One of the services we provide is web hosting, and often times, we work with clients whose websites are hosted elsewhere that want to move their website to Barred Owl Web infrastructure. Most of the time, moving a website off of one hosting platform onto Barred Owl Web infrastructure is quick and simple. At most, it takes an hour of my time.
Unfortunately, in some circumstances, my clients’ previous hosting provider isn’t responsive to repeated requests for access to the client’s website assets. In other circumstances, my clients’ websites (previously hosted elsewhere) were taken down, sometimes at no fault of the client.
However, the end result for both kinds of circumstances is the same: The original website is gone and there is no way to get it back. A new website must instead be built, sometimes at a big expense for the client.
If you are a nonprofit organization (or any person or entity, for that matter), regardless of who hosts your website, you should always back up your data. One of the most important parts of a web host’s service is the access they give to their clients’ data.
We take security very seriously, so our system is slightly more complicated than most hosting providers. Yet we still grant all of our clients access to their data at their request.
If you do decide to backup your organization’s data, one thing to keep in mind is that most websites operate on top of a CMS (Content Management System). Older websites, on the other hand, were built with static files (read about the difference).
If your website runs on a CMS such as WordPress or Drupal, then not only should you backup the files, but you also need to make sure you backup the database that contains all of your information. Otherwise, you’ll only have a “shell” and no data!
Do you backup your website regularly? Why or why not?