Backups of your WordPress site or at least your database are essential right? Yes, absolutely, but sometimes you need to be careful where you put them, as I seek to show in this true story.
A good number of years ago I assumed responsibility for a non-profit, private sector organisation’s WordPress site and, because money was an issue, a well-known shared hosting provider was used to host the site. We were mindful of the importance of backup so installed iThemes’ excellent BackupBuddy plugin. Periodically we made full site backups with the plugin. The backups were saved to a backups folder within our WordPress installation on the shared hosting server as well as to a local computer.
Some time later I received an unexpected email from the hosting provider which said, among other things:
“Your web hosting account for [website url] has been deactivated, as of [a specified date]. (reason: Backups/Storage Constraints)
This deactivation was due to a Terms of Service violation associated with your account. At sign-up, all users state that they have read through, understand, and agree to our terms. These terms are legal and binding.
Although your web site has been suspended, your data may still be available for up to 15 days from the date of deactivation; if you do not contact us during that 15 day period, your account and all of its files, databases, and emails may be deleted.”
The story ends happily, in that we removed the backup files and asked the host to reinstate the site which, thankfully, it did. (I believe the host has a good reputation. I’m not meaning to disparage it any way. If anyone was at fault, it was probably me.)