Incremental backups can save you time and money, and they’re also the most effective way to protect your website. Let’s take a look at what they are and how they function…

In today’s world, getting a website is critical to your company’s success. It allows you to connect with your consumers 24/7/365 and provides innovative ways to showcase your brand and products.

Managing a website, on the other hand, is not without its difficulties. Did you know that, as of 2019, 46% of websites have serious security flaws? According to Acunetix’s findings, almost half of all websites are extremely vulnerable to hacking. This is why one of the perks of running a website is having to create and execute a solid web security strategy.

Backing up your website on a regular basis is an outstanding addition to your web security solution plan. There are several benefits to backing up your website, as well as many methods for doing so, one of which is gradual backups. When it comes to website backups, many people find that making incremental backups is the best option.

In this post, we’ll go over what you need to know about backing up your website. This provides an explanation of what an incremental backup is and how it can help your website protection plan.

What Is a Backup & Why Should You Backup Your Website?

When you make a copy of your website, you’re basically taking a snapshot of all the components that make it up. This snapshot is a selection of information from your website, including:

  • Images,
  • Copy,
  • Video,
  • Code files,
  • Database,
  • Themes, and
  • Plugins.

You’re storing a “healthy” copy of your website in a backup, which you can restore as needed. The following are some of the reasons why you would want to restore a website backup:

  • Your website has been hacked or has been shut down. This could happen for a variety of reasons, including being a victim of ransomware, a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, or another type of cyberattack.
  • Your account is either cancelled or deleted by your web host. This could be the result of a billing mistake or omission, or it could be the result of a cyber attack on the host.
  • You get rid of valuable files that you can’t get back any other way. I made a mistake. Accidents happen, and this is only one of many reasons why backups are important.

Having a good website backup is essentially like having your own personal “do over,” allowing you to go back in time and recover the last good copy of your website. Without a doubt, it will be a lifesaver in the future.

How to Make a Back-Up Copy of Your Website

There are also options for backing up your website. There are two types of backups: how you do the backup and what kind of backup you take. The following are some examples of backup methods:

Manually Backing Up Your Website

Manually backing up the website is a straightforward procedure. It will include accessing your FTP account and downloading your files one at a time, then saving them to your local computer. Although you have the most flexibility and it is less expensive than using a third-party service, there are some drawbacks.

  • For one thing, it’s manual, so you’ll have to remember to do it on a regular basis.
  • It takes a lot of time as well. It adds up when you consider the time it takes to download and file, as well as the time it takes to ensure it was downloaded correctly.
  • You can’t do an incremental backup while manually backing up your website; it has to be a complete website backup download (more on this later).
  • Furthermore, if your machine is hacked along with your website, your backup is no longer “good.”

Backing Up Your Website Using cPanel

This is a much easier choice because it eliminates the need for you to go through your FTP and import or save your files. Simply go to the “Backup” section of your cPanel admin page after logging in. It’s then just a matter of clicking and downloading. There are, however, a few drawbacks…

  • Since you can no longer take gradual backups, your server is forced to work overtime any time you download and backup your entire website.
  • If your server goes down, you’re out of backups, just as if you saved it to your local machine.

Use a Backup Automation Tool to Your Advantage

The most convenient — and foolproof — alternative is to use an automated website backup software. There are a number of excellent website backup automation tools available. There are some examples of tools:

  • Creates backups for you,
  • saves them in a protected location (usually a cloud-based server with encryption), and
  • Does so without overburdening your server.

Take, for example, CodeGuard. CodeGuard backs up your website every day, but it just saves the updates you’ve made since the last backup (which is also known as an incremental backup). You won’t have to remember to do it this way, because copies will be taken as quickly as possible.

On CodeGuard’s end, backups are stored in the cloud (with Amazon Web Services, to be specific). As a result, even if your server crashes or your local computer is hacked, your backups are secure. MalwareGone, a malware scanner and removal tool included with CodeGuard, takes website protection a step further.

What Is an Incremental Backup?

An incremental backup, as we discussed in the previous section, is when you take a website backup that only includes the improvements you’ve made since your last backup. As a result, you’ll need to take a full website backup at first, but only the files that change will be backed up after that. When you want to restore your website backup, all of the files are pieced together to give you the most recent working version of your site.

Consider gradual backups to be similar to taking photos of precise information with a polaroid camera.

Using an incremental backup approach has some main advantages:

  • On a daily basis, you back up fewer files.
  • Your server will be less stressed throughout the backup phase.
  • Slow load times and other resolution problems will occur while your server is working harder to back up your entire website on a regular basis.
  • By saving only the changes that were made, you use fewer storage and memory.
  • When using a tool like CodeGuard, the incremental backup feature will save you money as well. Since website backup tools usually charge by the number of files saved, incremental backups can take up less space.

Other Types of Website Backups

We’ll briefly discuss incremental backups as one of a few website backup choices. There are a few other things to be aware of:

Full Website Backup

When you make a website backup, this process saves all of your files and records. There are a few benefits of backing up the whole website:

  • File management has been simplified. Since you’re making a single big backup of your website rather than several small backups of individual files, file management is much easier. As a result, when you need to restore a backup, you just need to store and retreat a single file.
  • You don’t have to restore your home in pieces. The other benefit is that you don’t have to piece files together when restoring your backup; instead, you can simply restore the entire website backup.

The drawbacks, on the other hand, are important. As compared to approaches that need less storage (which we’ll discuss later), creating full website backups takes up a lot of space. Another drawback worth mentioning is that making massive backups of your website on a regular basis will eat up your website’s bandwidth. This can cause latency and have an effect on the functionality of your web.

Mirror Backup

This isn’t necessarily a website backup in the conventional sense; it’s merely a workaround that doesn’t replace backups. Mirroring is more akin to making a new version of your website that is visually similar to the original. This is why it is also known as cloning.

The mirroring method entails uploading all of your website’s files as well as a static HTML version. Following that, a static version of your website is developed. This means the site is devoid of social functionality such as the ability to edit articles or use web applications (such as the login field).

You will use this mirror version before you build a new, dynamic version of your website, which will allow you to incorporate more interactive elements. But, once again, mirroring is not a viable substitute for a true website backup operation!

Differential Backups

Incremental website backups are somewhat similar to these. So, what’s the distinction between the two? A differential backup just backs up the improvements made after the last full website backup, while an incremental backup backs up anything that has changed since the last incremental backup.

I know it’s a minor yet perplexing distinction. But the most important thing to note is that incremental backups are the “improved” form of differential backups. That’s because you’re making smaller, faster backups rather than repeatedly saving the same updates before you take another complete website backup.

A Final Word on Incremental Backups

Backing up the website can be done in a variety of ways, ranging from the form of backup to the method used. But, in the end, you should think about what best fits your needs and those of your company.

Trying to save time, be the safest, provide the most effective backup operation, and do all of this while staying within your budget? Then I’d suggest using an automated website backup and restore tool that uses incremental backups.

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