Backing up a website is probably something you, as a website owner, would just presume happens by the web host. Well, yes and no (and you should never presume anything of course!).
Let’s start with the yes first. Yes, almost all web hosts backup all their client data and their servers, as a standard procedure for their own disaster recovery. But for most web hosts this is for ‘their’ disaster recovery, not yours. So what I’m saying here is that 99.9% of web hosts back up their servers, but they keep this data for themselves and are not able to help you, should your website get corrupt, or infected by malware, etc.
So the no part of my initial answer above, is because whilst the server is backed up by the web host, most hosts don’t let you get to this data. So if your website becomes corrupt or infected, you’re on your own. This is why it is essential that you have your own back up procedure in place. With websites being an important part of most businesses, backing up your website should be part of your company’s disaster recovery plan. If your website is a content managed website using WordPress, then this is even more important, as the only place a full copy of your website exists is probably on your web host
An important thing to note here, is that, even if you are backing up and have it all in hand, where are you backing up to? If it’s on the same server as your website, that’s not particularly helpful when the server goes down.
In the first four months of 2016 two of the UK’s biggest web hosts suffered data loss with their servers. One of them, had issues for over a week with their servers, eventually managing to restore almost all of their client’s sites (but not 100% of them). An even bigger issue occurred with the second web host, who lost some of their backup data too. Here’s the link to BBC news article from April 2016: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-36072240.
Give Yourself Peace of Mind
What’s the answer then? To know your WordPress website is safe and sound you should have your own backup system in place, and backup to a third-party server (a cloud system like Dropbox for example). That way your web host could suffer the ultimate failure, but you won’t lose your website files and any work that you’re recently done on the website.
Pink Fin has a website backup service for my clients’ WordPress websites, that costs just £25 a year. The backups are weekly and automatically stored on a cloud backup service.
£25 a year represents less than 50p a week! How important is it to you and your company that your website is backed up? Is it worth 50p a week? Get in touch if you want to know more details.