Creating a high quality website requires investment. To offer something of value to visitors you have to invest time, money or both into designing your site. And as with any other kind of investment you need to take steps to make sure it’s protected so you don’t lose what you’ve built.
If you want to sleep well at night knowing your site is safe one thing you need to do is make sure it is properly backed up.
How To Backup
Even people who know the importance of protecting their data avoid backing their site up because they don’t think they can handle the technical side of a website. This is understandable, most people are intimidated when they first look under the hood of their website. Just remember that you can learn any of this, and if you’re serious about running a website you have to.
The basic steps involved in this process are downloading the files that make up the website and saving them somewhere. To backup your database and any other files on your site you are going to need to access the location where they are stored.
The easiest way to get to your files is by using the administrative tools offered by your web host. If you set up your the website then you likely had to log into and use this tool. Popular options include cPanel, SysCP, Plesk and DirectAdmin. For detailed instructions on how to find the proper files using your host visit the WordPress website. If you don’t know which type of control panel your site uses then contact your webhost.
One of the most comprehensive ways to access your information is using a FTP or SFTP client. The most popular options include FileZilla, SmartFTP and Classic FTP. This can be even more technical than working with an administrative panel but once you get it setup you can download all the files you have hosted fairly easily.
Now that you have your files downloaded its time to make sure they are somewhere safe. The most common place to store files is on your computer’s hard drive but there are many other options. If you plan on working on your site across different locations and computers consider web-based storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox. For something mobile and physical there are external hard-drives. These options range from free to a couple hundred dollars, it all depends on what kind of size, safety and flexibility you’re looking for in data storage.
A Word of Warning
While dealing with the inner-workings of your website doesn’t have to be intimidating you still need to practice caution. As you access crucial files to copy them you will often be just a click or two away from accidentally deleting them. This can be especially disastrous if you haven’t backed up your files before.
The best way to avoid accidentally damaging your site is making sure you know what every tool does before using it. If you’re unsure of what to do search the web for further instructions, do not click around blindly.
You can always call on IG Webs a Huntsville Web Design to maintain your website
Backing Up Regularly
Backing up your site’s database is a step in the right direction but if you want to truly protect your data it’s a step that needs to be repeated regularly for as long as you care about the site. You should be updating your website regularly and if you get complacent because you backed up your data once you may end up losing years worth of data you added after the initial backup.
There are two basic ways to make sure that you have a recently updated copy of your website. The first is setting a backup schedule and performing the task manually. If you go this route you need to find a way to remind yourself. To save time consider performing all your website upkeep tasks on the same schedule.
The second option is automating the process by using one of the plugins available. As of writing the most popular is UpdraftPlus, though if you search the WordPress Plugin directory you will find a wide range of options. Each plugin has different features and so you want to look into your choices before settling on one.
Both of these options have advantages and drawbacks. By doing things manually you can feel confident that the job has been done right and you never have to worry about giving a third-party plugin access to your data. On the other hand, it can be a tedious process and a plugin isn’t going to forget to do its job. You have to make a decision that’s right for you, considering any plugin carefully before downloading it.
The Importance of Keeping Your Data Safe
The convenience of modern technology has improved our lives in countless ways but it can also lead to complacency and overconfidence. We all know how fragile physical documents are and digital information can be destroyed just as easily. Your site could be threatened by physical damage to the server, a hacker or even a careless button push. Having more than one copy of your data can turn any of these disasters into a minor annoyance.
Backup your data regularly and save it in a few different locations. Having your database on your server, on your hard drive and saved to a cloud-based hosting service ensures that even if two of your options fail you won’t lose your valuable data. If you are committed to your website then you need to be committed to backing it up.
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