Most website owners don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place at all. Most people think about “what could happen” until it happens. Have you ever heard the phrase “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?” Plan ahead – before it’s too late
When you’ve worked in both corporations and small businesses for extended periods of time – you get to see how both sides get things done. A small business owner doesn’t need to ask permission to do something – they just get it done. A corporation has slower wheels of progress, as things must be approved at all levels. Then again a small business owner that wears many hats only has time (and expertise) for so many things. A corporation (that is ISO certified) must have certain processes and procedures in place, with the right expertise assigned to them. Corporations that are ISO certified in various areas usually must have a “disaster recovery plan” in place, that is tested at best annually.
The bulk of webiste owners online are small to medium sized business owners. Most of them get some type of leads of sales from their websites, and have invested extensive time and money into them over time. If the website was completely lost tomorrow, they would lose time and money putting it back together – not to mention the sale and revenue lost.
As a website owner, here are some things you should know about disaster recovery:
- Webhosting companies (even those that have backup) are not responsible for your data (read their terms and conditions
- Most webhosts with backups only keep the 1 revision of the data
- Most webhosts charge a fee to process a backu or restoration request
- Most webhosts keep backups at the same facility as the server (sometimes the same server)
- In the last several years multiple webhosts have lost thousands of websites data through failed hardware or other mishaps
- Never pay for extended terms on a webhost (annually, etc.), becase you should be “ready to move” at all times (just in case)
- Never rely on a webhost to backup your data
- Always have an “offsite backup” that can be used to restore your site on ANY webhost in case yours goes down, out of business, or has a DOS attack, etc.
- Use a service, plugin, or application that saves “versioned” backup and save 7-30 days worth of versions so you can move back to any point in time
- Restore your website in a test area to make sure your disaster recovery plan actually works
- Have a trusted WordPress developer you can call if you run into problems
About WordPress and Disaster Recovery
Most of our clients use WordPress to manage their websites (some don’t). One thing we always tell them is:
“WordPress is software. Software needs to be maintained just like Windows on a computer.”
WordPress has 3 areas that need updates on a regular basis:
1. WordPress itself
WordPress, themes, and plugins are written by different developers. As updates come up – conflicts can arise, and things can (and do) break. If you don’t update you can leave security holes open (and hackers can exploit them and break in).
So for our WordPress clients, we also say to them that in addition to a disaster recovery plan, you need a separate (staging) area to upgrade and install (and test) upgrades and updates before putting them live. This is a very good way to routinely check and test that your disaster recover plan for your website is working.
If you need help with your website backup and disaster recovery plan, please view our WordPress security page for detailed information.