My WordPress website was hacked, and it was super embarrassing.Just when my recent blog post about why you shouldn't download nulled versions of BackupBuddy was starting to rank well for various keywords and gaining some decent traffic, my site began to redirect to another website. I couldn't log into my website at all. I wasn't able to find much information about this particular hack to fix it especially since I couldn't gain access to my site.However, I still had access to my server, and because I had an awesome disaster and recovery plan I was able to return my website back to a running instance quickly.
You'll never realize that a backup and and disaster recovery plan will help you sleep better at night if you run a website, even if you never have to recover your website.Recently, two hosting platforms and their users suffered missteps.a2 Hosting, a shared hosting provider I've been using since 2013, has had their Windows servers shut down for over a week as the company suffers from a ransomware attack. Additionally, the available backups the company has for customers appear to be over 2 months old.DigitalOcean mistook a user's script as a crypto-mining operation, and shut down a startup's servers.I'm fortunate to not be affected as my a2 Hosting account is Linux-based, and my DigitalOcean VPS is a low-profile risk. However, this is devastating for these company and their users. I'm sure there are terms of service policies that cover these hosting companies for situations like these to a certain aspect.There's a much to learn from these situations, and this is a good time to reflect on having plans for your website in situations like these.
Restorable backup planThere's no excuse not to have a backup plan and infrastructure for your computer, websites, and any important data. Here are some of the backups I have set in my digital life:
- For my main computer, I have a full weekly backup with daily incremental backups, that are then synced to my FreeNAS box, which are also synced to a Backblaze B2 Bucket.
- For my FreeNAS server, I have a backup of the config file that is backed up to Dropbox, Backblaze, and mirrored on a second USB drive.
- For my websites, my entire cPanel host instance is backed up each week, and then downloaded to my FreeNAS server. The individual websites have backups with BackupBuddy which have weekly and daily schedules relative to their respective performance, which are then synced with Dropbox. Some sites also backup to Amazon S3.