Whether you’re a new website owner or you’ve owned and managed websites for a while, indeed you’ve at least heard about the importance of having a sound backup system. Unfortunately, people generally tend to overlook backups as long as their website is up and running. When something breaks, things get messy unless your hosting provider has a good backup policy in place. Most budget hosting providers don’t include backups in their plans, or even if they do, these backups don’t happen often enough to be considered viable or adequate more often than not.
What is meant by the term "data backup policy"?
A "data backup" is the process of creating a copy of the data on your system that you use for recovery in case your original data is lost, corrupted, or accidentally deleted. You can also use the backup to recover a previous snapshot of your website if and when it crashes.
Why is backing up your data so important for website?
The data backup policy for your web hosting provider matters for very important reasons. A backup of your website is the main guarantee that your site can be completely restored after any site crashes, data issues, or other significant problems occur. A backup version of your website helps if you inadvertently delete some important elements, a theme or plugin/module harms your site, or if the website is hacked.
Data backup policy at Nexcess
Unlike other hosting providers, Nexcess has a robust backup policy. Every Nexcess web hosting plan comes with free daily courtesy backups that are automatically created and kept for 30 days on a remote backup server. The Nexcess Backup Policy ensures that, in the end, clients are still in charge of data ownership, integrity, retention, security, and backup. Because of this, it's a good idea to have a current backup of your web hosting filesystem and the database. These backups should be stored remotely and not on your website's server.
We understand the importance of keeping your data safe and recoverable. This objective relates to why all our daily backups are retained on remote servers, which are accessible only by our internal systems and support teams.
Website backups at Nexcess
Every night, there’s a process running across our server fleet that compresses and backs up all the data that our clients have saved on our servers. Filesystems are backed up directly on our backup servers. We also keep three days of database backups saved on each server for redundancy purposes.
The database backups are then rsynced to the backup servers. "What is rsync?" you might ask. It is an excellent CLI tool used to synchronize data within two places.
Nexcess hosting plans can host production, staging, and development websites, depending on your needs for them. The automated daily backups include all the accounts and databases on the server. That ensures every website is appropriately backed up, whether it’s a production website — or used for staging or development. Additionally, if you’ve created any manual backups for your website, those will be backed up within daily backups on a remote server.
Should you need to restore your website from a daily backup for any reason, you can do so within the Nexcess Client Portal. To do so, you’ll need to log in with your account at https://my.nexcess.net and navigate to your Plan > Website > Backups:
Should you encounter any issues with a restoration as previously described, please get in touch with our Nexcess Support Team, and we’ll be happy to help!
If you’d like to learn more about our backup systems, you can find more information within the Nexcess Knowledge Base. The following help article contains more information on how to create manual backups:
Nexcess Cloud Plans: Manual Web Hosting Backups
Consider a deeper history of backups
Although we provide 30-day automatic backups as a courtesy, we strongly recommend all clients maintain their own backups and use a deeper history than 30 days. Per our Terms of Service (TOS), clients assume ultimate responsibility for data integrity, retention, security, backup, and ownership.
Schedule and storage location for backups
We provide an automated backup service for all managed servers. We conduct these backups every night from midnight to 4 AM Eastern Time (ET) in the United States. When the backup is underway, every single file, folder, and the database will be compressed and backed up on one of our off-site servers.
Nexcess keeps up to 30 days' worth of backups on the remote server.
How to request a website restoration from a backup
Our support team can restore your files. To make a request, either submit a ticket through your Nexcess Client Portal or by email, and identify the files to be restored, and the date from which to be restored. Nexcess can also place a backup of your site in your directory so you can compare changes or store it on a local machine.
Why you should still maintain your own backups
As a best practice, the team at Nexcess recommends maintaining your own backups in addition to those offered by us. There are a number of third-party backup solutions that can provide you that extra layer of protection and fallback functionality when your website must be restored from an unplanned event:
If you want to have remote backups for redundancy purposes, several remote backup options available out there are worthwhile choices. But those can be expensive as well. Full account backups created manually may be stored elsewhere for further protection or preserved locally on the server under Nexcess Cloud plans for faster access. Automatic daily courtesy backups add another layer of security that you can count on, as we’re committed to keeping your data safe.
A trustworthy business partner is essential to making any activity easier, whether you run a blog or an online store. We offer scalable, reliable, and managed Flexible Cloud options. A distinctive feature of our solution is that it enables hosting various CMS or environments under a single plan.
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Note about the original publication date
This article was originally published in September 2019. It has since been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.