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Do You Keep Backups of Websites You Work On?
What happens when there is a crash...

 3:56 pm on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

In the past few months, I've had two clients experience self-made problems where web servers have crashed and sites were down.

They both called me, inquiring about my backups of their sites.

While I do keep site (i.e. code, content, images, media, etc.) backups, I do not perform daily backups of backend databases.

Do you all keep daily backups of an entire web project? If so, do you include it in your contracts?



 4:01 pm on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Do you all keep daily backups of an entire web project? If so, do you include it in your contracts?

Yes, and yes.... Although the frequency of the backups is a variable in my contract... a higher frequency = higher fee.

I have a client who is uber paranoid and he does do a very high volume of sales per day, but he requests an hourly backup of his DB. I had to put together an old box just to hold the backups on, but he pays for it so it is worth it for me to do.


 4:51 pm on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well my issue is, these companies don't think about backups and haven't thought about paying extra for daily backups. I think many organizations believe that full, daily backups are a part of the package.

I include a backup in my contracts, even if they don't request them. It is usually just a minimum backup, and I only do it because I've been in the computer industry for a decade and know how important backups are!


 5:30 pm on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes I found that that is true for me as well. People assume that backups are done and like you said, because we have been around we know to have at least a mininum backup plan for them.

It is something I bring up now with every client, and if there is a database then I force at least some type of backup service agreement on them and at the very least I get them to agree they don't want a rigorous backup plan. That way when they do take their own foot off I can point to their sig and say... "You didn't want to pay for that". Same as you though my most basic contract has a backup plan included to at least have something for them.

But I do consider a more rigourous backup plan as an additional service that I charge extra for... not a lot but enough to make having a safety deposit box at the bank for storing the removable drives with the backups on them worth paying for plus I send my sys guy there to do the awaps daily which takes him out of the office for some time, which I also feel is another fair reason to charge extra for backup plans.


 6:12 pm on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

doing a daily backup of databases is not particularly hard on most sites, it's a few lines of shell scripting.

Depends on the site, but you can roll up the whole site with tar then do a db dump to a file, nightly if desired, whatever schedule works best.

This assumes unix/linux servers of course.


 6:39 pm on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

No it really isn't hard you are correct, it is the off site back-ups that are more of a burden. I always try to make the distinction for the client as well, most of them with massive product lines and really good online sales revenue are willing to pay a couple extra rubels to have 1 back-up in a bank safety deposit box. I call it the "warm and fuzzy factor" becuase in over 10 years I haven't needed them once, but it gives me and them the warm and fuizzies when you lay awake in bed at night worrying about fire or whatever.


 12:32 pm on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

This assumes unix/linux servers of course.

Yes, and I usually do that with Linux servers. But I have a few clients with Windows/IIS-based servers where Access/SQL databases are used on the back-end. Even with the Access databases (which they requested), it's just a file copy.

But off site backups? I haven't even considered them! The main reason is because I know the companies wouldn't want to pay for the extra time/effort of maintaining off site data storage.

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