The unthinkable happens. Your website breaks, gets hacked, or sometimes completely stops functioning. You’ve carried out all the simple checks, but nothing helps.
This is where your recovery plan comes into action. These are put into place to prevent this kind of thing from becoming an issue. While things can and do go wrong regardless of how prepared you are, having a website disaster recovery plan is vital. It can make the difference between saving or losing your website.
If you don’t have a website recovery process in place, you should. Let’s take a look at the steps you need to take in order to get that started.
- Backups – Just like writers keep copies of their manuscripts in case they spill coffee on the working one, you should keep a backup of your website. This is not a step you can skip, or leave to chance. If your current website is lost, and you have no backup, you could be looking at having to rebuild it entirely. Make sure you store secure backups of your website externally to your hosting platform. Don’t just stop at one, ideally, you should have 2-3 backups of your website stored in different locations for redundancy purposes.
- Maintenance – If you keep your website maintained regularly, you have a much higher chance of spotting and fixing something before it becomes a bigger problem. Ensure that someone is responsible for maintaining and performing security updates to the website. These should be carried out on a weekly basis. Before any updates are performed, don’t forget to take a backup of your website.
- Content Updates – Updating the content on your website will typically happen on a semi-frequent basis, although this depends on the type of website that you have. Have a plan in place for any content updates to be performed after a backup. Ideally, you’ll have a second pair of eyes to confirm the content update is visible correctly on the front-end. This can help to stop any embarrassing typos.
- Uptime Monitoring – Unless you have nothing else to do, you can’t sit and watch over your website 24/7. However, you can set up monitoring for your website so that you can check to ensure that it’s online and working correctly. Services such as Uptime Robot (link: https://uptimerobot.com), will let you set up a free monitor that checks your website every 5 minutes. If it detects downtime it will send you an email which means you can review as required.
- Passwords – It’s important to carry out a regular password audit every 2-3 months. Ensure that you only use strong passwords for your website and store these using a secure password manager. You should also take care to review who has access to your website and whether that access is needed on a continued basis.
- Contact Details – Make a note of the contact details for any companies involved in hosting or managing your website. For example, you’ll want to note your hosting company, domain provider and email provider as a minimum. Having these details handy helps you to respond to a disaster more effectively.
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