Anyone who has a web presence on the Internet should deal with the topic of website backup. The creation of your own website usually requires a lot of time and usually also a not to be despised monetary effort. Only with the help of a current backup copy can you reliably restore data in the event of loss or compromise. Everything you should know about the topic can be found in the following article.
Why are backups of your own website so important?
If your own website is publicly accessible on the Internet, it is exposed to various dangers. The biggest threat is hacking. Unauthorized persons try to gain access to their own website and to change the content there. Subsequently, the owner is often blackmailed or the website is misused for its own purposes without the operator’s knowledge. This can also be illegal actions for which the website operator must then be responsible.
But not only willful attacks by hackers pose a danger. An unpredictable technical error can also be a threat to your own website. This can be hardware failures or general problems with the server or in the infrastructure of the web hosting provider.
All these threatening circumstances can lead to the loss of the data of the own web presence and the website no longer functioning. Especially with commercial offers on the Internet such as online shops or web services, this can have serious financial consequences for a company. However, the loss of data is also an avoidable inconvenience for private users.
When should backups of your own website be made?
Now that it has been clarified that backups of your own website are important, the question arises when you should create them. Basically, it is advisable to create a first full backup immediately as soon as your own website is ready and available on the Internet for the first time. In this way, an optimal starting position can be created. If something should happen to the website in the future, it can be reset to the initial state at any time using this backup.
Additional backup copies are necessary if the content of your own website is continuously expanded or a content management system such as WordPress or Joomla is used, which is supplied with updates and updates over time. If the data of your own website changes continuously, then new backups must also be created regularly in order to always be up to date in an emergency.
How are backups created?
Backups can be created automatically or manually. Depending on the web hosting package and provider, the web host takes care of the data backup accordingly. In the case of cheap shared webspace packages, backups are usually created, but there is no guarantee that they will be available to the customer in the event of an emergency. The customer is always contractually assured of current data backups only in higher-value tariffs, which also incur higher monthly costs.
Although the host takes over the creation of backups, every website operator should also protect themselves with manually created backups. These can either be created manually by downloading all data from the website or, depending on the content management system used, organized using plugins. For the popular CMS WordPress, for example, there is a large selection of different options, which we will explain in detail in the article Data backup of a WordPress web hosting. When creating backups, you should also pay attention to the completeness of the data. In addition to the files directly in the HTML directory, the database entries are also included. A later restoration is only possible if all data is properly backed up.
When creating backups, there are basically three different ways in which they are technically created. Depending on the method selected, there is a correspondingly high data transfer and a corresponding amount of storage space is required. Especially with large and extensive web projects, the choice of backup type has a major impact on effort and costs.
- Full backup: All data of the website is completely backed up here.
- Differential backup: All files that have been changed since the last full backup or have been added are backed up here.
- Incremental backup: Only the files that have been added or changed since the last incremental backup are backed up here.
The right medium for data backup
Finally, it has to be clarified which medium is the most suitable for data backup. In order to prevent possible data loss, it is best to use different media. Keeping the data backup on the same server as the website is comfortable on the one hand, but on the other hand, it can become a problem if the hardware is damaged. It is better to outsource the data to another server. Cloud storage is also particularly popular since the operator usually protects it against data loss. A local data backup to an external hard drive, a USB drive or a special NAS system can also prove useful in an emergency.
Backups are very important for website operators and should not be neglected. Especially entrepreneurs who run a commercial website should definitely consider a comprehensive backup concept right from the start. In addition, the backups created should be tested to ensure that they can be used for functional recovery in an emergency.
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