The Importance of Website Backups & Why We’re Moving our Clients to BorgBackup

Author
Matt Dove

Website backups allow you to revert to an old version of your site before problems aroseSimply put – website backups can be a lifesaver.

While it’s important to have security tools in place to protect your site from hackers, these tools won’t be enough if a hacker is able to gain access to your site and overwrite or remove files.

Even the best security platform can’t recover overwritten or missing content. That’s why backups are SO important. They allow you to revert to an old (backed up) version of your website that existed before problems arose.

What do website backups do and why are they important?

Backups make a complete copy of your database and all your website files (usually on a daily basis). This means website owners can restore their website to its last known good state, or configuration setting, should they get hacked or break their own website (which happens more frequently than you’d think.)

Content uploaded between the last backup and the time of infection will be lost. The differences, however, are likely to be minimal and will save you having to start building your website again.

It’s not just hackers to be wary of though. Website backups can be helpful in other situations too, such as in the event of a problematic site update. If problems do arise, you’ll be able to revert back to an old version of your site that worked well.

Other reasons you should backup your website ASAP include:

  • To guard against human error
  • Make it easy to create a testing version of your website
  • Simplify the process of migrating web hosts

Why BorgBackup?

Over the next month we’re rolling out a new backup system for all our clients’ websites. This will ensure they’re as secure as possible. For the backup we’re using BorgBackup, or “Borg” for short.

Borg is a backup program that supports deduplication, compression, and encryption.

Backup deduplication minimises storage space needed by detecting data chunk repetition and storing the identical data only once. Whenever a data match occurs, the repeated data chunk is replaced with a small reference that points to the pre-stored chunk, reducing network load and ensuring there’s no effect on the live running site.

Another main advantage of Borg is client-side encryption. Before data files are sent to remote storage, everything is encrypted to ensure that personal data and passwords cannot be stolen in the event of a security breach. We’ll be using AES-256 encryption along with BLAKE2b-256 key generation to ensure our backups are stored with the strongest level of encryption possible. More info on these security measures can be found here: https://borgbackup.readthedocs.io/en/stable/internals/security.html.

Other key features of Borg

  • Flexibility – Borg allows us to back up any kind of web application or dataset stored on our severs, no matter the CMS used, database format or site content – all files can be included in backups.
  • Automation – We’ll run our backups, through Borg, automatically at 11pm every night. So, should any disaster strike, we’ll restore our clients’ website to exactly how it was at 11pm the previous day.
  • Remote – Our backups are stored on a secure remote server separate to our web servers. This means no matter what happens, we’ll always have a copy of our clients’ websites on one server or another.

Having a backup website is one of the fundamental rules of web hosting. Backing up your site regularly means you’ll always have a quick fix in case anything goes wrong. So, no matter what backup solution you choose, just make sure to have one in the case of an emergency.

If you’d like to speak to us about web hosting or site backups, please contact us – we’d be happy to help!

*Blue Digital customers who host their sites with us will be included in our new backup system for no additional cost. For customers who wish to host their sites externally there will be the option to install Borg software on your server as long as your server meets the minimum requirements for installation.

 

About Matt Dove

Our newest Developer Matt has a passion for Open Source Software and is always on the look out for new tools & code to play with. When not building websites he's found looking after various pets.