New Year’s Resolution: Backup All Your Data

I know we’re nearly a week into the new year, and some of you may have already broken your resolutions, but here’s one you should think about: making sure you have a backup plan for your data. All your data.

If you run a website, make sure you have that data backed up. Don’t rely on your host, especially if you host in a shared environment. Some services will back up a certain amount of data but if you exceed that amount, certain data will not be backed up.

If you run WordPress, Automattic offers VaultPress, an automated backup system with plans that start as low as $5 a month.

I use the plugin, Automatic WordPress Backup, to back my sites up every night and store the data in Amazon S3. I used this method last night when my server at DigitalOcean crashed and they lost my site. Within 30 minutes, I had the server built, the database restored and the site back online as if nothing happened. Well worth it for the pennies I pay in Amazon Storage. This is a nice “set it and forget it” type backup plan.

What if you’re not running WordPress, but still using Linux? This one is not for the faint of heart, or those not comfortable with working in a Linux/Unix command line environment. This script by Eric Nagel grabs your databases (not just WordPress, any of them you want), your web directories and whatever else you want, zips them up (separately) and sends them to S3. You can specify how many previous days of backups you want to keep and the script will delete backups older than x number of days (I usually set this to 5.)

BackBlaze online backupWe also had an incident this week with some rogue water that affected a few computers.

At home and at work, we back up all our computers to BackBlaze. It’s a service I set up years ago and it just chugs away, making sure I’m always up to date. Restoring files is easy – you can do it online, have a flash drive or USB drive mailed to you or you can even restore files via their iOS and Android app.

Two times, I’m glad I had my data backed up. It’s too easy anymore to do regular backups, there’s really no excuse.