Most people are pretty good at protecting the physical products in their lives. We put insurance on our cars, cases on our phones, and locks on our bikes. But bloggers live in a world where they also need to protect their digital products. Things like blog posts, eBooks, photos, and videos represent huge investments of time and money.
Can you imagine if you woke up tomorrow, typed in the URL of your blog, pressed return, and saw a white screen? Then, in a moment of panic you looked in your computer’s photos folder, only to find that your pictures were missing as well? It’s rare, but it happens. Hence the reason for a blog backup!
Most people have a general concept of backing up, but we’ve found that more often than not people haven’t thoroughly backed up their computer and their blog.
If you’re a blogger (or wanting to become one), it’s vital that you properly protect your business (i.e. your computer and your blog)Want to know more about Blogging as a Business?
Here are four ways you should be backing up your computer and your blog.
1. Computer-to-External Hard Drive Backup
All computer hard drives will eventually fail. It’s not a matter of if, but when. That’s why you need to make sure to have a backup that runs from your computer to an external hard drive. That way, when your computer’s hard drive fails, you’ll have all of your important files ready to be restored.
You need two things in order to set this up:
- An external hard drive (like this one)
- Backup software that runs on your computer
The external hard drive should be two times the size of your computer’s hard drive. This gives you plenty of space to keep multiple versions of the backup. For instance, if you have a 1TB hard drive then you should buy a 2TB external hard drive.
After purchasing your external hard drive, you should read through the instructions provided by Windows or Apple to make sure that you correctly setup the software to backup to the external hard drive.
2. Computer-to-Cloud Backup
The computer-to-external hard drive backup offers a way to quickly and easily access your files if your computer’s hard drive dies. But what happens if your computer and your external hard drive go missing? If you don’t have a computer to cloud backup then all of your data will be gone forever.
Nerd Note: “The cloud” is really just a group of off-site computers. So, when we say “the cloud,” we’re talking about working with a company that has a room full of computers (servers and hard drives) where your information is securely stored.
With a computer-to-cloud backup, you install a program that periodically scans your computer and backs up any new files or files that have been updated. Cloud-based backup programs come at a cost, but it’s well worth it. We use (and love) Backblaze, but another popular cloud-based backup solution is Carbonite.
Here’s a screenshot of Backblaze when it has just finished a backup:
After you sign up for Backblaze or Carbonite, you’ll need to install the software on your computer. These are both “set it and forget” type programs, so after setting them up you can rest in peace knowing that your computer will be constantly backing up to the cloud.
3. Blog Backup to Cloud
Think of the time and energy you’ve put into building your blog. We’re guessing it is hundreds and hundreds, and maybe even thousands, of hours. The scary thing is that blogs are fragile structures. One line of bad code can cause your entire site to go completely blank.
Not only can a coding mistake cause your site to crash, but there’s also the reality that hackers are consistently trying to maneuver their way into sites across the internet.
It’s important for these backups to be stored with a third party company, not the same company that hosts your website. There are stories of people losing their website and backups because they were stored in the same place. You don’t want to be one of those people, so make sure your backups are not with your hosting company.
There are different backup options available, but we’d recommend using a plugin that you pay for. We use (and love) a plugin called VaultPress (for WordPress). It’s actually created by the same company that created WordPress. The entry level plan is $5/month.
Here’s a screenshot of the “real time” backups running on Pinch of Yum:
4. Google Workspace Backup
Along with many other businesses, we use Google Workspace all the time. Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs… you name it, we use it. But have you ever thought about backing up your Google Workspace?
That’s right — recovering your files and information from Google Workspace due to accidental or malicious data loss (like ransomware) is up to you.
We use Backupify at Pinch of Yum and Food Blogger Pro to protect our cloud data. It provides automatic backups three times a day, or on demand for everything in the Google Workspace, and allows you to easily restore any lost data. This is also a “set it and forget it” product, which you already know we love.
Bonus: Blog to Computer
Okay. We’ll admit it. This one is a bit obsessive. Occasionally (about once a week) we’ll download a complete backup of the blog and store it locally on a computer.
The only time that this would be needed would be if someone with bad intentions was able to get access to the blog and VaultPress and wipe them both out. The chances of this happening are really slim, but, as we’ve learned before, stuff like this happens.
The process is really easy. If you use VaultPress you just need to login to your account and click the “Download” button.
VaultPress will prepare your backup and then email you once it’s ready to download. After downloading the backup, you can store it on your computer in a folder called “Blog Backup” or something similar.
If you’ve implemented these backup processes then you can rest easy knowing that your computer and your blog are thoroughly backed up. Congrats!
Now we’re curious — what is your current setup for backing up your blog and computer? Has this post inspired you to implement a new system?!