I remember that day this happened. It is the worst case scenario for online micro businesses. It’s the kind of thing they’d make a 70s disaster movie about.
A major hosting company deleted all the data from a number of virtual servers.
Sounds like technobabble? Well, that data was people’s websites. All gone. With no way of bringing them back. The only option was to rebuild the sites from scratch.
Why does this happen?
Your hosting company takes responsibility for creating an area where you can store all the files that make up your website. Basically, a server is a big computer. You could, in theory, host your website on your own machine. However, this is a VERY bad idea as you’d have to make sure your machine was on all the time, protected from advanced hackers and never broke down.
The hosting company will perform maintenance on the servers to ensure they stay running but sometimes things go wrong. I used to look after just over 100 sites when I was in my corporate cage, keeping an eye on them and performing maintenance to ensure they ran smoothly.
I have every sympathy for that big hosting company. There would be emergency meetings, people called out of bed, others wandering corridors spitting and swearing and once it’s over, a heckofalot of alcohol would be consumed.
Who did this this?
I’m not naming them. A quick Google search will bring up the name. To be honest, this could happen any time. The reason it’s such a shock is because it rarely happens. We come to rely on our hosts because – well they’re not in the business of losing websites.
Unless your hosting specifies that it will back up your site and guarantee you 100% uptime then you’re at risk. And if you’re not at risk, you’re probably spending £££ on hosting.
For the vast majority of people in their first few years of business, we’re on this type of hosting. I am. My clients are. My fellow solopreneurs are.
Let me make this clear: this can happen to anyone, any time.
What can I do about it?
If you have a back up of your website, you’re going to be OK.
When I say YOU have a back up, I mean YOU. Not your host, YOU.
The only way to guard against this is to be doing regular, off host back ups. Then you have all the files you need to pop your website back onto a new hosting server (either with the same company or with another, more on why you might choose the same in a minute). You can be back up and running in anything from an hour to a day.
How do I back up?
There are two back up systems I recommend:
The free one – Updraft Plus
The paid (and a bit more techie) option – Backup Buddy
And please please please back up to remote storage – Dropbox, Amazon S3, your own machine (not so secure, but pop it onto an external hard drive too).
Can you do it all for me?
Sure thing, Sweetcakes. I offer a full website management service including daily backups, all updates, speed and security optimization, and 24/7 monitoring AND unlimited website edits. Boom!
If that sounds all that and a bag of chips, get in touch with me and we’ll have a chat to see if this would work for you.