Without a backup, your data is not safe. If you ever lose your information due to a crash or other problem, you will want to know that all of your data can be restored as quickly as possible, and a good data backup is necessary to do that! If not, you are looking at paying someone a lot of money for data retrieval, and instead of doing that, you should focus on keeping costs low with a solid data backup plan.
Before you decide how to implement backups, you should fully understand what they are. A data backup is a copy and archive of your computer data. If something happens where you lose data, the backup can fill in the blanks to restore your computer to what it was before the data loss took place. This might sound like something that does not happen often, but data loss can be as simple as a corrupt application, virus, or natural disaster that affects your computer.
In terms of frequency, data backups should be built into your business plan and implemented on a daily basis. Whatever work was done that day, you will want included in the backup so you do not have to re-do any work in the event of a loss.
Do you think your web host offers backup? It is likely, especially if you use a VPS server, but unless you have confirmation from your host, do not assume that this is the case. You will want to know that your web host runs backups and will be able to restore any of your data if the need arises.
On your end of things, you should also run backups of all user data. The last thing you want to do is lose client information and have to ask for it again, as this makes you appear untrustworthy and unprepared. Always ensure that you have backups of customer data, your own information, and the files that are on your website.
Now that you know what backups are and how important it is to use them, it is easier to understand your options for backing up data and what advantages and disadvantages each option entails.
A full backup backs up all of your files and folders every time that information is accessed, which keeps all of the information together and makes for easy restoration. However, this practice takes more time and space, so it may not be the best choice depending on your resources.
Incremental backup builds on itself, creating a backup of files that have changed since the last incremental backup. It stores files in stages as they are accessed, requiring a smaller amount of space. If you have to restore, you need to make sure you have all of the backup sets to complete your data.
A mirror backup is an exact copy of backup data, identical to a full backup but with uncompressed, unprotected files. You can access these files easily and restore quickly, but it requires a lot of space and is not a safe option for sensitive data as it cannot be protected with a password.
The other option is a differential backup, which looks at what files have been modified since your last full backup and stores those changes. With this option you use a very small amount of storage space, but you will also have to do more work if you need to restore, as you will have to install both the differential and full backup sets.
No matter what type of backup style or approach you use, it is important to choose one and make sure you use it to back up your files frequently and regularly for your own peace of mind and for the continued, secure operation of your business.