What Should be Included in a Disaster Recovery Plan for a Website?
The unthinkable happens. Your website breaks, gets hacked, or sometimes wholly stops functioning. You've carried out all the simple checks, but nothing helps.
Do you have a disaster recovery plan in place for your website?
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. This is where your recovery plan comes into action. These are implemented to prevent this kind of thing from becoming an issue.
Let's look at the steps you need to take to start a good disaster recovery plan for your website:
Backups: Just like writers keep copies of their manuscripts in case they spill coffee on the working ones, 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 may have to rebuild it from scratch. 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: Regular website maintenance gives you a 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. Weekly updates to your website should be performed, and don't forget to make a backup once complete.
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 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 automatic website monitoring to ensure it's online and working correctly. Services such as Uptime Robot 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 essential to carry out a regular password audit every 2-3 months. Take care to review who has access to your website and whether that access is needed on a continued basis. Ensure that you only use strong passwords for your website and store these using a secure password manager.
Contact Details: Note the contact details of any companies hosting or managing your website. Having these details handy helps you to respond to a disaster more effectively. For example, you'll want to note your hosting company, domain provider, and email provider as a minimum.
Jason Hunter Design offers a Website Care Plan to all its customers. As part of the service, we make secure automatic backups of your website, perform regular maintenance and software updates, and optimize WordPress websites to load in 3 seconds or less (among other things.) If you're interested in learning more, you can click to view our Website Care Plan page.
The best time to deal with any disaster is before it happens. Don't leave yourself open to stress, anguish, and frustration. Having a plan in place will give you peace of mind.
This week, take some time to work out your disaster recovery plan for your website. Don't forget that if you need some help or if you're interested in some assistance with your website, we're here to help.