In the past people paid special attention to how they stored their most valuable information. It wasn’t easy to make copies of documents and paper could be threatened in a wide variety of ways. Now people feel safer because computer files feel safer. The key word here is “feel,” files can be damaged or even lost if you aren’t careful.
Even your website could be lost. It’s easy enough to set up a new WordPress site but if you don’t have a backup of your site then you’re going to be forced to start again from square one. Don’t let this happen to you, plan ahead and protect yourself now from whatever life might throw at you and your website.
Use A Trustworthy Hosting Service
Do you know where your computer is stored? The most obvious answer is “online” but the internet is just a collection of computers that are connected together. Your website’s data is stored on a computer somewhere.
Don’t feel too bad if you don’t know where your website’s data is physically stored, the vast majority of website owners don’t. What you should know is how trustworthy your host is. You might want to pay as little as possible on web hosting but if you cut corners here you may end up trusting your data with people who don’t treat it properly. Make sure your site is being hosted by a reputable hosting company that has a proven track record of keeping data safe.
Keep Your Site Backed Up
If something happens to your site and your data is gone or corrupted you should have a backup somewhere so you can get back to work as quickly as possible. The easiest way to do this is to download a plugin that will back your site up online automatically. Just search for “back up” on the WordPress plugin directory and try to find a plugin that is well reviewed and kept up to date. Also, remember to check from time to time to make sure it’s working properly. We looked at a few in a past post, so you can start there if you feel overwhelmed by all the available options.
In addition to online backups you should also consider downloading your data and saving it on your own hard drives. The more places your data is stored the better, as they say when it rains it pours and you might find that something has happened to your online backup system at the same time your on-site data starts running into problems. This sort of backup requires you to take the time to manually save your data, so unless you do it regularly you still might have to revert to an older version of your site. Still, whatever you save is going to be work that you don’t have to do again.
Secure Your Site
While your data might be lost due to accidental deletions or damage to the hard drive it’s stored on you also have to think about the threat of hackers and viruses. A few preventative measures can help defend your data from these.
Keep your data updated. WordPress is good about keeping its software up to date, but not everyone actually updates their site. Your site should be running the latest version of WordPress and every plugin you have installed if you want your site to be safe. Most updates are released to deal with exploits so the more outdated your site is the more ways there are to crack into it.
Simply changing a few things about the login process can do a lot. To get into your site you need a username and a password, if you choose these wisely you can defeat a lot of hackers who go after sites with the weakest defenses. Change your username from Admin and pick a password that’s as complex as you can handle.
Keeping Your Valuables Safe
This is just the start of steps you can take, there are all sorts of things you can do to make your site safer. It may seem like a lot, but these things can all be done relatively easily, especially if you’re just starting out. The longer you go without taking these measures the more exposed you will be and the harder it will be to change bad habits in the future.
If you just use your site for fun then maybe losing your data won’t be too bad, but if you use your site professionally then a loss of data can be extremely painful. Investing in professional web design is something every serious business should do when creating an online presence and if your website goes down and you don’t have a backup of your design you might have to pay to rebuild the site from the ground up.
These are all common sense solutions to a problem that can hit anywhere. Don’t wait, take a few minutes now to protect your investment.
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