We’ve all experienced the moment of confusion and anxiety when something goes wrong on the computer. Luckily, rectifying mistakes is often just a matter of typing “Ctrl + Z” or clicking “Undo.” Suddenly, all is right with the world and you can continue on with your day.
But when you run an ecommerce store, there’s a very real risk that something will go wrong with your website. And when it does, it isn’t as simple as undoing a single action. Some issues are complex enough that a resolution will take time. And sometimes, there’s no easy fix. Unless you have backed up your ecommerce site at the time of a crash or hack, you be left with only a blank slate.
The importance of backing up your ecommerce website is compounded by the fact that downtime literally translates into lost revenue. But missed sales only make up around one-fifth (22 percent) of the total cost. The issues may require additional ecommerce development and maintenance. Moreover, downtime leads to loss of customer trust and potential technical support costs, too.
When Does A Backup Come In Handy?
A website backup is most important following an error that affects part of all of your website. In other words, it’s an insurance policy against those “oops” moments that can deeply impact your bottom line and store reputation.
Anytime you’re modifying the coding for your website, you risk unexpected outcomes. One well-placed tweak can affect the appearance and functionality of your store in myriad ways. There’s a very real possibility it will take time to identify and undo mistakes when it comes to code. Every minute, hour or day spent in limbo is money lost and energy wasted. If the mistake is serious enough, it helps to have a site backup ready to go. This is also why many merchants conduct a cloud ecommerce platform comparison ahead of time to find a solution for their store that makes customization easy and client support accessible rather than doing it all manually.
It’s also important to consider that integrating a third-party app may wreak unexpected results on your store. When you install an app, you are granting the platform several permissions. The app has the ability to view, edit, or modify your stored data. There’s no guarantee that your next app integration will go off without a hitch; it’s wiser to anticipate potential issues ahead of time by backing up your important data. That way, you can use apps and plug-ins without fear of accidentally affecting some element of your website.
There’s also the possibility of trying to delete, add or modify something on your site and accidentally wiping an entire category or section at once. In that case, having your data backed up will make it much more feasible to simply re-upload the missing information.
Logistics Of Backing Up Your Web Store
Comma-Separated Values Files (CSV) will be your best friend when it comes to backing up your ecommerce website data. CSV files allow you to import and export information pertaining to:
- Your product offerings
- Your customers
- Your orders
It’s also smart to download and save a copy of your theme just in case. Another option for backing up the most important functions of your website is using a specialized app. Utilizing a dedicated backup app allows you to get more granular in what you save so you can get back up and running if the worst-case scenario—or even a small hiccup—occurs.
There’s a possibility you’ll never need to use your backup information. But preparing for the worst is simply good business sense. Backing up your ecommerce website now might save you down the line.