Why you should always, always have a backup for your website?

Girl wearing green sweater facing her laptop. caption says Save your website.

Back in late 2022, I got a message from someone in a women’s group. She wanted a quick 15-minute call.

I thought, “Sure, why not?” and sent her my calendar link. Fast forward to February the next year (2023), she messages again—this time saying she can’t schedule for some reason. By that time, I’ve already updated the link so I told her I’ll manually schedule the call.

We hop on the call, exchange pleasantries, and she drops the bomb: their website is a hot mess. I learned that she owns a gourmet popcorn shop in California and they sell their products online too except they can’t really sell as of the moment.

Customers are sliding into their DMs, frustrated that they can’t place orders. And as if that weren’t enough, the website’s tax and shipping calculations were a problem too.

Imagine how frustrating that is for both the owner and the “craving” customers.

I took a look at their website, did some detective work, and it didn’t take me a while to say the site really needs a makeover.

A redesign.

A facelift.

We hopped on another call with her partner this time, and discussed what we needed to do I proposed a solution. I told them why not revamp the website?

It’ll take about a month, but it’ll solve all their problems. Plus, we’ll use a builder that even non-tech-savvy folks can handle. The partner’s agreed and said “Let’s do it.”

Things were going well but here’s where things get dicey. The partner chimes in: “Hey, let’s add analytics. We want to track how our website’s performing.” I said “Sure, consider it done.”

But then I heard the partner comment — that’s where it started.

It turns out the partner tried to add a plugin that would track their analytics. (Please don’t do this. Do not add a feature without the help of your developer. It could break your site.)

But wait! A bulb flickered in my mind. If it worked fine before the plugin issue, maybe—just maybe—we can turn back time.

Restore the website to its former glory.

So, I tell them: “We might recover it. I’ll check your backups but in a worst case scenario, we’ll stick to Plan A.”

Alas! When I inspected the website… they did not have a backup. Nada. Zilch. Zero.

I was so desperate I tried recovering a copy from their hosting provider. I checked every backup they had but none of those had the one where it was still working.

Usually, your hosting provider would have a backup of your website generated weekly, daily or every 12 hours depending on your plan. And of those backups they retain the latest 10, 20, 30 copies and they wipe out the rest to save server resources.

Unfortunately, the one we were looking for was already wiped out. Luck was not our side.

And guess what? This isn’t a one-time fluke. A lawyer from Utah (yes, lawyers need websites too) reached out last January. They tweaked something, and—bam!—the site broke.

Good thing their backup was still on their hosting.

So, please-please always secure a backup, they are your best friend.


If you are using WordPress, I recommend installing Updraft Plus. Disclaimer this is not sponsored – I just love them so much I have them on every website I made.

You can automate your backups—daily, weekly, or whenever. You also have control with how many backups you retain (but be mindful not to hoard backups—it could slow down your site.)

Remember, every tweak, every code snippet, every update—back it up. It could save you a ton of time and effort even resources to get it back.


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