An important question for all website owners: how long since you’ve backed up your website contents? Or even your own computer, for that matter?
It happen too many times, whether it’s a website, a computer, or a business server, backups are too often skipped over when time is short, and the result can be hours, days or weeks of lost business and revenue when hardware or software fails.
If you maintain your own website contents, either by way of static pages or a CMS, make sure you have a latest backup – you never know when things could go pear-shaped!
Where is my inspiration for this coming from, you may be asking? Because I’m helping someone right now to get past issues arising from their website going down unexpectedly and there not being an easy way to retrieve the content for re-deployment – ouch – thank goodness for Google caching.
The lesson learned: even if your site is hosted by your webmaster (even if it’s with us!), it never hurts to get a “latest copy” of the contents – just taking screenshots of the website’s main pages can be sufficient. Unfortunately things can go wrong – even in worst case scenarios, relationships can turn sour, and you don’t want to find yourself dependant on a provider for information that they may choose to withhold from you.
The rule of thumb I like to follow is “always have 3 copies” – that way, if you lose one copy because of some failure (hardware or otherwise), you’ll still have the original and another backup! In other words, unless you’re terribly unlucky, you’ll always have a backup.
Personally I’ve found that for my small business and home purposes, SyncToy works well – it’s a Microsoft product that allows you to syncronise locations, including a non-destructive backup (nothing ever gets deleted from my backup drives, only added or updated). Once it’s setup, it’s quick to plug in my drives one at a time and run the syncronisation.
There are plenty of other great backup tools and methods, though – feel free to share your stories or recommendations, you just might make the different to someone else’s business 😉
Go on, do a backup right now – you know you want to…