What You Need to Know About Protecting Your Website from Sharknados, a Zombie Apocalypse, or Other Imminent Disasters

Shark in a tornadoPicture it: A routine tornado hits San Clemente, pulling gargantuan man-eating sharks from the ocean, and thrashing them upon our beautiful town. These blood-thirsty predators threaten to destroy everything you hold dear. Unfortunately, the only person who can save you is Steve Sanders from the original Beverly Hills 90210, and he’s too busy rescuing that one hot chick from American Pie (no, not the foreign exchange student; the blonde one).

So, of course, in the midst of impending tragedy, it’s only natural for your mind to rush to the one thing in the world you hold most dear: your small business website.

Are you quaking with fear for the total desecration of that beautiful website you spent so much time, energy (and probably money) making absolutely perfect? Don’t worry, because San Clemente Website Design is your… ahem… Steve Sanders. And we have some life-saving advice for keeping your website live, even when the ocean’s most-feared inhabitant falls from the sky, and demolishes everything you own.

You’ll notice here that we have used the very real possibility of a Sharknado situation as our example of why you need to protect your website. However, the advice we are about to share with you also applies to meteor hits, 500-foot tsunamis, alien invasion, glittery vampires and, of course, a zombie apocalypse.

Our Three-Step, Fail-Proof System for Protecting Your Website

If it’s one thing San Clemente Website Design believes in, it’s an indestructible online presence. For this reason, we have developed a simple list of directives that, if followed carefully, can help save your website from almost any act of nature, man or Syfy channel monster. It is as follows:

  1. Backup your website
  2. Keep your website backed up
  3. Make sure your website is backed up at all times

No, Really, We Think You Should Backup Your Website

So, you might be thinking, “hey, I live east of the 5 so I’m not really worried about Sharknados,” or maybe you’re all like “but I’m dating a vampire from my high school so he’ll protect me from the other vampires.” These are both excellent starts. However, if your site’s not backed up, you’re still not protected.

Just as sure as Tara Reid will never win an Academy Award, if you have your website long enough, eventually it will crash, or you will get hacked. Unfortunately, here are the times this is most likely to happen:

  • Your business was just featured on the cover of Forbes magazine, and you suddenly have thousands of super rich people rushing to your website, hoping to spend some money.
  • Your dream client is searching for a large order of the exact type of dog hair sweaters that you make and, not finding you online, she calls your competition.
  • You are completely, totally broke, and there is no way you can afford to build a new website.

Backing up Your Website

At San Clemente Website Design, we almost always recommend WordPress to our clients. It’s our favorite website platform for its usability, affordability, and the fact that you can set it up to create automatic updates for you so you don’t have to think (because really, who has time to think?).

Unfortunately, the downside to automatic updates is that you do need to stay on top of security patches associated with them. So, what do we mean by “stay on top of?” If you said that it means you need to continuously backup your website, you are correct.

In the first nine months of 2012 alone, WordPress made six version upgrades. That is a lot of upgrades and a lot of subsequent need for backing up. Luckily, WordPress also provides you with detailed instructions on how to backup your WordPress files. Seriously, could we love WordPress any more than we already do?

Maybe you’ve chosen to use a platform other than WordPress. O.K., we respect that. For those of you dealing with another platform, this is our favorite article for DIY website backups.

Remember, no matter what platform you use, you need to backup both the files that make up your site, and the data in your database.

Now, at this point, the less tech-savvy among you may be scratching your heads, and saying “wait, wha…?” Perhaps you are looking up at the sky, hoping for a shark to land on you so you don’t have to worry about all of this.

Don’t fret. Your web host probably provides backup services, or can refer you to someone who does. The vast majority of our clients prefer to let us stay up all night preparing for sharks and zombies, and we are happy to do it. As long as someone is backing up on your behalf, you have nothing to worry about…unless you want to worry about the likelihood that they’ll eventually make a Sharknado 3.

Have more questions about backing up your website, and protecting your online presence? Then contact San Clemente Website Design.

*No sharks were hurt in the making of this blog, though we did have to kill a zombie.

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