Is your small business website hosting company backup up your website? If they are, how often are the backup happening and how do you request a backup copy replace what’s currently there (assuming a mistake was made).
I had a client recently ask me whether or not his hosting company was backing up his website files. At first, I thought this was a silly question, because I thought the answer would be “of course!”
I accidentally deleted my entire blog, including the database on one awful day, when I was rushing too much and not thinking. Literally, all of my blog files and my blog’s database was gone. In a total panic, I submitted several support tickets (like people who push the elevator button multiple times because they believe the elevator will hurry). And without even making fun of me or chastising me for doing something so stupid, my hosting company simply restored the blog and it’s database. Poof! It was back, all safe and sound. Disaster averted.
So when my client (who doesn’t have his website hosted with my company) asked me if his website files were backed up, I was pretty confident that they were being backed up. And if he did something stupid like I did, he could simply submit a support ticket and everything would come back. But because his website was hosted with Aplus.net, I told him he should ask them.
The answer that came back totally surprised me. I wish I had saved it, but it was definitely not heartwarming or encouraging. I was stunned and he was angry. So I made a mental note just to do a quick experiment of my own, and write in to several hosting companies asking them this question: “Do you back up my website files?”
I sent inquires to DreamHost.com, Aplus.net, and NetworkSolutions.com. Network Solutions refused to answer my question via email – why, I have no idea. Here are the responses from Aplus.net and DreamHost:
Dear Jill Olkoski, Note that personal backups are provided only by exception and once. It is customers' responsibility to do backup of their files. There is no guarantee that a custom backup request would be resolved successfully. Please let us know how you would like to proceed.
And from DreamHost.com:
Hello Jill, I would be glad to answer your questions about our service. Yes we keep automated backups of all of our customer's data (including databases,emails and site files!), you can read more about this server (and how easy it is to restore the data) here: http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Backups Of course it may be good to note that these backups are provided as an extra service and are not guaranteed, so we consider it mandatory that our customers keep their own off-site backups, just in case of moose herd gets into the data center (or other un-expected event). If you have any other questions please feel free to ask me.
Perhaps you detect a difference in the level of customer service? In attitude? In sense of humor? So before you choose a hosting company, ask them if they back up your files. See if they answer, see what they say and how they say it. Sometimes a very simple question can reveal a lot about a company.Jill
Aldebaran Web Design, Seattle
Jill Olkoski has a BS in Engineering, a BS in Computer Science and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She delights in using her advanced technical and psychological skills to help small business owners develop cost-effective and successful websites.