What would happen if you woke up tomorrow and your web host had accidentally deleted your website, or your site has been hacked? Your entire Real Estate business will be affected! If you have a website, get your backup plan straight.
Why are Website Backups so Important?
There are five reasons why you should back up your website:
1. It’s not your web host’s responsibility to make backups available to you.
A surprising number of web hosts don’t back up your website regularly. Of the few that do, most of them simply do so for their own protection and don’t make the files available to their customers.
2. You need to be ready to react quickly.
Having an up to date back up in place will allow you to get back online quickly after a mishap. There are many reasons why you need to get your website back online quickly.
3. It’s your protection against viruses.
Web hosts don’t tend to proactively run virus and malware scanners against your website. Therefore, keeping a backup may be your easiest, and best protection; allowing you to turn back the clock after an attack.
1. Manual backups
Let’s start with the most low-tech method: manually FTPing your files to your local computer. The downsides, however, are clear:
- You have to remember to back up regularly.
- It can take a long time to download a big website.
- There’s no way to only download files that have changed (costing you time and bandwidth).
- You must manually monitor the download to ensure that it has completed properly.
- You need to create your own, logical way of managing and storing the backed-up files.
Should you choose to go down this route, let me give you some tips:
- Set diary entries and reminders to back up your website and make an effort to never skip the task.
- Don’t forget to back up your databases too.
- Keep a logical folder structure with the date as the directory name.
- Ensure that you back up to multiple hard drives, for maximum protection.
2. cPanel backups
Backing up with cPanel is easy. But there are some pitfalls to avoid. Let’s start with a brief explanation of how to back up, if you are hosting on a server with the cPanel control panel installed:
- Log into your cPanel control panel.
- Click on the “Backup” icon.
- Select “Generate / Download a Full Backup”.
- Select “Home Directory” in “Backup Destination” and enter your email address, before clicking the “Generate Backup” button.
- You’ll receive an email when the backup is ready.
But here’s the important thing: make sure you download the backup to your computer and keep it stored safely. You must remember to back up frequently and keep the backup files in a safe place. If your backups are stored on your server and your server goes down, you are essentially left without a backup.
3. Backing up to the cloud
A cloud solution is a perfect place to keep a backup. It’s ever-expanding and with most systems, is backed up and fully redundant.
With so many options, I’m sure it’s difficult to choose how to plan your backup workflow. Therefore, we’ll finish up with some final closing tips to help you move on from here:
1. Choose something that fits your budget and timescale
The full features of the automated solutions will cost a few dollars a month, but it’s important to weigh that up against the time and stress you’ll save over backing up yourself.
2. Decide on the best backup schedule
If you have a database or any other dynamic element, ensure that you back up at least once a day. Otherwise, back up as often as your website changes. And, if possible, schedule your backups to happen at the quietest time of your website to avoid any disruption.
3. Check your backups regularly
Several surveys have shown that the biggest pitfalls people make with their backups are that they forget to check them. Ensure that your files aren’t corrupt and that your back up contains everything you need to do a full restore of your website.