Most people believe that website hosting companies automatically
backup their website files and databases.
The facts are that they don't - but we can.
When you pay for website hosting services you are paying for space on their web servers that have full time, high speed access to the Internet so that your website can be found when a user types in your domain name. Many people think that these website hosting companies, especially the larger ones like GoDaddy and Network Solutions, automatically back up their website, with all their web pages and the databases the sites rely on to successfully operate. However, this is not the case and hosting companies as a general rule are neither responsible for backing up the websites of their customers nor for restoring any of those websites should such be necessary.
The reasons for this vary but consider all of the storage space that would be required of these major hosting companies - as well as the technical staff which would have to be dedicated to provide customer support - and these companies would incur major expenses with such a "free" service.
Website Development Shop can provide your business with regular backups and, if necessary, file and database restoration services to keep your on-line presence safe and operational. We have a variety of packages to suit your business needs and your budget.
What you are about to read may surprise you. The published on-line customer backup policies for 5 major website hosting companies - GoDaddy, Network Solutions, DreamHost, HostGator and Bluehost - are revealed for your review. The fact is that the overwhelming majority of website hosting companies, not just the 5 written of here, do not routinely and automatically backup their customers' websites or databases.
It the explicit policy of these and most other website companies to place the burden of website file and database backup on their customer - you.
Why Websites Can Go Down
A modern website is a complex and intricate weave of computer programming, scripts, graphics, content (words and images) as well as in many cases product information (pricing, product descriptions, etc.) and data structures that work together to present a website across multiple desktop, laptop, tablet and cell phone platforms. The chain of technologies that enable a modern website to function correctly is therefore quite long and a break in any one of these links can bring a website down.
A server power spike can disrupt hardware functions, a browser can create or discontinue a feature that a previously functioning website relied upon for proper presentation, server resources can be overloaded and a website could be hacked. Many times however it is simple human error that can corrupt files within a website. A prime example is when a website administrator accidentally performs some function that can modify or delete files critical to the website's coding infrastructure when adding or modifying content, products or system settings.
Once your website developer, including Website Development Shop, places all of your website files and data within the hosting company servers and you timely verify that everything is working, the website developer is no longer responsible for the health of the website as their job is done. Absent an additional agreement covering website maintenance, including regular backups of both the website files and database(s) with Website Development Shop or even another provider, the full responsibility to keep your website up to date and properly backed up is yours.
This is why a Website Preservation Package from Website Development Shop is so important. We can provide both skilled content additions to your website and ensure your website is properly protected through backups of both the website's files and databases.
Major Website Hosting Company Policies
Yes, there are many reasons a website can go down, disrupting both the image your business presents to the public and the income to be derived from any products or services you offer for sale within it. Considering how critical a website is to today's businesses it may surprise you to learn that major website hosting companies do not routinely and automatically backup your files and data. What follows are 5 notable examples.
GoDaddy is perhaps the most well known of all website hosting companies. The world's largest domain registrar with over 12 million customers, a NASCAR team, Super Bowl commercials and although they are a great website hosting provider, GoDaddy does not automatically backup its website hosting customers files or databases.
GoDaddy does not guarantee any backups for your website and according to their terms of service, you agree to back-up your own content. This is not a marketing gimmick to promote website backup services; this is the unfortunate truth. Look at their terms of service yourself – http://www.godaddy.com/legal-agreements.aspx. Under “5. General Rules of Conduct”, scroll down to number vii. “You agree to back-up all of your User Content so that you can access and use it when needed. Go Daddy does not warrant that it backs-up any Account or User Content, and you agree to accept as a risk the loss of any and all of your User Content.”
Directly stated in GoDaddy’s terms of service, it says “You agree to back-up all of your User Content so that you can access and use it when needed. Go Daddy does not warrant that it backs-up any Account or User Content, and you agree to accept as a risk the loss of any and all of your User Content.” So the user, which is the website owner, bears complete responsibility for GoDaddy website backup!
Go Daddy does not warrant that it backs-up any account or user content, and by purchasing web hosting, the website owner accepts the risk of loss for all content!.
Network Solutions, a well known and well regarded Web.com company with over 30 years of experience and over 3 million customers does not automatically backup your databases and their file backup feature can only access 7 days worth of backups! If your website is quite old, does not offer e-commerce and is not mobile device capable then this might work for you. However, today's modern websites work with at least one database at the back-end and unless you are highly familiar with MySql, database and table structures and relationships, interactive php programing - and have the time to do so - then this is no solution either.
Since 1997 DreamHost hosts over 1.5 million websites, WordPress blogs, and applications - but it too does not automatically backup the files and databases of its website hosting customers. Worse yet, if you do go through the time and effort to create a full backup of all of your website's files and databases DreamHost does not guarantee your backups will be available.
"DreamHost does not guarantee the backups for your domains. It is highly recommended that you always keep local backups of your site contents just in case a DreamHost backup is not available."
By the standards of the website hosting companies noted above HostGator is a smaller but popular company. HostGator has grown into a leading provider of Shared, Reseller, VPS, and Dedicated web hosting. HostGator is headquartered in Houston and Austin, Texas, with several international offices throughout the globe. In 2009 HostGator achieved a customer base of over 200,000. (http://www.hostgator.com/about).
However, its success and more personable approach to customer service HostGator does not automatically provide backups of its website hosting customers website files and databases. In fact, HostGator openly states this a number of places within their website. They provide that;
"HostGator backups are provided as a courtesy and are not guaranteed. Customers are responsible for their own backups and web content and should make their own backups for extra protection. For additional information, please refer to our Terms of Service".
Within its Terms of Service HostGator is even more specific:
28. Backups and Data Loss
Your use of the Services is at your sole risk. HostGator's backup service runs once a week and overwrites any of our previous backups. Only one week of backups are kept at a time. This service is provided only to shared and reseller accounts as a courtesy and may be modified or terminated at any time at HostGator's sole discretion. HostGator does not maintain backups of dedicated accounts. HostGator is not responsible for files and/or data residing on your account. You agree to take full responsibility for all files and data transferred and to maintain all appropriate backup of files and data stored on HostGator's servers.
Any shared account using more than 20 gigs of disk space will be removed from our off site weekly backup with the exception of databases continuing to be backed up. All data will continue to be mirrored to a secondary drive to help protect against data loss in the event of a drive failure.https://www.hostgator.com/tos
"HostGator is not responsible for files and/or data residing on your account. You agree to take full responsibility for all files and data transferred and to maintain all appropriate backup of files and data stored on HostGator’s servers."
The final website hosting company on our list Bluehost is a web hosting company owned by Endurance International Group. It is one of the 20 largest web hosts, collectively hosting well over 1.9+ million domains with its sister companies, HostMonster, FastDomain and iPage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluehost
If you have read this far then you know what comes next - Bluehost does not provide automatic backups of website files or databases for its website hosting customers.
Bluehost Policy on Account Backups
Bluehost does not offer redundant or mirrored backups. Bluehost will run courtesy backups at our discretion. Any backups that Bluehost runs are in addition to our Terms of Service and are not guaranteed. Customers are encouraged to run periodic backups through the provided cPanel. Bluehost recommends that you store such backups off site on your local system. https://my.bluehost.com/cgi/help/312
That's right - any backups that Bluehost runs are not guaranteed and customers are encouraged to run periodic backups and store them off site.
Website Development Shop can help you manage all of these requirements while you manage your business processes - giving you peace of mind and the flexibility to not only backup and restore your website files and databases, if necessary, but to manage your content for you as well.
If you have any questions about our website backup and maintenance packages please don't hesitate to reach out to us and we will be glad to answer them.