If you’ve ever had a hard drive crash, you know how painful data loss can be. If you haven’t had it happen yet, you will. When your hard drive crashes, you lose everything. It is gone and there’s usually no way to get it back. Your face will look like this: =(
I recommend backing up all of your really important information – including photos and documents. And this is important – back up your data to an offsite location. Why go to all the trouble, you say? What if your house burns down? Is hit by a tornado? What if your computer is stolen? Different events, same result -> :<
This is why I back up all of my clients’ websites. Daily. To an offsite location. Even though all my sites are hosted on enterprise-class servers with mirrored hard drives (that means that even if one crashes, there is another one with a copy of the same data), that is not enough. If one of my servers crashes, I want to be able to have all of my sites back up within an hour, and I’d assume you’d want the same for your site, am I right?
If you’re looking for a good web host, make sure they back up your data daily. If you are a high-volume eCommerce site, you’ll probably want your data backed up even more often, maybe even instantly. It just so happens that I do that as well! For eCommerce sites, I set up live replication. Any order that goes through a millisecond before a catastrophic event would be safely stored on another server, in another secure datacenter.
So, please please please back up your data. Whether it is at home or on your web server, there is no excuse not to be backing up nightly or more often. It is one of the cheapest forms of insurance you can get. In fact, I’ll even recommend one for home: BackBlaze. Super cheap, $5 a month. For your server, contact me.