lock out all other accounts, and contact your host so that they can also take action. You’ll have enough to think about with protecting customer data and repairing the damage, so it’s a weight off your shoulders to be able to restore the whole site by uploading a single file. That means you can focus on recuperating from the attack rather than trying to rebuild a whole online business overnight.
Easily duplicate sites
Let’s say that you have a successful online business, and want to start another. You need to have similar branding, and maybe even some of the same content. Your websites should look somewhat similar, even if there are to be a few changes. Alternatively, maybe you’re just moving your whole site to a new server and domain name to start afresh.
So, how do you do it? You could spend days painstakingly recreating the site and setting it up from scratch. Alternatively, you could spend minutes uploading a backup file, and then tweak the few elements that you want to change. It can be as simple as that. While it’s not a good idea to duplicate written content too much, as this negatively impacts the search engine optimisation of both sites, it’s still sometimes necessary to copy things over to a new site. With a backup in your arsenal, you can do that easily – and you can even use a past version of your site which you have since changed, so long as you saved it.
Backing up your site shouldn’t be an option, but rather a necessity. Next time you have the opportunity, get it all backed up properly – and save the file offline, somewhere safe!
Categories: Tips and Guides
About The Author
Lee is a Website Developer at Unlimited Web Hosting UK Limited.