The importance of backups!

8 replies
OK, first off apologies if this belongs somewhere else - though I figure this discussion will be relevant to most IMers.

Now to many of you it may seem like a no-brainer to keep regular backups of your websites and databases, and when most think about it I imagine they will come to the same conclusion. However If I had to guess, I'd say there are plenty of people out there just like me - careless on the matter.

Earlier this week my FTP was either hacked due to a vulnerability on one of my websites or affected by malicious code of some sort. I had nearly 50 websites up and running, many of them rarely touched and somewhat forgotten, many hours of work over the years non the less. Some were personal websites, some for friends or groups I socialize with and of course a number were the foundation of my online business.

I recently began a new service and have been spending quite a bit of time working on and improving the websites I deliver - so this couldn't have come at a worse time. Sadly after several days of cleaning up and attempting to rebuild/restore my recent works, more and more issues surfaced that effectively undid all my efforts. As I couldn't afford to waste any more time working to have it all lost again and again, I chose to nuke my hosting account and start fresh - which I'm somewhat glad about now.

Now to the point of this thread - all my troubles could have been easily solved if I had kept regular backups of my work. This is something I did when I first began web development, however as I never came across security issues/loss of data - I became comfortable in a false sense of security. I stopped keeping backups, my FTP became fairly cluttered and eventually I stopped thinking about what I would do if something went wrong all together. Due to this, I lost a week of my time, rebuilt the same website nearly four times, and have been stressed as hell throughout the process.

As I mentioned above, I'd wager that there are many others out there like me, who don't keep local backups of their websites - Whether it be due to carelessness or simply lack of exposure/knowledge. I would like to help spread awareness and hopefully this thread will help a little.

Moving forward I will be keeping weekly backups of my sites, and several times throughout the development of a new project. I urge those of you who aren't already doing this to start, today! It takes so little effort, and can save you countless hours and headaches. I also had a notion that my hosting company would be of more help if something were to go wrong, which wasn't the case - and no fault to them for it really. You need to be responsible for your own websites and data.

So please, keep backups if you're not already, it could very well save your ass one day .


#backups #importance
  • Profile picture of the author Patrick
    Well you should always keep a backup ..NO MATTER WHAT

    Just last week a client of mine lost his one year of hard work in 6 blogs.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eko Ventures
    Yep, most of what I lost that was important I managed to get partially up and have started building upon. I got very lucky in a number of ways with the end result, I'm a bit glad that I now have a nice clean clutter free slate to work with, a fresh start so to speak.

    That said, the time lost wasn't worth it, nor was the stress of dealing with it. Keep backups, in this business it's your livelihood!
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    • Profile picture of the author twmaffun
      Backups are really important :/

      Unfortunate story you shared there, once I wrote a landing page from scratch, pure html, took around 5 hours, forgot that I hadn't saved it, and accidentally unplugged my computers power(tripped over cord ). Lesson learned.

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      • Profile picture of the author paul wolfe
        Originally Posted by twmaffun View Post

        Backups are really important :/

        Unfortunate story you shared there, once I wrote a landing page from scratch, pure html, took around 5 hours, forgot that I hadn't saved it, and accidentally unplugged my computers power(tripped over cord ). Lesson learned.

        Ha - that's the kind of thing I do.

        Last year I dropped my Macbook and tried to break its fall with my foot. Hard Drive still broke - as did my Big Toe! When I got a new hard drive installed and went to my back ups - I found to my horror I hadn't backed up for 5 months!


        If you have a WordPress site, install the plug in for automatic back ups.
        If you have a Mac, get Time Machine and have hourly backups.
        If you have Awebber - take a back up of your list every other day.

        You can never be too careful with backups. Takes a few minutes to sort out - could save hours and hours of work.
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  • Profile picture of the author EliteIM
    After researching on this very likely risk of losing all hard work to a HDD failure, I had came to the conclusion that the best policy is to have a combination of online and offline backup. Do take back-ups on External hard drives but also invest in online backups. If not a Virtual Private Server then at-least a back-up facility which updates in real time.

    I have a friend who is into IM full time. Never bothered to backup his data, and then one day suddenly his HDD crashed- and crashed to such an extent that no data recovery agency managed to fix it. Poor lad almost had to start from scratch.
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  • Profile picture of the author stealthpromo
    Even better than all these suggestions... is this handy little script. Set and forget...I use in on two of my hosting accounts to keep my client's sites and data safe if the above situation ever goes down. Its really easy to use too.
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