Good maintenance begins with regular backups of your website and database.
We cannot stress this enough. Good maintenance begins with regular backups of your website and database.
Many hosts do not provide a daily backup of individual websites and the ones that do typically charge a fee.
Do not rely on your web host.
It doesn't matter if you don't have a blog or don't make any changes to your website, if you want to ensure your website stays up and running you must do regular backups.
Website hacking is much more common than you think and even well-written sites using the latest design standards are vulnerable to being hacked and hijacked.
Another scenario that comes up with surprising regularity is web hosts that disappear without warning.
We have had multiple clients come to us after a host has suddenly gone out of business.
If you have a complete backup including database and files you can usually get yourself up and running on a new host in about an hour, but if you don't have those backups you will have to rebuild your website from scratch.
In most cases, rebuilding a site from scratch will take time and money you may not have.
How you do the backup depends on how your website is hosted and if you're on a CMS.
- CPanel: If your web hosting account includes CPanel you can easily do manual site backups with the backup manager. Simply choose the partial backup option then download your database. When that is finished go back to the backup manager, choose partial backup and download the home directory. Yuor web developer can also set this up as an automated task. NOTE: It is important to make sure you download these files to your desktop or a cloud service like Dropbox rather than your leaving it on the server because many hosts automatically delete backups from your directory after 7 days..
- WordPress: If you have a WordPress website there are many free and low- cost plugins available to automate daily, weekly, or monthly backups of your website. Our favorites include BackWPup, Duplicator, and UpdraftPlus. These plugins are easy to install and use, and all three have free versions.
There are too many CMS options to cover every possible scenario, but backing up your website and database is considered a routine task and is relatively easy no matter how your website is set up.
If this is something you don't have time to manage yourself, check with your web developer to see if they offer a maintenance program. Most developers offer maintenance as an add-on service for a nominal fee.