Here’s what most people don’t realize: there are two parts to any website…the hosting and the domain. The domain is your web address, while your hosting is where your site lives in the virtual world. I also know graphic designers don’t come cheap. A good graphic designer with a decent site will cost you upwards of $5,000.

So you spend all this money on this wonderful site, but have you ever stopped to consider whether your site is backed up? This may seem like a confusing idea. Why would your site need to be backed up?

First, you’re protecting yourself. If anything goes wrong or if your site fails or is tampered with for any reason, you have all your data, files, codes and content neatly tucked away. I mean, wouldn’t it be great if you could instantly have everything replaced in your home, just as it was, in the event of a robbery or disaster? Well, data backup is that virtual replacement for your website.

Not to be a total pessimist, but it’s also not uncommon for non-savvy professionals to try and tweak their site on their own and end up deleting important files. The list goes on and on, but let’s get to how you can prevent future problems.

Best Data Backup Options

Check out Backblaze, which is highly rated by Comparz. Online backup plans start for as little as $3.96/month for unlimited data storage. They also make it pretty easy to use; all you need is internet know how and your website login. You can also consider Dropbox (which I featured in another blog on storage service) and KineticD. KinetcD even offers a free trial for their services, which includes backup and recovery, remote access through a web portal, a remote desktop that lets you work from anywhere and mobile apps.

You might be able to get a cheaper deal with your existing host company. One of my websites is hosted by Lunar Pages, and they charge just an extra $1.95 for data backup. Even if Backblaze was cheaper, I’d have to consider the ease and benefit of having everything under one umbrella. On the other hand, should your host company fail or go out of business, it’s a comfort to know all your data is safely secured elsewhere. This is a particular risk that executives who prefer cloud backup systems have to keep in mind.

Cloud Options

Innovative cloud technology lets you access data anywhere you get an internet connection, but companies offering this service have also had their share of disasters. Thousands of Carbonite customers, an online data and file backup software, felt the blow back in 2009 due to hardware failures. So even though Carbonite gets rave user reviews for ease of use, price and customer service, all that doesn’t mean a whole lot when you’ve lost your data. Not to say that Carbonite is a terrible company, but it is one example of how malfunctions can occur even in cream of the crop businesses.

SugarSync is another cloud system. They offer a free trial so you can navigate how a cloud system works and see if they’re the right company for you. I’d take ten minutes to review the competitor comparison page that will give you great insight into some leading names, plus what to look out for.

If you’ve got a few bucks to spare, I recommend using your current host’s backup option if they have one, an outside source and backing data up on your own external hard drive. One thing you want to watch out for is making sure that all your data is backed up, which includes every single digital file. Backblaze automatically does this, then lets you go back in and delete junk files.

Your website backup plan is your Plan B. And if you’ve done your homework and picked the best, most secure host/plan, then Plan B is as far as you’ll ever need to go.