How to Create a Website Disaster Recovery Plan

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The unthinkable happens. Your website breaks, gets hacked, or sometimes completely stops functioning. You’ve carried out all the simple checks, but nothing helps.

This is when your website recovery plan comes into action. These are put into place to prevent this kind of thing from becoming an issue. While things can and do go wrong regardless of how prepared you are, having a website disaster recovery plan is vital. It can make the difference between saving or losing your website.

If you’re a Margott client, don’t worry! We have a website recovery plan in place for you. If you’re not a Margott client and don’t have a website recovery process, this should become a top priority for your accounting business.

Let’s take a look at the essential components of a website recovery plan:
  • Backups

    Just like writers keep copies of their manuscripts in case they spill coffee on the working one, you should keep backups of your website. This is not a step you can skip or leave to chance. If your current website is lost and you have no backup, you could have to rebuild it entirely.

    Make sure you store secure backups of your website externally to your hosting platform. Don’t just stop at one. Ideally, you should have 2-3 backups of your website stored in different locations for redundancy purposes.
  • Maintenance

    Ensure that someone is responsible for maintaining and performing security updates to the website. These should be carried out every week. If you maintain your website regularly, you have a much higher chance of spotting and fixing something before it becomes a bigger problem.

    Before any WordPress, theme, or plugin updates are performed, don’t forget to create a fresh backup of your website.
  • Content Updates

    Updating the content on your website will typically happen on a semi-frequent basis, although this depends on how in-depth the information on your website is. Have a plan for any content updates to be performed after a backup. Ideally, you’ll have a second pair of eyes to confirm the content update is visible correctly on the front end. This can help to stop any embarrassing typos.
  • Uptime Monitoring

    Unless you have nothing else to do, you can’t sit and watch over your website 24/7. However, you can set up monitoring for your website so that you can check to ensure that it’s online and working correctly. There are services that will monitor your website and ensure it’s online every 5 minutes. If it detects downtime, you will receive a notification so that you can jump into action to get your website back online.
  • Passwords

    It’s essential to carry out a regular password audit every 2-3 months. Ensure that you only use strong passwords for your website and store these using a secure password manager. It would be best if you also reviewed who has access to your website and whether that access is needed on a continued basis.
  • Contact Details

    Note the contact details of any companies involved in hosting or managing your website. For example, you’ll want to note your hosting company, domain provider, and email provider as a minimum. Having these details handy helps you to respond to a disaster more effectively.