With data being such a valuable currency for modern business, most people now understand how important it is to have a comprehensive backup plan in place to protect their vital files. Unfortunately, when drawing up a website backup plan many small businesses focus only on their internal data and neglect to ensure that their website is also fully protected. The following are some of the reasons why this is a mistake.

Hosting Server Failure

This is the most common way in which websites can be lost. However much you pay for your site hosting, hardware failures do still happen from time to time. Your web host may or may not have been keeping regular backups of their server data, but especially if you’re hosting is of the lower-end variety, any backups may not be as recent as you’d like. In some cases the server failure is so severe that backups are compromised as well. Keeping your own backups away from the hosting company solves this problem and provides an extra level of protection. Here are some stats aggregated by Datto for the data loss.

Software Updates Going Awry

Back in the days of static websites, once a site was published as a set of HTML files that was more or less the end of the matter until the content or design needed an update. Nowadays, most modern business websites run on some sort of third party software to provide dynamic and interactive functions. For security reasons it’s always a good idea to keep any such software you’re using up to date, but unfortunately sometimes upgrades don’t go to plan. Especially when a site is using plugins and other software from multiple sources, upgrades can cause conflicts and break a site. If you have a recent backup, it’s easier to roll back the changes until the source of the problems can be located and fixed.

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User Generated Content

Many sites nowadays rely on interaction with users to make a more compelling experience, and as such, customer comments and so on are a vital part of the site’s function. If mishap strikes and the site is lost or corrupted, can these comments be easily restored or will they be lost forever? Apart from backup you can also consider using Disqus as comment platform for your site. Like other major sites we at TemplateToaster blog also use Discus Comment system. It is quite easy to manage spam and signups using this platform.

Traffic and Transaction Logs

Ecommerce sites can generate a lot of data behind the scenes,  including page view information and transaction logs. Much of this data is extremely useful for marketing purposes, and indeed some of the more sensitive data needs to be retained and protected for legal reasons. Making your own backups of this data keeps matters in your own hands rather than relying on a third party to cover your back.

Compromised Sites

It’s an unfortunate fact that sites of all kinds attract the attention of hackers from time to time. Even if your own site is secure, you can’t always rely on your hosting company or their other customers to run a tight ship. If your site is compromised for any reason, restoring from your own backup is likely to be easier and more successful than trying to unpick the damage. What’s more, keeping your own secure off-site backups ensures that the backup files themselves can’t be compromised as part of the same hacking attack. Nowadays most of the sites run on CMSs and according to IBM’s SecurityIntelligence 2014-15 were years of CMS hacking. You can restore a backup prior to the hack if you have one, otherwise you do not have any option except finding and running a CMS antivirus plugin to find out the injected code.

Design your sites yourself with added backup feature using TemplateToaster Website builder

As Andy Brice says “Your hard drive *will* fail – it’s just a question of when”. So whether it is your data on local drive or a site working from your hosting provider’s drive, never rely on single option, have regular backups on multiple places.

Conclusion: A well designed backup plan should be an integral part of any SMB’s strategy, and this applies just as much to a website as internal company data – so make sure you’re not left stranded should the worst happen to your site. Here is a list of top backup plugins if you are using WordPress. You can also use a Web design Software like TemplateToaster which has inbuilt data backup option for WordPress.