How do I create a disaster recovery plan for my website?

Most businesses rely on a website for at least some of their custom. Whether you’re selling goods directly online or simply using the internet as a way for people to find you easily, losing your site, even for a short time, can cost you money.

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It doesn’t matter what size your company is, either. More than half of all small businesses had a website in 2014, and the numbers are increasing year on year. Of course, once you have a site, it needs to be available. Once it’s out on the web, it becomes prey to all kinds of things like hacking, user errors, ISP failures and more.

Disaster recovery plans

At one time, disaster recovery plans were the preserve of banks and large corporations. However, as even the smallest businesses are increasingly reliant on computers, they are now important for everyone.

In its most basic form, a plan means having a backup of your systems, knowing where it’s stored, and being able to restore it to the same or a replacement machine, in the event of a problem. In essence, disaster recovery for websites is no different.

Your web presence will consist of a number of elements:

the code that makes up the site itself
files containing any data and login credentials
a web server or hosting service

The site code can be backed up in the same way as other files. If your site was built by a developer, such as Red Snapper (, who offer web development services in London, make sure you have a copy of the code, once it goes live. Similarly, the data files need to be backed up and properly secured. If you run your own server, you need to have measures in place to protect it – power protection, for example. If you’re using a hosting service, find out what measures they have in place to cope with failures.

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Of course, any plan is only of use if it works. To be sure of this, you need to test your response occasionally. Make sure people know where backups are, how to switch systems over, how to restore and in what sequence, and so on. A little time spent testing can save a lot of grief should you have to do it for real.

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