Have you backed up today?

Posted July 3, 2021

The old adage of “real men don’t backup” is long gone, and really should have been “stupid people don’t backup”. It is stupid to not have multiple offsite backups of your website, particularly if you make money on it.

You need not just multiple backups, you also need to actually TEST how to restore everything if disaster strikes. Have you tried this? You should. We’ve seen (and experienced) trying to restore a backup only to find it was maddeningly convoluted.

Disasters happen. They can happen at several levels. At the simplest level, someone deletes a post by accident. This is easy enough to recover from the backup. Or is it? The problem is the backup has the entire site, and what if there have been other changes since. Now it’s suddenly not that simple any longer, because if you restore the latest backup you might lose changes since then, or even worse – customer orders.

Let’s take it a step further – your site gets deleted. By accident or by malice, this can happen. What then? How do you get it up and running again fast? If you’re running a WordPress site, you need to set up WordPress again, install the program you took the backups with, and then… Wait, you didn’t save the backups on the webserver did you? If not you can just restore it from your offsite backup (here is where the offsite comes into play), but if the backup was just a copy on the server itself, your site or shop is now basically burned to the ground and gone.

What happens if the datacenter where it’s located burns? Rare, yes, but it’s happened before. So your backup was offsite, but still in the same datacenter? Then your data was burned to the ground as well.

For a multitude of reasons you should not trust a single backup location, or backup program – what happens if the files are defective due to a bug in the backup program, and all your backups are basically unreadable? You need backups at multiple levels, and locations.

It might sound overly complicated, and you might think we’re paranoid. Chances are you’ll be fine, and will never need it. But think of it like insurance. You’ll be really happen you have it, once disaster strikes.

So, how do we do backups in-house?

We do it at 3 levels basically – from the outside we take snapshots of the entire server within our hosting system. We can use those to near-instantly restore a complete site – even elsewhere if needed.

At the second level we do it in the server itself, where we take backups stored both on the server (for a quick restore), and copies stored remotely.

Finally we do it within WordPress (with for example UpdraftPlus) – this takes a copy of your website to 1+ offsite locations, and can do it frequently. This also allows us to do offsite development of a site, where we copy the site to the development server – do the work, and copy it back.

So yes, we use both several belts, and multiple suspenders. Once set up, it runs by itself (we still test it periodically to make sure the backups actually work), and our sites are protected against all but complete armageddon for what amounts to peanuts compared to the cost of redeveloping a site.

It has actually saved our butts more than once (but that’s an even longer story).

Integrating Shopify and Amazon – why you should do it
In the world of e-commerce, one thing is certain: You need to make your products ...
Google Analytics is not as reliable as it used to be
Google Analytics is a powerful tool for tracking and analyzing website traffic, but it’s important ...
Why you should use CloudFlare – and what is it?
CloudFlare is what is known as Content Delivery Network – or CDN for short. So ...
Your website speed matters
Do you know how fast your website loads? Does it matter? More than you think. ...

Contact us

Have an idea a problem a question a project in mind?

What are you trying to achieve?

Let us know what you have in mind, and let’s see what we can do.

Need to solve or improve an IT problem? Let’s have a chat.

Have an existing site you need refreshed? Let’s look at it.

Is your website performing horribly? We can fix that.

Talk to us.