Do you have current backups for your church’s website? What if your church website were to be hacked? It can happen – my home congregation’s website has been defaced by hackers. Here’s some security tips for church websites, but even if your site is secure, you still might need a backup. What if your church website’s hosting company closed?
64% of people don’t back up their computers even monthly [source], and I’m willing to bet many website administrators aren’t much better. You or your team have put huge amounts of work into making your site what it is today, and I’m guessing you don’t want to start from scratch. So what’s your backup strategy?
Backing up your website doesn’t have to be difficult, time-consuming, or take any time after it’s set up. My website is backed up weekly without any interaction from me. I use the aptly named free WordPress plugin WordPress Backup to Dropbox. It automatically backs up my entire website into my DropBox folder.
If you’re not familiar with it, DropBox is a fantastic online service that takes files saved into a folder on your computer, loads them onto their servers, and automatically synchronizes them between all devices on your (free!) account. So for example, if you create a Word doc on your office computer and save it into your Dropbox folder, when you get home the same document will be already on your home computer, your iPad, smartphone, or anywhere else you’ve installed the program.
Did I mention it’s totally free? Well, technically they do charge if you want more storage, but I save all of my text documents and websites on my account, and I’m nowhere close to the free size limit.
It also syncs changes between devices and you can share documents between accounts. So say your church secretary creates the bulletin on the office computer. You can open it from any device, make a change, and without dealing with emails or anything like that, when the secretary next opens the bulletin file, your changes will be there.
And, in case you made a mistake or change your mind later, all revisions are automatically kept track of online, so you can revert back to an earlier version at any time. Files can also be accessed through the Dropbox website from any internet connected device, so if you get to a retreat and realize you forgot your PowerPoint presentation on the office computer, you can easily get it.
For websites, Dropbox works well because if your site is hacked, all the previous versions of the documents making up the site are saved, so it’s easy to roll back the site to a previous version. Again, the WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin is free and easy to set up, as long as your church website is running on WordPress, and you have a DropBox account. So what are you waiting for? Take the time to get automatic, scheduled back-ups set up. It’s a lot better to spend a few minutes now for free and hope you’ll never need a back up than to have to spend the time and money to reconstruct your website from scratch later!