Web - Site Backup


Your server's hard drive crashed. Your site is hacked and hacker was kind enough who deleted all your files. Your web host disappeared with your money and your data. Even worst case there was earth quack and your ISP building is gone down and everything is lost.

Touch Wood!!! Nobody should face such a situation. But if you are not prepared for these situations, your hard work might be lost forever. That is why it is of the utmost importance that you keep regular backups of your data.

Now there are many questions :

  • How frequently backup should be taken?

  • Where this backup should be preserved?

  • What type of backup should be taken ?

  • Who should take these backup ?

Now let us answer these questions one by one:

How frequently backup should be taken?

If your site is not changing over a period of time then I will say take backup only once and keep it on your floppy or hard disc or data disc or DVD wherever you like. In case you need to restore it, just do it and see your web site up and running.

But if your site is changing over the period of time then it becomes very important to take regular backup. Web sites like amazon.com have very tight backup schedules and very expansive backup infrasturcture.

So it depends on your business and you have to see how much data loss you can bear. If you think it is not affordable to loss even a single day data then I would recommend to schedule daily backup and similarly you can decide if weekly or monthly backup are OK for you or not.

Where this backup should be preserved?

Most of the times backup is taken from one machine and put on different other machines or media. So if possible you should arrange a different backup server where you can FTP your complete data to be backup up. If this is not too much then you can keep it in floppy or data CD or DVD etc.

If possible, I would recommend to keep multiple copy of backup but with a very managed way to avoid any confusion. You should have a proper version control over the different backup.

There are many service providers who provide you different backup server with a very nominal cost and its worth to spend that amount on backup services.

What type of backup should be taken ?

There are two types of backup: incremental and full. This depends on what type of backup tools you are using. There are many backup tools like oracle provides their utilities to take different type of backup.

  • Incremental Backup - The backups controller compares the existing backup to the data that you wish to backup. If it is an exact match between the two, then no additional files will be backed up. However, if you have added or edited any file, these files will be updated in the backup, thus the incremental name.

  • Full Backup - Here all files are written to the backup, even if they already exist in the most current backup.

Who should take these backup ?

Simplest case is that you can login to your web server on monthly or weekly basis and copy all the web site related files on different computer or media. But this goes well if your site is having small amount of data.

If you have huge database and numerous files then it is difficult to manage such backups on everyday and weekly basis. So in that case you may need to have automated scripts to take this backup and to keep them at another machine or media etc.

You can write your shell script or perl script and go into different directories and collect all the files and zip them automatically, assign then a unique backup number and then ftp those files on a designated backup server or media like tap drive etc.


So now you decide how do you want to take your backup but I will say if you are web site owner then its is your religion to take regular backup without a failure otherwise.....results are very serious