What would be your first action if your site (the one you’ve used for business for years, day after day, after day) goes down? The “for real” down. The kind of down when there’s nothing you can do, data is lost or stolen, connections are broken and all you can see is a sinister 404 smiling villainously at your face from the screen?
OK, let’s face reality here. Your first action would be pure, uncontrollable panic. It’s always there in such situations. In 11 cases out of 10. This condition does not lasts long. You will get through it in about 10 seconds or so.
But then comes the fun part – the issue must be resolved. Your site needs to be on air ASAP, otherwise you will lose new leads, potential customers and, most importantly users will start losing faith in you as a brand. We don’t want that to happen, do we?
Were you smart?
Let’s imagine your site is down and some (if not all) data is lost or beyond recovery. An unpleasant situation to be in. To say the least.
This horrific situation of terror lines up to one simple answer to an even simpler question: Were you smart?
If you were, you have considered creation of data backups. You have all of them in place and are ready to juice the site in an instant.
On the other hand, if you weren’t smart – you are in serious trouble. But, is there really anyone to blame but you, considering the above-mentioned malicious events? No, not really. You should have backed your data. You should have been preventive. You should have been smart!
How to be smart?
First of all you must fully realize that website backups are not just elements of numerous best practices. The entire history of software and the internet has proven that bugs, glitches, hacks and fatal errors are more of a rule type of deal, not exceptions.
And there will be a day when your site goes awry. You must be prepared. You must be able to accurately respond with striking, lightning-fast speed. The best way of doing so is creation of a backup in advance. Restoring from it is significantly easier than starting all over. And, there’s nothing hard about creation, development and implementation of backup strategies.
Here’s how you do it
Let’s take a Drupal based site as an example. Same can be done with any other website. However, the procedure will require different tools and technologies. And there is not enough space in the entire web to describe all possible flows of the data backup process on all existing platforms. Hence, we will be focusing on Drupal.
What we are offering here is a fully automated backup strategy. It’s simple in maintenance and easily implemented once you know how. Drupal offers a nice module called Backup & Migrate. You’ll also be able to create accurate backup points manually with this baby before any vital upgrade you are going to make.
The module is great in terms of facilitating website recovery (and migration, by the way, if you need any). You just set it up to automatically create backups within a required time interval. That’s it. You are safer.
Pro tip: Set it up towards a more frequent model of backup creation during the development process or while you are updating your solution. You won’t regret it.
There is one more step designed to make your life even better: Сombine Backup & Migrate with Drush.
Drusk AKA Drupal Shell is a great command line utility. It only requires SHH (shell terminal) access to your server and allows installation and editing of Drush utility code. And, as you might have guessed by now, it can integrate into Backup & Migrate.
What does this give us? Two insanely efficient advantages:
- Drush archive-dump: An archive, containing all the files from your Database is created with but one command.
- Drush sql-dump: MySQL dump is used to back your DB up. Basically, it allows you to create backups on a remote server (meaning it will not be harmed if your original one falls).
And this is basically all it takes to save millions of dollars and your entire band name in case of emergency. Seems worth it, right?