CodeGuard: Website Backup and How We’re Different

CodeGuard offers a backup service unlike anything on the market today. No competitor offers offsite differential backup. What’s differential backup and why should I care?

First, let’s look at what website backup options exist right now, on a category by category basis:
1. Daily backups via FTP

You can use an FTP client like CuteFTP or FileZilla, and with discipline and focus, backup your website to your laptop or desktop on a monthly, weekly, daily, or hourly basis. And then you will have a folder with *many* versions of your website. You won’t be able to easily search between them, they will waste space, AND did we mention that you have to remember to initiate and then catalogue the backup. Right, exactly. Taking backups isn’t at the top of your list. On average, the human brain keeps roughly seven “things” in its foreground memory. What does that mean? It means that you aren’t going to care enough to remember to backup your website. If we didn’t have an autonomic nervous system controlling involuntary actions, like heart rate & cardiovascular function, respiration, digestion, etc, it is likely our brains would be overwhelmed by the number of conscious decisions to be made. Really? Why go that far? To show that our own bodies have implemented a structure that CodeGuard fits into. There are important things that you need to focus on and have direct control over: walking, thinking, speaking, etc. And there are other processes that just *happen* in the background, without you having to think about them. CodeGuard fits into this paradigm as one of the background processes that just exists and helps you out when you need it.

Next option

2. Automatic backups via a cron job
Ok, you know how to run cron jobs. Cool. If you don’t know what a cron job is, skip to number 3. Alright, so you get your cron set up. Now you have automated the process described in step 1. So at a minimum, you can look down on those guys. Unfortunately, though, you are still left with a duct tape solution to the problem. You will have a folder with zips, tars, tzs, gzs, or some derivation thereof, taken on a regular basis. Great. Have fun sorting through those when you need to remediate a problem or issue. Did I change the website a month ago? Will this version have what I’m looking for? Why don’t I just search through all of these versions, since I have so much free time and nothing to do with it.

3. CodeGuard
CodeGuard is the ONLY differential-based remote backup option in existence. Why? Because doing this isn’t exactly easy : ). How does it work? It depends. If you come to our website directly, as opposed to using our cPanel/Plesk/WordPress plugins, you will need to enter the FTP or SFTP credentials for the server that houses the directory(ies) that you would like backed up. Then you select the folders you would like for us to backup. We will perform an initial backup, which isn’t that interesting, unless your permissions were configured by your grandmother (What up Grandma!!) and we don’t have read access. Of course, the internet is the internet, and as such, it is a classic decoupled integrated system. Which means that CodeGuard doesn’t maintain control of your packets as they traverse the interwebs. If we are connecting to your site via FTP or SFTP, about 2% of the time, connections are dropped. We will re-initiate the backup three times before giving up. If for some reason, your small corner of the global WWW is too difficult for us to reach, we will tell you. But the odds are minimal that you will fall into this bucket, unless monkeys are working on your servers.

OK, so I’m guessing most of you skipped over that last portion discussing exceptions. We will assume that your first backup is taken successfully, and this is a safe assumption since the majority of backups do “take” successfully on the first try. What happens next? At this point, you have some decisions to make. Decisions? Don’t fear. There are system defaults so you don’t have to make a decision. What are the decisions you can make? You can choose a monitoring frequency, which determines the frequency at which CodeGuard will “visit” your site to see if anything has changed. The way that CodeGuard visits is by opening an FTP connection (if you are an FTP/SFTP user). We use magic for our cPanel/Plesk/WordPress users to “visit” their sites. Shhh! Choices available for monitoring frequency are: monthly, weekly, daily, and hourly (for our superusers). In addition to just monitoring your site for changes and then taking a new backup should changes be detected, your next decision has to do with what happens after we detect changes. You can choose to be notified or not. Really? Yes. We can notify you anytime something on your site changes. “But my database changes all the time”, you say. Of course it does. We don’t notify you when your database changes because most are changing all the time. Stats, cache, and log directories also change frequently, though the changes are not meaningful. Therefore, you can choose not to be notified when these directories change. In summary, you can choose monitoring frequency, to receive email notifications, and to filter the contents of the notification emails.

What else does CodeGuard do? I’m glad you asked.

Since we take differential backups, we can tell you exactly what has changed on your site. File names, sizes, and their favorite colors. Well maybe not that last part.

Ok, so what part of this is confusing?

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