Website Security Pillar 4: Keep Good Backups

We're still talking about website security this week for Cyber Security Month this month. And we're up to day 4!

Pillar 4: Keep good backups

Website backups are one of my soapboxes - and something I struggle with, just like everyone else.

Backups for your website, though, are one of the most critical things you can do to keep your website safe.

I've heard the horror stories about what happens when websites get hacked or go down without a backup available. It is indeed scary, as appropriate for the season!

Automatic Backup Options has plugins that make backups of your entire site so you can restore it at the click of a button. A couple of my favorites are BackupBuddy (I'm an iThemes affiliate) and All-in-One Migration.

Shopify has backup apps too, although I'd still recommend exporting your information as .csv files occasionally. I'm that extra, EXTRA backup kinda gal.

Most other website platforms, like Wix and Squarespace, will not technically need backups since they maintain and update the software that runs your website for you. However, you can make a copies or records of your website elements such as layout, styling, content, and graphics to have a backup if something goes wrong.

Manual Backup Options

Even if you use an automatic backup plugin or app, I still recommend keeping copies of your website content and graphics, as well as your branding elements like fonts, colors, text sizes, and line spacing. And finally, I'd keep screenshots for the major website pages in order to see the layout - how the website looks online - in case I needed to rebuild it.

Here are the steps:


*Make a copy of your text content and put it in a document you can access elsewhere - a Word or Pages doc on your computer, a Google doc, etc. Label the pages and sections.


*Also, make sure you have copies of all the graphics on your website and know which version of each file you are *actually* using on your website. *Ahem* - ask me how I know.

Brand Elements

*To make yourself a brand guide, create a document with your colors (hex codes), fonts, font sizes, line spacing, and any other information about your visual style or vibe. Then, date it and review it periodically so you can update it if you change anything.


*Make sure you have a copy of your logo file. In my case, I make sure I know which of the "final," "final final," and "FINAL" versions I am actually using. If you use various versions of your logo, make sure you have ALL of them.


*And screenshots of your site would help in case you need to rebuild it. You can use a full-page screenshot tool like Fireshot (a Chrome Extension) to get screenshots of each critical page. No need to do every product or every blog post, but make sure you have one of each so you know what the format and layouts look like.

Blog Posts

*If you don't have copies of your blog posts somewhere other than your website, start keeping copies in another location, like Google drive. Don't try to copy 800 blog posts this month, but keep off-website copies of blog posts you write from now on, and start copying the most recent ones too. Then, work backwards to copy a few at a time until you have them all saved.

Do you keep backups of your website? What about backups of the content and files that are ON your website? And a brand guide?

It's something to keep working on, don't get overwhelmed! Just take one small step. 😁


Links to the other pillars of website security:
Website Security Pillar 1: Know Your Information
Website Security Pillar 2: Develop Good Password Habits
Website Security Pillar 3: Keep Your Software Updated
Website Security Pillar 5: Limit Access to your Site


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