You don’t work with any sort of technology that doesn’t remind you that backups are important. But none are as important to me as the backup of your website.
Having a solid website backup plan can save both of us a lot of time and trouble if a day comes where everything has gone wrong. Like a hacker compromising your account, catastrophic hard drive failure or a rogue employee logging in as you and deleting all of the content on your site.
Backups aren’t something we get excited about but, if bad things happen, we’ll both be happy they’re there.
Questions about anything you see in this report? Contact us.
The Importance of Backups
If you have ever dropped your phone in the toilet or had the cold sweats as you try to turn your computer on in the morning only to hear a ‘click, click’ of your hard drive not turning on – you know the importance of having a proper backup plan.
A common misconception about backup plans is that any one will do. A good backup plan is three-fold: automated, stored in a safe place (more on that later) & redundant (more on that later, too).
Depending on how often your site is updated with new content, your backups might be processed daily or weekly. They are usually done at the end of the day or very early in the morning. The backups are considered ‘full backups’ meaning that the database and the files (images, PDFs, etc) that go with your site are in one tidy ZIP file ready to be transported or restored in just a few clicks.
Having automated backups means that no one is forgetting to do them. They’re always there for you, like a good neighbor or chocolate & wine.
Backup Locations & Restore Points
Almost more important than the schedule and the readiness of your backups is the location.
Without boring you with specifics of the permission levels on the folders within the directory of your website files on the server (I’m sure that sentence alone put some of you to sleep), there are some folders that backups should go, some folders that they could go, and others that they shouldn’t go. Some backup tools will place the backup files in the main directory for the website, which is public. If an attacker gains access to your files on the server, they can infect the backups or otherwise use the files within the backup to gain more information about the site.
Our backups are stored off-site and stored redundantly. Meaning that the backup files are not stored on our server and are actually stored in two different locations. So if I was to really have a bad day and my hosting company and/or server were to go down for an extended time, we’d be able to get things back up and going with another server relatively quickly.
Another important feature of your backups are the number of backups that we store. Based on how often information changes on your site, we have implemented daily, weekly or monthly backups. Depending on what backup system is in place for your site, there might be anywhere from 10-200 restore points for your site. A restore point is a full backup that we could restore at any point. Having multiple restore points is helpful in the case of a hack or malicious attack. If a hack goes undetected and is stored in a backup, rolling back to that restore point won’t do us any good if the bad code is still there. The likelihood of having many faulty/infected restore points decreases over time, so more is better in this regard.