Backing up your website – manual versus cloud
In my previous article I discussed why you should back up your website. Now I’m going to look at a few of the ways you can do this, as well as any downsides to the method chosen.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
One option for a manual website backup is to manually FTP the files to your pc, but unfortunately there are a few disadvantages to this.
- You have to remember to back up the files yourself.
- You need to decide on your own method of keeping your backups in a logical way – one that is easy to restore from.
- It can take a long time to download content from a very large website, and you can’t only download the items that have changed.
Once these files have been downloaded to your local computer it might be a good idea to store them on more than one hard drive or even send them to your Dropbox or Amazon S3 account. With a simple script, this can be set up to run as a scheduled task and save you having to do it manually. However, you should still monitor this daily to make sure the copy has taken place successfully.
While any manual backup can be transferred from your local pc to a cloud solution, there are specific programs or plugins that could do it for you.
If you are using WordPress, one of the simplest methods to back up your site is using the VaultPress plugin. Not only can it be set to an automated schedule, but it has other nifty features like restoring to an alternate test site or scanning your page for any suspicious activity or files.
Offering various levels of pricing depending on the size of your business or website, CodeGuard will back up your website and continuously monitor it for changes. As soon as a change is detected it will perform another backup. You can manage all backups from a dashboard and view different snapshots in time similar to that of Apple’s ‘Time Machine‘ backup.
If it is simplicity you are after, then a cloud solution may be your best bet. Having an automated backup schedule that is monitored by someone else, with your data being stored in the cloud, is by far the smartest choice.
Priority One – Cloud Backups