Every website is made up of files and pages, each of which is stored on a web hosting server. When someone searches for the site, all of those parts are brought together to reveal the actual website that we see when it displays from our home browser.
It is essential then, that the hosting server be functional at all times to ensure that the websites on it can always be active, live and seen online. You can imagine the stress of website owners then, if the server at any point were to fail.
Given that the computer server is a machine, there is always the possibility that it could indeed “crash”, despite claims from hosting companies that webmasters can expect a near one hundred per cent uptime.
However, even the hosting providers making these claims know that they can’t guarantee with certainty a complete and total lifetime without server glitches. With this in mind, it is imperative that there is a “backup” plan, and the more automated this facility, the better for all concerned.
What Is A Website Backup?
When you back up your website, you are protecting your data by making a duplicate copy of the original content. A backup can be done at different intervals, and stores your duplicate data at a different location in order to minimize the chance of loss if server failure were to occur at the point of the original website.
If your site “goes down”, a backup will allow you to recover from the mishap swiftly, retrieve your data and get your site back online quickly. In effect then, the reason for doing backups to your website is so that none of your original data is lost in the event of any accident or intent, such as the server crashing and losing your data or keeping it from being accessible, or in the event of a hacker gaining access to your account and deleting all of your website files.
Backups ensure that you can go back in time and use previously available details.
Responsible hosting companies will tell you in their FAQ and TOS that you should make your own backups, and this is especially true if you are doing it the manual way. With this method, you will be using a facility like FTP to download your website files to a local computer.
The downsides to this are that you have to remember to do the backups regularly, and the downloading can be very time consuming. You will also have no option to not just download files that have changed (all files must be downloaded) which is a drain on your bandwidth.
All downloads must be monitored to ensure that they complete correctly, and you must come up with your own way of logically managing and storing the backed-up files. There may, however, be a way around this typically draining process for you in the form of website automated backups.
For the hosting companies that offer automated backups, it could indeed be the most underrated web hosting feature that you may or may not be familiar with. Taking a lot of the burden off busy website owners, automated backups will run daily, weekly and monthly for all files, domains, emails and databases attached to your hosting account. Of course, you may expect to pay higher costs for this service, but considering the frequency with which your data is saved for future access, you may consider the price to be irrelevant.
Responsible hosting companies normally employ an automated backup solution on their shared hosting packages. They are set up so that your site is monitored, meaning that when any change to your site’s source code is detected, the backup process will implement for the affected files, keeping your original data fresh and up to date in case and when you need it.
You also have the option to make additional backups when required, and you don’t have to oversee any step of the process. Your data will be stored, but not viewed, at secure locations and can be downloaded to as many devices as you need. You can manage your automated backups from your control panel without requiring any technical knowledge or experiencing manual complications.
The importance of backing up your websites data becomes more obvious if you are one of the unlucky ones to have had your sites information accidentally lost or maliciously deleted. Whilst important for any business, all website owners need to conduct their activities without the added concern for the safety of their information files.
In this regard, automated backups of your hosting account ensure that your data is stored accurately, timely and securely with minimal burden and no interruption to your daily routine.