A recent outage affecting numerous high-profile websites has put the need for disaster recovery into stark focus.

An issue with cloud computing provider Fastly caused some of the biggest websites to suffer outages earlier this month. Among those affected were the BBC, Amazon, PayPal, The Times, The Guardian, Reddit, Twitch and even the UK government’s gov.uk site.

With downtime estimated to cost some of the biggest companies up to £176,000 every hour, businesses large and small are rightly considering their own disaster recovery plans.

However, even though websites play an important role for many companies, often as part of their core business processes (everything from online sales to policy statements, job applications and access to client portals), many business owners admit to being unclear on the level of cover they have.

If you’re considering what all this means for your business, the first action would be to speak with your web agency. They can help create a disaster recovery plan that will not only better protect you from future outages, but also get your website back up and running quickly in case the worst were to happen.

Thankfully, there are a few steps that can be taken quickly and easily to get your disaster recovery off to the best start.

Stay updated

Many popular platforms, such as WordPress, publish regular security updates to keep websites protected from the latest online threats. It’s not just about security, though, as these updates also ensure websites continue to function correctly in a variety of web browsers and remain responsive on the myriad device screen sizes.

Keeping up to date is crucial, therefore, in ensuring your website remains both usable and secure. However, many SMEs have not made any arrangement with the individual or web agency that originally designed their site to continue this support on an ongoing basis. Speak to your developer and organise a retainer if required, to ensure you roll out updates promptly.

Keep backups

Backing up data is another crucial consideration. Just like data on a server, businesses should be making plans for the day that a disaster hits their hosting provider or web partner. This can be done by keeping a wholly separate copy of the company website, which can then be re-instated if the original is lost or scrambled.

New backups can and should be taken at regular intervals, to ensure any new amendments to the website are also saved. These will also allow you to scroll back through iterations, in case one of them caused a security issue.

By simply keeping your website up to date and maintaining regular backups, you’ll have mitigated the risk of suffering from serious outages that could cost your business – both reputationally and financially.