In my day job I spend a lot of hours working on websites for clients of all sizes, on web hosts of all kinds from shared hosting accounts on services like Hostgator and WP Engine to RackSpace cloud servers to dedicated servers hosted at various data centers around the world. The one thing I have learned is if you depend on your website for any reason at all a backup of your website is worth your weight in gold.
Depending on your level of computing and website administration skill will depend on how you decide to backup your website. I always encourage clients to make manual backups of their websites occasionally. It might not be the most glamorous job for them to do managing their website but it could sure save them in the event a hacker gets on to their server or their server goes down for any number of reasons. Making backups using most web hosting control panels like cPanel are easy to do and it usually takes longer to download a copy of the backup that is does to make. Making manual backups is great but who wants to sit and do that everyday or every time you make a small change to your website. Thankfully cloud backups of websites has gotten much better over the years and you no longer need to be a Linux server administrator specializing in rsync to automate your website backup over the cloud.
- CodeGuard – I have several clients that use CodeGuard and I have to admit I am a bit of a fan of the service. It is easy to setup, does daily backups and probably the most important makes it pretty painless to restore websites. If you just need to backup your website and need an easy service to do it with CodeGuard is a great service to look at.
- Sucuri – Sucuri is more known for their malware scanning and clean up service, which I highly recommend if you need to clean up a hacked website, but they also offer a backup service.
- VaultPress – made by Automattic, Vaultpress is pretty impressive and if you have a WordPress powered website it is certainly worth looking into. It certainly blows the other WordPress backup plugins out of the water.
- Mover.io – Mover is not specifically a website backup service, but it can certainly be setup as one. The great thing about mover is you can send your files to the cloud storage service of your choice. This gives you more control over where your data lives.
- myRepono – I don’t know a great deal about this service yet actually. They appear to be based in the UK and offer a service similar to CodeGuard allowing you to backup your website files and databases. I am going to try them out if I can and will report back.
- Dropmysite – Based in Singapore they seem to have a bare bones backup that will download your website files and databases. Looks pretty basic and the prices don’t look to bad. Might be good for a website that is just starting out. From what I can tell it looks like they just download your website everytime instead of just the changes. Something to be aware of if you use them because it might impact your hosting bandwidth.
- SiteVault – this one is a little bit of a cheat because it does not backup your website to a cloud storage service. It runs on your local computer downloading your website files and databases to your local machine. From there you can upload them to a cloud service if you like, but it does make it easy to automatically backup your website and it is a one time cost for the software not like the services. Great for those that want the files on their own computers and have it scheduled. The company that makes the software looks like they are based in Romania.
- Backup Machine – This is another service I just recently found doing a web search. They appear to be based in the UK and offer a limited free plan. If you are just getting started with your website and it is not very large yet they could be a great place to start.
- SiteAutoBackup – I’ll be honest I have never heard of this company before working on this post. Looks like they are based in Langley, BC here in Canada. I get this feeling they are a reseller of another website backup service, but I have no real proof of that. I get that feeling because they also resell Livedrive on their website (which could seriously use a redo IMHO). If you have any experience with this service leave a comment would be interested to hear a users perspective.
- Comcure – Another service I found thanks to Google, but this one looks like even more of a mystery. The IP address for their website looks like a UK based site, but the WHOIS for the domain looks private. That makes me nervous if I am trusting a company with my data. They do offer a limited free account but your backups are NOT encrypted so I would avoid them. Not to mention when I signed up and logged in I was faced with a nice blank page instead of any kind of control panel.
Once you have a backup plan for your website don’t forget that you also need to a few other things like:
- Regularly check it to make sure it is working properly.
- Test you can actually restore your files and data.
- Make sure new files and data is included in the backup.
If you or your business relies on your website, having a service making constant backups of your website will help you sleep better at night knowing you will be able to restore and get back online and running again quickly.