Why and How To Backup Your Data (And Do It Often)
Do you think about what would happen if you lost all your files? You must backup your data and often. We’ll explore why and how in this post.
I know and work with some incredibly tech-savvy people who, in the past couple of months, several of them have had incidents where they’ve lost files, websites and months of hard work because they didn’t backup their files on a regular basis themselves. I want to share with you what their experiences have taught me.
First, no matter what your hosting company tells you, make sure you have a plan to backup your data yourself. In all of the aforementioned cases, they were paying their hosting company to handle the backup of their information for them and it simply wasn’t done.
Questions to Ask When Considering How to Backup Your Data
- What needs to be backed up? Ask yourself “What can I afford to lose?”
- How often does it need to be backed up? Weekly? Daily? Every time a change is made?
- How will you back it up? Are you going to use the cloud with a company like http://www.carbonite.com or https://www.dropbox.com? An external drive? Some combination of both?
- Where and how will you store the backup? External hard drives are great – but if there is a fire or some other onsite disaster, you may lose your data. And, realistically, hard drives can and do fail.
If you are an entrepreneur and the data is your own, your answer to the above questions may be different than a website designer who needs to keep their client’s sites up and running.
Questions to Ask When Considering A Backup Service
There are several services out there that you can use for backup but there are several items to consider when choosing one.
- Space needed (Allow room to expand as your business grows)
- Cost (Monthly fee? Annual Fee? One-time fee?)
- Accessibility (How easy will it be for you to get your hands on the data you’re backing up?)
- Ease of use (Do you understand the restoration process?)
Finally, once you’ve made your plans, document the procedures and keep a backup log. Remember to keep a couple of versions of your backup handy – just in case you inadvertently “save” a virus or malware.
Someone once told me, there are 2 kinds of people out there, people who backup because they’ve lost data or people who backup because they don’t want to be that first kind of person. It happens to all of us at some point.
- If you’re fortunate, it’s just that blog post that you were writing when your system locked up.
- If you’re moderately unlucky, it’s the loss of a website due to the sudden and unexpected shut-down of your hosting company (happened to me).
- If you’re really unlucky, your hosting company deletes your entire account “by accident” and tells you they cannot recover the data, but they’ll (grudgingly) give you a free month of service (happened to someone I know).
Be safe – Backup early and often!
If you are already backing up your data – where and how often? What service do you like? Let’s discuss.
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