Web Hosting Data Backups

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For all too many people the first time they consider the question of how (or even if) their web hosting service backs up their data is the day after their data has been irretrieveably lost. Most service providers only keep very recent backups (1 or 2 days). Unfortunately, by the time most people realize that they have serious problems on their site the backups also contain corrupted data.

Good backups are your last and best line of defense!

  • If your hosting service allows it, start by scheduling weekly (at a minimum... daily is better) automated backups.
  • You should also perform weekly backups of your mySQL tables
  • Copies of these backups should be copied to another environment (downloaded to a a PC or copied to another web hosting service) on a regular basis (monthly or weekly). This protects you against something really bad happening to all of the files on your hosting service.
  • Copies of the copies should be archived in yet another location or by another member of your organization.

Don't overlook security in all of this... if you are using portable disk drives you may want to consider encrypting or password protecting them to protect your data in case of loss or theft.

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