We get asked a lot about backups for your website (frankly for all things technology, but that is for another post) and why they are so critical. It is so vital to have regularly scheduled backups that they can actually make or break your website and business. Most people do not think of it this way if they are not in the trenches with business owners who have a colossal issue OR worse NO SITE AT ALL with no backups available!
I have been in the ditches with business owners who utilized big-box hosting for cheap with no backups, and the person who built their site has vanished like they are on the witness protection program…Did that make your heart drop…It did for me! All of the websites and companies that we have recovered for one reason or another had a few prevalent things in common.
These two things alone make me recoil as a business owner and someone who assists businesses with all of their technology. It should terrify you if you do not have some backups AND a hosting company that is diligent enough that they have backups for you in some capacity.
Okay, the last comparison, I promise. Think of your website as a giant snake that you have, for some reason, as a pet. Everything is just fine most of the time until one day it bites you. The bite will vary depending on where it happens on your body, but either way, it will be painful to some degree. Typically, most websites have a lot of moving pieces that people don’t ever even see and can cause a little pain and be fixable to cause death to your company. This sounds crazy and exaggerated, but I promise that if you have seen everything we have and had to work with the crying business owners who just lost their whole eCommerce business, you would be terrified like we are for companies who do not have backups.
Let’s go one step further and talk about why you shouldn’t just have the initial backup taken when your site launched. It would always be best if you had regular backups taken of your site. Whether that is every hour or every week, that is up to you, but you need it, I promise. There are a lot of reasons why you should do this but let’s breakdown three critical reasons why scheduled backups are needed.
If you are lucky, they have provided you a backup of your site’s newly launched version, but most do not do this. This friend of a friend who built your site does not have a plan of action if your website goes down or has a massive issue with an update that breaks all the things a year later. Honestly, most people never talk to their builder again when they are doing freelance work or working with agencies that do not provide hosting and maintenance plans.
Over the past 4 years, we have rebuilt tons of sites that got shafted, in some manner, due to having some issues AND NO backups ever. It is super frustrating to watch because you spend tons of time and money building it out the perfect site, doing the marketing, SEO, etc., to get everything moving flawlessly. You are smooth sailing along at a beautiful place, and BAM snake bite! Total waste of your entire investment of time and money and successful growth. As a business owner, you need to ask these questions to anyone who can touch your site in any capacity so that you know the responsibilities and that most of the time, it is only your responsibility (read the fine print).
These three things can take your site down and are always lurking in the background waiting for the perfect timing and conditions to strike. If you have scheduled backups, this is not as painful for you. You might only be missing a couple of orders or contact submissions, which still hurts like that snake bite a little, but you can be back to business quickly. If you did NOT have backups or only one from a really long time ago, then you are going to the emergency room and going to get a hefty bill IF your site makes it out alive.
Hackers and malware are like vultures looking for vulnerabilities on your site. These vulnerabilities are exploited, and bad things happen. They cause varying levels of damage depending on what they do. For example, a hacker can make changes to your site to redirect your home page to a competitor in the areas or put things on your site that are not appropriate. There are a million things that can occur, but if you have a backup, you can restore your site to the backup and be well on your way.
Sometimes updates can cause the pain. This is why backups, managed hosting, and maintenance plans are so important. Some updates do not go as scheduled, some create conflict, and some have permissions that go wonky. All of these things can happen even if you are monitoring closely and always up to date like the best of them. Things like these are the reasons why backups exist and are critical. You can not have too many backups.
This is one that will hit the hardest if you do not have backups. What is a user error? It means that you, as the user, did something to the site when you were logged in and caused an issue. This issue is something that you could not undo for whatever reason, and you now have a busted site that you cannot fix on your own. This means that you have to hire someone to undo everything you did without knowing what you did, which can be very expensive in cost and time that your site is down. This could also mean that you are fixed up quickly because you have a scheduled backup that you can use to roll back the site with.
I have been one of the people who have had to tell an owner that they destroyed her website to the point that we can only rebuild it. Talk about heartbreaking for everyone involved. (Happy side note: the owner got a managed hosting plan with us after rebuilding the site and has daily backups. Hooray!)
If you need help getting some backups set up, there are many services and plugins that help with this if you want to do it yourself. Ensure that you schedule yourself to double-check that the service or whatever you are using is working correctly at least once a month if you are going to do it yourself. It would suck if you did all that work to get backups in the right place and come to find out, in an emergency, that they were not working correctly. Just be careful.
OR save yourself the trouble, pain, noise, and tons of money with one of our monthly plans, including backups for your site. Easy Peasy!
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