Preparing for a disaster; or “On backups and basic security”

There is always possibility that something goes wrong. Your hosting provider can have a server meltdown. Even though I do my best to provide a secure code, you can be hacked. It’s always good to be prepared.

 

Back-up

You’ve probably heard, that you should back-up early and often. What does this mean in the web world? Well, 3 things.

1. The code – you don’t need to care about this

All of my code is stored on BitBucket, an online code repository. Every time I deploy new version of the website, the code gets automatically pushed there. Restoring “the code” on production server is a matter of minutes, so this is safe.

2. Database – this is ok as well

Whenever I release a finished website, I recommend to setup a dedicated “back-up” e-mail address. My script then automatically backs up versions of database and send them as e-mail attachments weekly. So this is safe as well.

3. Media – this is the problem

All the images, documents, videos and any other media content you upload to your website. This I don’t backup in any way.

If all else fails

Most of the hosting providers, include Mixhosting.cz I work with most often, offer restoring the web from automatical back-up for a small fee. So this can work for you as well.

Basic security rules

  • Always use secure passwords. More on that here: Lifehacker.
  • Event better, use password managers. That, is by far, the safest option – and at the same time, the easiest to use. More on that here: Lifehacker.
  • A lot of hacks happen due to a human error. Have a basic understanding of how to prevent them. Check this article.
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