Our company first opened it's doors in the heart of a hurricane area in Miami, Florida. Having a backup "in case of emergency" was mandatory, at least for us. We decided that if our servers went down do to MOTHER NATURE, we needed an alternate hosting provider. We created our first disaster recovery system by using a separate hosting vendor in another coast to minimize downtime.
We decided to have an identical server in another location just in case. Our disaster recovery services are included in most of our maintenance programs.
Since we opened our doors, we have been backing up our files redundantly. Here is an example of a recent REAL WORLD situation that happened to a client.
We received a new sports client in 2012 that wanted us to do some SEO/Marketing/Submission work. Since we had not created the current version of his website, we were only responsible for the work that we were hired to do. This client had some custom "asp" programming with a unique "login" feature.
Recently, one of the "asp" files got corrupted which made the login feature not work. I advised the client to ask his hosting company to just restore the files to the server from the previous 72 hours. I was shocked when this "reputable hosting company" could not assist their hosting client.
I remember when I first sign this client up for SEO work, the first thing I did was backup and archive his server content "just in case". Well, I had to look through about 60 disks, but I found the disk with the first backup I did for this client, transfered the original files to this clients server and he was extremely happy that we did not have to "completely rebuild" his system.
He did mentioned that his system was over 10 years old and will eventually rebuild it, but he doesn't have to do it NOW. I estimate that WE SAVED HIM ABOUT $1,000.
Our disaster recovery services helped this client keep his system running.
Have you given any thought to how you would recover if your website went down? What would happen to your business if your webmaster got run over by a bus? How would you keep your website up and running? There are a lot of disasters out there just waiting to happen to your website. Here are a few common ones:
The hard drive on your server decides to go ker-plunk – that’s a technical term for hard drive failure.
Some wise guy hacker hacks into your website and posts unsavory material
Your webmaster decides to stay in the Bahamas after a routine vacation – OK, well, maybe not. But say he just gets mad and walks off the job. Do you know the passwords and how to access and update the site?
Maybe you are just switching to a new webmaster and you want a smooth transition. Whatever it is, it is important to have a disaster recovery plan for your website.
The basics of a disaster recovery plan:
Disaster recovery plans vary with each organization, so this isn’t an exhaustive list. But here are some of the basics to help you prepare for the worst:
1. Record your pertinent website information
Be sure that you know your login and password information. This may include some or all of the following:
You should also have the customer support phone numbers, email and other contact information for your website hosting provider.
2. Perform and save regular backups of your website
Most hosting companies and application service providers back up their server data regularly. However, you should maintain your own backups in case there is an emergency or you need to move to another provider quickly. Many hosting companies offer the ability for you to back up your own website through your hosting control panel, such as Plesk. It is also a good idea to keep copies of all of your files (i.e., images, videos, etc.) as well as the text of your website in an easily accessible location should a need for them arise.
3. Determine an implementation plan for recovering your website
Understanding what you will need to do in case of an emergency will help ensure a smoother recovery. Be sure to keep your backup data and login information accessible, and determine who will be in charge of restoring the backups or uploading the files to your new website.
4. Keep an extra copy of your website data in a safe place
Make sure that you have an extra copy stored off-site in case your main office is inaccessible. This might be in a safe-deposit box in a local bank, or for some small organizations, it may be at a trusted employee's home. You might even backup the data to an off-site backup service.
Whatever it takes, establish a disaster recovery plan, and protect your website. Disasters happen, but when you have a plan in place, you'll be better set to recovering quickly and getting your website back in order!