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 .