We all know how important it is to back up your important documents. Every business will spend time protecting itself against disaster by backing up important files onto external servers, cloud storage systems, or good old-fashioned paper.
However, the same vigilance is only sporadically applied to backing up websites. At least four times a year I come across a business where the worst has happened – some virus, accident or human error has deleted their website, and they have no idea who (if anyone) might have a back-up.
The Problem – whose responsibility is it?
Contrary to what some people suspect there is not a set person whose responsibility it is to backup your website. This is something which you absolutely must ask and double check – or you may find that no one has been backing up your site at all. Most people in the industry agree that it is your hosting company’s responsibility, but many hosting companies will claim otherwise.
Hosting Companies – double check and hold them to account
Your hosting company should do daily backups of your site. This is a simple process and is a service included as standard by most professional hosting companies. However, you do get what you pay for. Cheaper and less reputable hosting companies do not always automatically backup their websites and this is something you should always check.
Why designers and developers won’t have the backup you need
The truth is, for anyone other than your hosting company, taking up-to-date website backups are simply impractical. They would have to capture your entire website and any database information and load it to an external server – this would be a manual process which would be unnecessarily time consuming.
The limitations of standard designer/developer back-ups:
- Most web designers will have an archive of their old web designs saved – but the design is only one part of your site and they may only keep a copy of your homepage and inner page template, not the actual content of your whole site.
- Your web developer will probably have all the information from your site when it was launched, but if you use a Content Management System this will be out of date, and only partly useful.
- The longer ago it was that your website was launched the greater the chance that the archive has been deleted, moved or that your individual file has become impossible to find
- Even if the files are found they might be very out of date (especially true of CMS websites)
- What happens if your original web designer or developer goes out of business? If no one is backing up your website you could end up with no one to turn to.
Our hosting service
We include daily backups as standard for all the websites we host and maintain so there is always a very recent backup to revert to if the worst happens. Our service is also particularly secure as we only host websites which we have built and are responsible for – which makes it far less likely that we’ll be hacked and run into problems in the first place.
If you’re not sure who is responsible for backing up your website and would like some advice feel free to give us a call.