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Here’s why you absolutely need to back up your website

This is a photo of Nat RealToday’s awesome guest blogger is Nat(alia Real), Website Superhero, a Web Designer/Developer + Strategist helping world-changing women entrepreneurs get more clients and make a bigger impact with a strategically designed website, while making the tech stuff fun and easy. She also runs the rad DIY Website Maintenance Course that teaches entrepreneurs how to care for their website themselves. She posts about all things websites + dogs + pop culture on Twitter and Instagram.

Nat and I met at WordCamp Miami (and had a great time – she showed me the cool Wynwood District!) We have maintained our connection as active WordPress Women in the collaborative spirit of WordPress! I love her “badass” spirit and super fun blogging style and am psyched to have her as a guest blogger for Design TLC!

Note: As they say on my favorite Slate podcasts, “The following contains explicit language …”

This is a photo of a keyboard with a backup button

Image by GotCredit.com

Maybe the idea of backing up your website thrills you as much as that of waiting to cross the street in your favorite summer dress (the one that makes your tan pop) and some new cute sandals… and having a bus drive by and splash you with sludgy water. (Curse that driver and his offspring into eternity!)

But shit can hit the fan fast and — without backups to save the day? — you’ll be screwed.

Take Kelly, a fellow entrepreneur and business coach I met a couple of years ago. Neither Kelly nor her web designer had set up any backups (the horror!), and one summer day her hosting provider just — poof! — freaking lost her website. As in, it was gone. There was nothing there. No explanation, and no solution provided. And, of course, there was no backup anywhere.

Just pause for a second and consider it: how would you feel if you woke up one day, hopped on over to your website, and realized… it was GONE? And what if you called your host and they basically told you, “Too bad. Sorry! We can’t help you”?

I WOULD SCREAM. A LOT. And furiously inhale any cookies within reach. But maybe that’s just me.

So what happened to Kelly? She had to have her web designer spend hours and hours recreating her website from scratch. Which as you can imagine, is a scenario involving egregious amounts of stress, frustration, tears, hair-pulling, and — OH, right — time and money wasted, because you’re paying to replace the exact thing you already had. It was brutal for everyone.

And what’s more, Kelly’s bad luck didn’t end there. A few months after that happened, she updated her WordPress theme… and all her customizations (a.k.a. what she had paid her old web designer to design for her) were lost because her web designer hadn’t created a child theme to save the customizations. Which means that making that theme update on her live website led her to hire me and spend hundreds of dollars extra so once again someone could recreate the exact thing she already had.

How unlucky can you get, amirite?

Pretty freakin’ unlucky.

So listen, I get it: even thinking of setting up your website backups is BORRRRRRRRIIINGGGG.

But taking into account the kinds of BS that can go down, getting them running is one of THE smartest things that you can ever do as an online business owner.

So that if your hosting provider ever royally screws you over (because tech shit happens!)? Or your original web designer messed up? Or you were reckless and did your WordPress updates on your live site and your website broke?

You’ll have your website back up and running within 30 minutes. Did I mention for free? That’s the power of backups.

HOW TO GET YOUR WEBSITE BACKUPS GOING

Here’s my review of the best tool for the job: Backup Buddy. I set it up for all my custom website clients because it can cut the process from backing up your full website to bringing it back to life down from 24+ hours to under 30 minutes flat. Pretty amazing stuff.

NEED TO GET YOUR WEBSITE BACKUPS GOING CHEAPLY AND QUICKLY? (IF YOU HAVEN’T DONE IT YET, I’M TALKING TO YOU!)

Here’s an overview of what you gotta do:

  1. Grab your license of the Backup Buddy plugin
  2. Install the plugin on your WordPress website
  3. Configure it to do regular, automated backups for you
  4. Have the plugin send these backups to your favorite storage in the cloud (Dropbox, Amazon S3, Google Drive, etc.)
  5. And BAM, rest easy!
Wanna delve deeper to learn how to keep your website working glitch-free — and even how to keep people on it longer (ahem, that means higher conversions)? Check out Nat’s free 5-day “Superclean your website” challenge!

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