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WordPress and Disaster Recovery

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Disaster recovery. It can be time-consuming and expensive to set up, so do you really need a plan in place? It’s an easy question to answer: yes, your business absolutely does need a robust disaster recovery plan in place from the day your website goes live.

Theft, viruses, hacking, natural disasters are just a few things that can cause mayhem for a business that doesn’t have a recovery plan in place. We’re not being dramatic, we promise. Just think about it for a moment: how would your business cope if you arrive in the office one morning and your machines had been stolen, or if an infrastructure problem caused your office to flood and your machines to be destroyed? Would lost data disrupt your business or would you be able to recover your data by the end of the day?

Luckily, there are plenty of things you and your agency can do to ensure your organisation has an effective disaster recovery strategy in place and the services available are becoming more and more sophisticated every year. The two elements of disaster recovery that we’re going to talk about today are back ups and website set up. While these don’t comprise the full range of services that should make up your plan, they are certainly two to be aware of.

Back Ups

We’ve spoken before about why it’s important to ensure your data is backed up but today we’re going to go into more detail about some of the best backup tools and services on the market.

For those who manage more than one website, a service like ManageWP is a fantastic way to keep all of your sites organised and backed up. This monthly subscription allows you to access all of your sites from a single dashboard and provides automated daily, weekly or monthly back ups.

There are plenty of back up plugins out there but one of the best around is BackupBuddy, which has been ‘saving WordPress sites around the world since 2010’. It takes a complete back up of your database and files for complete site recovery, in case the worst happens.

BlogVault is another service we need to single out. With the ability to take full back ups of larger sites that other services (like BackupBuddy) might struggle with, BlogVault is a great option for those running enterprise level websites. BlogVault guarantees their customers 100% safety by storing numerous encrypted copies of all back ups in independent locations, which is another point we’ll be touching on later on in this post.

As well as back up services that you can install and run yourself, it’s also worth looking into what sort of service your hosting company can provide. One of the web’s leading WordPress hosting providers, WPEngine, include daily back ups as standard, as well as powerful firewalls and regular malware scans for enhanced security.

Website Set Up

The second thing to consider when looking into disaster recovery is your website set up. This is something you can discuss with your agency before your website is created, to ensure you have a robust recovery plan from the day your website goes live.

Shared servers and dedicated servers are often considered but should be ruled out as they’re both single points of failure. Load-balancing is a step up but still only contains one database, another single point of failure, so isn’t quite what we’re looking for.

You want to make sure your data isn’t contained in one place, which is why clusters in different data centres and hot standbys are both ideal choices for disaster recovery. These are both solutions that WPEngine provide, which is just one of the reasons why they’re one of the most popular choices for WordPress hosting.

It’s also worth dedicating time to employee awareness and training to make sure each member of the team is aware of the plan and understands the importance of backing up data and storing it securely.

Using the back up services mentioned above, as well as utilising the information about website set up, you’ll have the beginnings of an effective disaster recovery plan, just in case the worst ever happens.