What does a good backup strategy look like?

A good backup strategy is essential for any business, and also for important personal files.

In the past, we’ve discussed why you should back up your website. In March 2021, we had a vivid reminder of why this is essential, when European web host OVH had a disastrous fire in a data center in Strasbourg which took some 3.5 million websites offline, and some users say they lost large amounts of data.

Whether or not your own web hosting service provider has redundant servers and backups of clients’ data, you should never leave responsibility for your backups to someone else. You, your organization, and those who depend on you will be the ones affected if you don’t make regular data backups.

create a good backup strategyWhat does a good backup strategy look like?

A good backup strategy has backups that occur on a regular basis.

How much data can you afford to lose if disaster strikes? A month’s worth? A week’s? A day’s? Consider this, and start setting up your backup strategy. For regular website backups, we recommend Updraft Plus Premium. It allows us to store backups in multiple locations of our choice, and with its one-click restore, we can restore the website to a working version quickly and easily.

Backups should be stored in different places.

Think of the sorts of incidents that can happen. A hard drive or server can fail or fall prey to other physical damage, as in OVH’s fire. A computer can be stolen. One way to address this risk is by storing multiple copies of your backed-up data in different places. For things like family photos, for instance, you might keep them in your computer, but you might also keep them on two external hard drives, one which you could store at home, and the other in another safe location. You would then swap them out regularly so they remain up to date. Or you might keep a backup with an online service that you could access from any computer. (Note: make sure you also use a password manager, and have access to your main password.)

You should have multiple backups.

The principle is called “redundancy.” As above with backups stored in different locations, the idea is to have backups of your backups, so that if something happens to one set of backup files, you still have another good copy to work with.

A good backup strategy allows you to restore your data.

If you’re making regular, redundant backups, and storing them in different places, but then find out your backup program has been corrupting your data and you can’t restore it, your backups are useless. You should test your backups on occasion to ensure they are working copies and you would be able to restore your data from them if needed.


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Alisa Cognard

Alisa was one of the first team members to join Red Earth Design, Inc. in early 2004. From data entry, she progressed to MySQL database manipulation and PHP coding. Alisa is responsible for all kinds of odds and ends: installing new websites, adding features to them, programming databases, PHP coding, website troubleshooting, website security, and organizational tasks for Red Earth Design.

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