Posted on Jan 8, 2019

Understanding How to Back Up Data on Your Website and Why It’s Important

A recent Gartner study parsed by Retrospect shows that 43 percent of businesses that experienced a “major loss” of computer records were immediately put out of business. Another 51 percent permanently closed their doors within two years. Yet according to research parsed by the Data Network Group, 68 percent of small businesses still don’t have a disaster recovery plan and 58 percent of businesses have no backup plan for data loss, even though data loss is up 400 percent since 2012.

In today’s online business world, it’s not a question of if your business website will get hacked, but when and how. And it’s not a question of an employee making an error one day or data loss due to malfunctioning computer systems or compromised mobile apps and platforms, but when and how. Why? Because data is now the world’s most valuable resource. It is avidly sought after, easily and regularly transferred and exchanged, and utilized to drive all types of business decisions.

Succinctly put, routine website backups are now critical to your online success and longevity. Continue reading to learn more about why backing up your website is important and how you can back up the data on your website.

Why You Need to Back Up the Data on Your Website

Website backups can help website owners mitigate a disaster. It helps recover their website content and important customer and business-related data when needed while keeping it reliable and up to date. Here are a couple of the top reasons to back up the data on your business website.

Circumvent Major Losses Caused by Employee Errors or Other Technical Disasters

Accidents and mistakes happen, especially employee errors. Even if an employee accidentally deletes a file, database, or even your entire website, website backups will allow you to recover previous versions of it so that you don’t have to start from scratch or lose all of your important content files or data. With regularly performed website backups, you can circumvent business disasters and reduce the likelihood that you’ll experience a major business loss.

In addition, technology isn’t always reliable; computers and servers can and do crash all the time. So, you’ll want to make sure you have your database and website files backed up and saved in your archived files on an external drive or somewhere in the cloud in case of technical difficulties.

Regularly scheduled website updates don’t always go as planned, either, and can accidentally delete, corrupt, or damage certain files or even entire websites. But routine backups keep website files archived so that they are always nearby and accessible. If a routine website update goes haywire or causes more problems than solutions, your reliable backup files will be good to go.

Keep Your Business and Customer Data Safe, Secure, and Useable

When you routinely back up business and customer data on your website, you are keeping it secure and up to date. Hackers may try to infiltrate your databases or website, but routine backups will make sure that your website remains malware-free and that its data and files remain encrypted and secure.

When open source content management systems like WordPress update their core files, for instance, hackers can infiltrate websites and databases that aren’t up to date via bots, malware, and other tactics. But websites that are backed up are a lot less likely to be hacked, and their customer and business data are less likely to be stolen or compromised.

Overall, routine website backups keep your business and customer data safe and secure so that customers continue to trust and rely on your business when placing orders or requests because they know that their confidential information is safe. Website backups also prevent your online competition or hackers from gaining access to your databases, which will compromise the integrity and value of both your business and customer data.

Furthermore, if your data has always been reliable and current, you’ll be able to use it to make better business and marketing decisions.

How to Back Up Data on Your Website

Luckily, there are a few different ways to back up the data on your website.

Have Your IT Team Schedule Manual Backups or Manually Save ZIP Files

If you have an IT staff, you can make sure that they schedule website backups daily or as needed. However, this can take some time to do manually. They will most likely seek out and want to rely on automated systems or platforms that will perform the website backups on a pre-arranged schedule. You could also reach out to your website developer to see if they can conduct a website backup for you, although they are not likely to do this on a regular basis since their focus is typically on building websites and not performing routine backups.

If you are the sole administrator and owner of your website, you could manually save data files and ZIP files from your website to your hard drive, cloud drive, or to a flash drive every day or weekly. But this can become extremely time-consuming, especially if you are trying to run a business, and eventually, you will run into storage issues. Plus, frequent maintenance can bog the system down.

Implement Auto-Backups

See if your web hosting provider offers website backups that are automated each day or multiple times a day. This option is one of the easiest, most cost-effective, and most hassle-free ways to back up the data and files on your website, as well as all your databases. You would usually only spend a few dollars (or less) a month for daily automated backups. This option even helps you restore portions of files or databases as well as entire sets of files and databases in case you experience a computer glitch or accident. Additionally, you’ll be able to download ZIP files of content and data on your website to your hard drive or cloud drive to archive and view at any time.

And if you want to be extra cautious and prepared, you might also want to rely on a third-party backup service for an additional layer of security and disaster recovery. Here is PC Magazine’s The Best Online Backup Services of 2018. But these services can sometimes get expensive.

Rely on Plugins

If you have a WordPress website, you probably already have access to backup plugins that you can install and enable on your website. To see the pros and cons of some of the more popular options and how to use them, view this list.

Luckily, coding and advanced technical knowledge are not necessary at all to back up your website.

For even more details on why website backups are important, read The Importance of Website Backups, and don’t forget to contact your web hosting service to see how easy it is to implement auto-backups for your new or existing website today.