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backup your website

Getting a message from a customer informing you your site is down is embarrassing, not to mention the negative effect it could have on sales. We highly recommend that you take steps to ensure this never happens to you.

While we recommend that all our clients back up their websites on a consistent basis, for whatever reason, not everyone does. The same goes for your computer. If you’ve ever experienced a personal computer crash, you know the pain it caused. The hours, if not days, of troubleshooting and rebuilding. With that in mind, think about what happens when your website server crashes. What do you do?

This recently happened to one of our clients whose website we don’t host. Their website was down for nearly 14 days. Unfortunately, they weren’t aware of it for the first 5 days. Not only did they lose potential business, but it also proved to be a detriment to all the hard work we invested in their SEO rankings (that had bottomed out). Luckily, the database was unaffected, so we backed that up right away. Unfortunately, the hard files were corrupted and were so damaged that their hosts’ tech support pretty much gave up. We made the decision to move their site to a more reputable host. Using our development backup files along with the downloaded database, we were able to put the site back online. Fortunately for this client their SEO rankings also picked up relatively quickly.

Backing up a site is easy.
Wordpress-driven sites have many 3rd party options available that will enable backing your site. A common one being the plugin, UpdraftPlus. Load the plugin via your WordPress dashboard. You can backup, restore a backup and even clone your site to migrate it to another server. It offers scheduling so you can have backups done at regular intervals, but be careful as your server space or cloud storage can become full in no time.

You can also backup via your hosting company. You should have server access for your account and through your cPanel be able to backup your entire hosting account, or just the parts you want. cPanel has a Backup Wizard that allows you to backup and download your copy. From here you can upload it to a cloud storage server or local disk. It also offers a restore option which works with any backup you’ve created.

If you are capable enough, you can backup your hardfiles manually either via the Filemanager in your hosts cPanel or using a FTP application such as Fetch or Filezilla. You just need to copy all the files in the public_html folder.

However, these are just the static files. If your site uses a database, you’ll need to back that up also. In cPanel, go to the phpMyAdmin tool, select the database that corresponds with your site and click on the Export tab. Choose the Quick Export method, stay with SQL as the output format, and click on the Go button.

Keep this database and your public_html files in a secure place like a local computer storage or cloud storage option.

Note: Make sure these files are placed in a folder that you can name with a date.

If your site is small (meaning not overloaded with image files), one WordPress plugin, I recommend is Duplicator. It will clone your database and WordPress files into a simple backup file with an installer file that will allow your site to be re-installed on any host. Caution though, is that it only backs up the WordPress installation, not the extra files and folders you may have sitting in your FTP directory.

Another important tool is to have your site monitored by a service like Sucuri. Sucuri will scan your files and let you know if your site incurs downtime or if malicious files have been detected. They will even make recommendations or fix the problem themselves.

In conclusion, we highly recommend that you have your website and data backed up regularly and store offline if possible. Being in the age of data security, we all know about the damage that can be done whether internally or externally to our data by malicious methods or by mistakes through server updates. Having peace of mind knowing that your website data is safe allow business to go on.

If you need help to ensure that your website is safe and secure, please contact us today.

frank beecham


Frank Beecham
Mystique Brand Communications