How To Establish A WordPress Disaster Recovery Plan For Your Business
Can your WordPress Site continue to function even in the case of losing its data? If the answer is no, then establishing a disaster recovery plan is an inevitable need for your WordPress site.
What is a recovery plan? There can be many reasons for a site to lose all of its data. It can be a machine error or a human mistake. If currently, you don't have an established data recovery idea for your WordPress Website then chances are, down the line, your data is in danger.
On the other hand, if you do have a WordPress disaster recovery plan enabled for your site, then you are following good practices to keep your site secured at all times and meet all sort of technical contingencies. Even though many companies nowadays do not have such Website calamity recovery scheme to keep their sites secure, there are many tools available that can help you in availing this fantastic feature for your WordPress Website security.
Indeed, how soon and how well your site recovers from a disaster depends on how well you have planned to meet that disaster.
How can you create a good disaster recovery Scheme?
How to create a disaster recovery plan? Creating a site disaster rehabilitation scheme is relatively easy and quick. And once your site gets hit by any of such disaster, this idea will save you so much angst and time that you will wonder why you even thought about living without one!
But before we dig further into the details of developing a web disaster recovery scheme, first we must understand that a good calamity recovery scheme is essential for two primary reasons.
First it helps you in recovering your site from a range of disasters, and second, it helps you in mitigating the risk of facing such disasters.
The best idea is the one which holds a delicate balance of details and simplicity. After all, such methods are used in reasonably stressful conditions, and they have to be clear as well as to the point.
An excellent and basic disaster recovery idea includes:
Why do we need to have a disaster recovery plan in place?
Multiple things can happen simultaneously and give rise to a disaster. Let's say if your site is hacked, chances are you will face a hardware failure as well. In a worst-case scenario, your hosting idea can go offline as well.
Can you handle the stress of this disaster? Or if it is a client's site, you get the added joy of dealing with a disgruntled client, too.
That is why having a web server calamity recovery idea ensures that you have already taken all the required measures in a non-disastrous and calm environment, and from now on, even if a disaster strikes, you got the idea to work around the situation. This eventually means no panic and no what-ifs. With a disaster rehabilitation scheme in place, you can calmly follow simple steps and recover from the damage soon.
What are the factors which constitute a good disaster recovery plan?
Here are the natural calamity recovery steps:
How to prepare a natural calamity recovery plan? The first step of a natural calamity recovery scheme is first to determine if you are experiencing a disaster in actual. Once you make an investigation checklist, it allows you to quickly determine if you are having a disaster and if yes, what kind of failure it is.
Typically, you reach for the checklist once your client, you, or your uptime tracking service becomes aware that your WordPress site is not responding, and now you need to confirm if there is any genuine issue which needs to be fixed.
However, you must consider and remember two necessary things:
Hence, once the checklist is completed, you will be cleared about the faced scenario and the course of action required to fix it.
When we say script, we mean the numerous types of "disasters" that can occur. Once you determine the scene, it becomes easier to work out the severity, steps, and actions required to tackle the situation and who is accountable for these actions.
Common Scenarios include:
The hosting scheme goes down - This can happen for many reasons, but if your site's downtime extends up to days than hours then you might need to switch your site and get it back up and running at some other new location.
Your site gets hacked – This is one of the most common disasters and the one who usually needs a full restore to fix.
An update to plugins/theme/core ‘breaks' the site –This happens quite commonly, especially when an update is installed hastily. This may also require the update to get ‘backed out' and this is done through the restoration of the files to pre-update status.
A contact list can come handy in case of a disaster. It allows you to find the contact details of the right person at the right time. A contact list is a go-to place for the email, name, mobile number and address of any person who is responsible for taking action, or who must be informed about the incidence.
What factors need to be considered when you create a recovery plan?
Acceptable Downtime Limits
This is one of the most critical factors to determine. The majority of site owners might answer that there is no ‘acceptable' downtime. But you must be brutally realistic since you need to learn the duration for which your website will be down - before you get hold of an alternative hosting arrangement – even temporarily.
Since an e-commerce site will have quite a different downtime limit in comparison to an informational website, you must determine how critical or crucial the place is to the organization. Since an e-commerce website will have quite a different downtime limit in comparison to an informational website, you must determine how critical or crucial the place is to the organization.
Similarly, one crucial thing that you must keep in mind while figuring out the acceptable limit is that shifting a site to an alternate hosting arrangement requires an update of DNS and these measures can take almost 24 hours actually to propagate. So even if a place can be rebuilt in a new environment just in one hour, it doesn't mean that it will be available immediately. Since managing expectations is also a part of online disaster rehabilitation scheme, so make sure you end up keeping these expectations quite realistic.
