The importance of making backups of your website is not always realised.
In the “old days” websites were made on a computer and then uploaded to a server where they become visible on the world wide web.
However, a lot of websites these days are built using a Content Management System such as WordPress. This means that all the structural files and the content are housed online and are not kept on an offline computer (or rarely so).
If the server goes offline, gets attacked or becomes inaccessible in some other way you may have lost your content.
An example, which we have just fixed for a client, is a website had been hacked with malicious code and the website was causing problems for the hosting company. The hosting company had completely disabled the website to prevent it affecting other websites on its server.
In order to get the website back online they required ALL files to be deleted. The website had been built using a Content Management System and so none of the written content was available offline. And to make it worse, no backups had been made in 5 years!
We couldn’t just make a current backup and use that information to restore once all files were deleted because then the malicious code would be somewhere in those files. However, we were able to reinstall the content management system and restore the content from the backup from 5 years ago. Luckily very few changes had been made in the last 5 years and so nothing much was lost.
This highlights the need to do regular backups. If you manage your own WordPress website there are plugins available that allow you to do the backups yourself and even have a restore function if anything goes wrong. If you don’t it’s advisable to ask your website manager to do regular backups – once a week if you update the website a lot; once a month if you update it occasionally; or every 6 months if you rarely update the website.