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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)

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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 June 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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 June 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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 June 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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 June 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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 June 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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 June 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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.