Don’t wait until it’s too late to ensure your site really is backed up.

Website Backups: Insurance

Backups are set up on your website, but is your site actually being backed up regularly?

Many site owners never check on their backups until they need them. Suddenly, the try to restore their site only to find out their backups are either outdated, don’t include all their files or they just don’t work.

Whether you’re handling backups yourself or through a third party, always double-check that your site is being backed up correctly. The last thing you want is a crashed site and nothing to restore.

Check Backup Settings

Your first step is to check all backup settings. If you’re using software or a plugin to back up your site, you likely have default and custom backup options. Choosing the default could leave you without all your files and folders being backed up. For instance, if your theme and blog posts are backed up but not your image files or plugins, you’re going to lose a large portion of your site should anything happen.

Even if you web host or a website maintenance company is doing the backups for you, read all the fine print to ensure all files for your site are being included in backups. The idea is to backup a complete replica of your site, not just parts of it.

Don’t just stop at the settings though. Check the backup storage location. Are the files there? Are their backups for the scheduled dates? In most cases, you’ll only keep a set number of backups. If any are missing, you should find out why and what happened.

Work With A Trusted Company

Backing up a website is a little different than backing up your documents on your personal computer. Trying to do it on your own could mean you miss important files. For instance, if you’re only backing up site files, but not your database, you’ll lose your pages and blog posts during a restore.

This is why it’s often better to work with a skilled web support company to handle all backups for you. Not only do they perform regular backups on your entire site, but they also validate your backups to ensure they work. When you need a backup, they’ll even restore your site for you. It’s a hands off approach that still gives you peace of mind.

Backup And Backup Again

Relying on just one form of backup is like committing website suicide. For instance, if you’re doing it yourself, you shouldn’t just back up your site to the cloud and call it a day. Back it up to an external drive and the cloud. Even if your web host is performing backups, schedule your own as well. It’s better to have twice as many backups than find out you don’t have a reliable backup when you need it.

Ideally, you should make your own backup before and immediately after any major changes. The backup schedule for your site may only be daily or weekly. Having those extra backups prevents you from losing any big changes until the next scheduled backup.

Validate Backups

In a perfect world, every backup would work flawlessly. You’ve done everything you can to make sure backups are actually scheduled and happening. The last step to making certain your site is backed up is to validate backups. While you don’t have to validate every single one, choosing random ones gives you a good idea as to if the backup software you’re using is working correctly. Validating backups after major site upgrades is a must as well.

Conclusion

Never just assume your site is being backed up. It’s up to you as a site owner to check that backups are being done and that they’re being done correctly. When it’s your site on the line, you don’t want to lose all your hard work just because you didn’t check on your backups. Set a regular schedule, check that everything’s being backed up and validate your backups. Do this and you’re ready for the worst.

Don’t want to handle backups all on your own? Contact FatLab and let them take care of all your backup needs, including validation.

Image: GotCredit