A blog can be a big asset for a small business owner. B2B marketers who blog generate 67 percent more leads than those who do not, according to InsideView research. But just as blogging can be a great business asset, losing your blog due to a cyber disaster can be potentially devastating to your business, costing you content, readers and customers. Here are some ways to protect your business against the risk of blog disasters.
One line of defense you should take is protecting your blog from hackers. There is no fool-proof solution to guard your site against hackers, but there are a number of steps you can take to make your site harder to hack.
Start with some of the more simple steps:
- Use a long-string random password generator to protect against brute force attacks that check your password against known phrases.
- Create a username with administrator-level access using a different name than “admin” so you can delete this easily hacked username that comes by default when you install platforms like WordPress.
- Use a plugin to limit log-in attempts, which will also make brute force attacks more difficult.
- Make sure your blogging platform and plugins are updated to the latest versions to protect against known security vulnerabilities.
In addition to these basic measures, your IT team can take more technical precautions. For instance, Business Promotion uses a customized WordPress plugin to restrict access to sensitive administrative areas of blogs from anyone not logging in from an approved IP address, while also making certain key directories read-only so that cyber attackers cannot upload files.
Storing Past Versions of Your Blog
In addition to hackers, your blog can be at risk from technical problems such as version updates that disrupt your site’s display or site crashes that take your site down. One step to mitigate this risk is setting up your blog so that you can restore previous versions of your pages.
For instance, the WP Rollback plugin lets you roll back themes and plugins to previous versions. Your hosting service may also be able to roll back your site for you. Not all hosting providers will do this automatically, so ask your provider’s support representative about their policies and options.
Backing Up Your Site
In addition to seeing which rollback options your hosting service offers, take proactive measures to back up your site. You may be able to do this from within your hosting provider’s administrative interface. For instance, cPanel gives you the option to save your backups to a directory and to additional sites.
Ideally, you should arrange for backups of your site to be sent to a cloud-based service provider to ensure that your backups are always available to access from any location, even if disaster strikes your business location or your hosting provider.
Retrieving Archives from the Web
While this is not an ideal solution, in a pinch, you may be able to retrieve part or all of your website from online archives. For instance, the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine regularly crawls the web and saves archives of websites. An IT expert may be able to find versions of your site stored elsewhere on the web. This method will usually be useful only for recovering public parts of your site, so it is unreliable for a complete backup of your databases.