One of the worst surprises a business owner or professional can face is finding that the content of their website — including company information, fancy graphics and blogs — are suddenly gone. Lost web content can lead to frustrated customers, missed opportunities and damage to a business’ online reputation.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who encounter this exact situation after dedicating thousands of dollars and countless hours to a site’s design and components. While it might be possible to scrounge up some of your lost content using the Wayback Machine or Google cache, in many cases the only way a business can fully recover data is if the content was backed up with offsite data storage.
For anyone who isn’t yet convinced, below are the three most crucial reasons to implement a website backup plan right away.
1. Most hosting sites don’t run automatic backups.
Many people make the mistake of assuming their website’s hosting platform is already backing up their content on a regular basis. In fact, most hosting services don’t run scheduled backups (Even if they do, the stored data and content is often maintained for the host’s protection, rather than the user’s benefit.)
2. Hacking happens.
Sometimes, web hackers will deface large groups of websites without actually removing any of the sites’ content. But if a website is individually targeted, chances are greater that the hacker has permanently destroyed the data. If this is the case, a reliable backup source is the best and fastest way to restore a website to its original state.
3. It helps to have a security blanket.
Even if you’re lucky enough to avoid hackers and data loss, there is a certain peace of mind that comes with having an online safety net. For an even greater sense of security, professionals should implement more than one method of backup — just in case the first safety net fails.
Kevin Muldoon at Noupe.com offers step-by-step instructions for using WordPress’s built-in backup function, and for backing up data through the popular hosting platform cPanel or the mySQL administration tool PHPMyAdmin. For users who are in search of a more hands-off approach, automated backup services will get the job done without requiring the user to monitor or repeat the backup process.
Increasingly, businesses and individuals are opting for cloud backup services, which give users the ability to store their content in a third party data center. Using this method of storage, companies can either funnel data through an on-site appliance that transfers content to cloud storage or, as Marketwire recently highlighted, run website backup directly to the cloud from individual systems.
Whether you decide to use WordPress’s backup function, cloud storage, or an automated backup service will depend on amounts of existing data, personal preferences and your optimal time commitment. Taking control and protecting against an attack or an error, before it happens, is a simple and indispensable way to safeguard your business’ content, digital assets and online presence.
Erik Reiber Erik studied in Philadelphia and now works at a technology magazine. He enjoys freelance work when his schedule allows for it.