When is the last time you backed up your website? While your host likely takes care of that for you, it’s not wise to rely on that as your only source of a backup.
Craig Lockwood recently shared a scary incident that should cause all of us to run out and grab an extra backup right away:
Due to an admin error, my webhost deleted 27 sites of mine from my VPS server last week. Deleting all sites without my permission and without taking any sort of snapshot/mirror/backup. The webhost did apologise but pointed out that their terms of service state that they are NOT responsible for any loss of data. Even if they deleted the data themselves. I naively put my trust in the ‘experts’. I am an idiot. An idiot who feels physically sick when I think about the loss. I am still in mourning. I have a lot of work to do to rebuild various client and project sites and will be pointing domains to new servers over the next few days. So please, stop what you are doing and back up your data now, I wouldn’t want anybody else to have to go through this.
Granted, most hosts are good with their backups. I’ve requested that HostGator and ClickHost restore various backups for me at times, and they’ve been great. However, I also keep my own copies just in case something goes wrong on their end.
Craig is a smart guy and made backups, but kept them on the same server with his sites. When the sites went away, so did his backups! If you use WordPress, there are a lot of great plugins that will help you to keep things backed up consistently. Some of the most popular include BackWPup and BackupBuddy. You can also use a management solution like InfiniteWP or ManageWP. All of those solutions offer a variety of ways to back up your sites — email them to yourself, save them in Dropbox, save them in Amazon S3, etc.
If you use a reputable host you’ll probably never need to use your own backups, but I look at it similarly to life insurance. It’s a relatively small investment that you need to make, and you’ll probably never get a return from it, but if bad things happen you’ll be so glad you’re prepared.
So how fresh is your most recent backup?