There has been a huge amount of discussion about Hurricane Irma as well as Hurricane Harvey which proceeded it and how it might affect different industries, and one area that isn’t talked about often is web hosting.
For many people, having their site go down for a few hours, or even a few days, isn’t all that important, but when it means the difference between being able to pay for the hotel room you need to stay in to keep your family safe and the supplies you need to secure your home or not, then it can become front-of-mind.
How do you make sure your website stays secure with the constant threats from natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes?
The 3-2-1 Rule
You should have three copies of any important data. This includes a backup of not only your files on your server, but if you are running WordPress, you’ll want to get backups of your database as well.
These three copies should be on at least two different storage mediums. At PressTitan, we store your data on SSD’s as well as a secure, cloud-hosted service.
And at least one copy should be offsite, something that we take care of for our customers.
Have you ever tested your backups to make sure they work? We routinely create a test environment where we restore a copy of a client site to make sure that the backups we are taking can be restored from. If you aren’t testing your backups, then they aren’t really backups.
I’ve worked in enterprise data storage for years, and have watched nearly every storage medium or backup technology fail at one point or another. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a plan to recover your data. In Florida alone, there are over 100 colocation server spaces, and only some are built to withstand a hurricane like Irma.
High Availability Options
If you truly need to never have any downtime, then adding a high-availability option to your hosting is key.
This can be expensive, but it allows you to reduce the number of single potential points of failure. The more you create duplication in the resources available, the higher the cost, but having two servers located in different data centres with multiple database servers, and multiple load balancers or floating IP addresses can allow your website to stay up, even in the worst natural disasters.
As your WordPress host what they are doing to make sure your website is secure, backed up, and ready for natural disasters. If they can’t answer those questions, then you need to look elsewhere.
Image By NASA – https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/36692208380/, CC BY 2.0, Link