If the response to a scenario needs a full restoration, you must evaluate how you will set up the backup regime and to be specific, the frequency of the checkpoints. A checkpoint is that moment when your site's snapshot is taken. When we say restoring to the inspection, it means to recreate the site up to the same level as it was at the moment of that taken snapshot and losing the data which was created between the failure moment and the checkpoint.
For instance, if your site's daily back up regime is at 8:00 am, and you restore your place at 5:00 pm, then it means that your checkpoint is 9 hours old.
But is it a problem? And what is so crucial about losing the data of a day's worth?
For a few sites, the chances are that the impact is minimal. But regarding commercial websites, the effect can be huge, and for this reason, the checkpoint must be taken far more frequently. For this, you may use WPEngine - a hosting company - which offers Restore Checkpoints. Similarly, Automattic's service which provides a real-time backup called VaultPress.
Backup Regime of Current Host
Virtually, all hosting platforms provide a backup regime but not all the owners of WordPress sites know the details. The owners assume that these backups are taken and that they will easily cross the restored bridge once they come to it.
But being a site's owner, if you do not know the workings of it, then how can you assume that in the case of facing a disaster it will fix your issue?
That is why, ensure that you are full across the backup regime of your current host and what contribution can it make, if any, in your calamity recovery idea.
Specifically, watch out for:
A. How frequently does your current host backup the database or your files?
B. Where are these backups being stored? While offsite can be a safe option, it usually increases the time of restoration.
C. What is the process of starting a restore?
D. What is the duration of a typical restoration process?
E. What is the cost of restoration?
We know that you would prefer to restore and have control over the backup regime instead of just relying on your current hosting arrangement, hence, you must take advantage of the many solutions available to all the owners of WordPress sites.
When you select a service or a product, then you wish to go with the same criteria as of when you assess the backup regime of your host.
- Can it support your need for checkpoint frequency
- Where are these backups being stored? You should go with offsite, which may include cloud, as there is no point in saving them on the same web server - the one hosting your WordPress site.
- What is the process of restoration completion?
- What is the duration of restoration?
- What is the cost of restoration?
The Ultimate Backup Solution – VaultPress
Among all the available backup solutions, VaultPress seems to be the most promising and impressive option, particularly the Premium and Basic schemes where the real-time backup is offered. In these schemes, VaultPress guarantees to back up every media file, comment, post, dashboard setting and revision as they occur. We know it sounds nothing less than a checkpoint frequency dream.
The schemes cost $40/month for Premium and $15/month for a Basic subscription. This nonetheless offers real peace of mind, i.e., face value at an exceptional price.
Keep it Simple and Short
If the idea creation seems like a daunting task, then you cannot get it done. Here you are not analyzing a 200-page document which would cover details of every minute, but you want to create something which is short, concise and to the point. Hence, you got to be creative in the process!
Use flowchart for investigation checklist. Put the actors, scenarios, and actions in a table format. The reason for keeping the information simple and short is that this information will be accessed at the time of stress,hence, it must be comprehensible and straightforward to follow through. When it comes to this, keeping less is a lot more.
Use A CDN
In the case, you need to restore a site entirely then typically the upload directory is the most prominent component for restoration, especially if you have a vast quantity of videos, images, or PDF files on your WordPress site.
However, to remove this particular requirement altogether, you may consider transferring all the files to CDN – Content Distribution Network such as MaxCDN, Amazon S3 or xxx. Even though, you will need to pay a cost to avail this facility, your time of recovery will be considerably reduced. Moreover, as a bonus, your visitor can enjoy a speed boost with regards to downloading while you take some load off the web server.
Keep on testing the recovery process frequently and from time to time. You may also run the test on a daily basis because the more you run the process, the more efficient and quicker you can perform when faced with a real-life disaster.
Prevention is always better than cure
Where you should store a disaster recovery plan?
Well, there is no point to get a calamity recovery idea unless you can access it whenever a disaster strikes. Your best bet is to store a program at a location which is easily accessible by anyone who would need it and for this, the most excellent option is to locate it on some third-party service such as Google Drive or DropBox.
Generally, the idea of using Google Docs is preferred. This is because it is not only a straightforward means of keeping information available but you can also edit it and make it a simple ‘living document.
With the increasing number of cyber crimes all over the world and almost 75% of WordPress sites being under attacked the majority of times, having a disaster recovery idea is the most viable and safest option to avail.Moreover, being prepared might not wholly prevent the happening of the disaster, but it will help you in getting your site up and running, with complete database backup and that too, as quickly as possible.