You don’t realise how important backups are until you need them, and sometimes you have to learn the hard way before you truly appreciate a good backup. We learned our lessons a long time ago, and we like to be well covered in the event things might go wrong. There’s also more to it than just storing a single website backup.

Not all website backup policies (and web hosting providers) are created equal

Many budget web hosting providers don’t prioritise backing up client data. Either they don’t provide backups at all, don’t backup very regularly, or charge extra for the service. We’ve seen web hosts that only back up client accounts once a month or once a week. There’s also those that only back up for their own disaster recovery purposes with no consideration for individually client accounts at all.

Many web hosts also make data backups solely the client’s responsibility – but it’s completely impractical for a typical client to manually download 10GB or more every night via FTP. We take care of all this for you. We offer robust, secure and trustworthy backup services as standard included in our prices.

Reducing backups is usually one of the first cost-cutting measures for a budget web host. Backups are an expensive part of any web hosting service. In order to back up your data we need to keep enough overhead on our servers to handle temporary files, enough processing power to handle compressing archive files, and network throughput to transfer these offsite. We also maintain both local and off-site storage space, so for every 1GB of data you use for your website we use 4GB of space once it’s copied over three different backup services.

We run multiple backup systems of varying levels to cover us for everything from complete disaster recovery, to full client account backups, database backups, and the possibility to restore individual files. Here’s an overview of our backup systems.

1. Full server backups

Once a week we do a full back up image of our servers. These are for disaster recovery purposes since we can’t access individual files. We also create a server image before any major changes.

2. Local incremental filesystem backups

We use a dedicated backup system running on a local server in the same data centre. This transfers incremental changes nightly through the local network. This backs up the entire filesystem in a very efficient way, so we can restore individual files and directories for our customers.

3. Daily local database backups

Included in the local incremental backups is a daily database backup. We do a database dump of our MariaDB server and store this on the local backup server along with the daily incremental backup.

These backups contain our entire database and we can extract the databases on your account if needed.

4. Off-site individual account backups

For accounts under 20GB in size we also generate full backups of your hosting account daily and store these off-site on Amazon Web Services. These full account backups contain everything in your hosting account – all your mailboxes and email, your website files, your databases, and all settings and configuration.

For accounts over 20GB we can arrange a custom off-site backup solution as part of our Management & Support package.

5. Need custom backups?

Some of our managed customers also have hourly on and off-site database backups. We use a custom script to dump the database, encrypt it, and send it offsite for extra peace of mind. This kind of backup is useful for customers running web apps and collaboration tools where data could be changed or deleted by team members. This hourly backup allows them to roll back to any hour in the past week and helps pinpoint any coding or user errors.

We like having peace of mind that your data won’t ever be lost, even if our data centre was wiped off the map in a natural disaster. If you like data security as much as we do, then consider moving your web hosting to us. If you have any questions or need to retrieve any of your data, just contact us.

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