Your Checklist For E-Commerce Data Backup And Security

We often underestimate the word backup. And mostly, it passes under the radar without people noticing or paying heed to. Only when we experience an anomaly, we tend to realise the importance of it. Backups are like an insurance policy for you, for your ecommerce store. The store that you value so dearly. Sometimes, we do consider backing up the data but it doesn’t prove instrumental at the required time.

The main purpose of a backup is to help you recover the code and data back to your store. Sometimes the loss could be partial like accidentally deleting a popular product or the loss of your entire store. This might happen in a case when a server is hacked and the contents are deleted by few notorious elements.

Backups are supposed to get your ecommerce store back online and functional as it was before.

The type of backup you use and the speed at which you are able to recover it depends entirely on the type of hosting provider or platform you choose. The disaster recovery system of your hosting provider should at least help you bring the servers back to life. And talking about the code and data of your website, it depends on the type of backup you have used.

What should you backup?

In order for a backup to be functional and valuable, you need to make sure that the backup includes everything which your store will need to start functioning from scratch. However, this aspect depends on how you have hosted your online store.

This can include:

  • Databases
  • The entire code; if your website is not on a hosted platform
  • Asset files like  images, videos, PDFs etc
  • Web configurations and settings
  • Design layout and wireframes

One thing to notice here is that most individuals think that saving only a part of data is required such as backing up the database and theme but not the product images, or not backing up the configuration files. This, however, is a wrong notion. This gives the development staff a headache when they scramble to recreate them.

As a large part of ecommerce web design and development ecosystem, backing up your website’s crucial data is an unquestionable aspect to sustain the business online. And this practice needs to be followed even if your hosting company conducts backups. Having your own versions of backup is vital. Relying entirely on third parties is not recommended.

When should you perform a backup?

One aspect we cannot overlook here is that, almost all existing types of backups stress your server resulting in slow performance and latency issues. Companies prefer executing backups during off-hours when the store is not as busy. This usually is a good idea but there are certain exceptions.

  1. If your backup process is too aggressive and intrusive, it can lead to the store becoming unresponsive impacting the shoppers. And in worst cases, might wake up development staff in the middle of the night.
  2. Another major caveat is that if your audience is spread globally, you might not get any off-hours.
  3. Lastly, if you schedule your backups at night, it means that you are backing up your data only once per day. This can be acceptable only if losing a full day of data is fine with you.

Ask any ecommerce web development firm and they will tell you that, an alternate way to backup your data is to continuously backup your store, endlessly as long as it doesn’t reduce the speed of your store down too much.

To conclude

As it has always been said, ‘Prevention is better than cure’. Make sure you test your data backup regularly. Restore your data backup once to check whether the data you are backing up is there in its entirety. You also need to document the data that you backup. Knowing how and when the backups are done and where have you stored them will save a lot of time during emergencies. Most importantly, store this data where you can access all of it even when the store goes offline. .  

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