Why use off-site Backups?

It goes without saying that regular backups of your website are an important step in maintaining your digital presence and keeping your data secure.  If, however, it doesn’t go without saying and you are unconvinced that having regular backups of your site are important, just ponder the following scenarios;

  • Your site just got hacked and all your site code has been rewritten, turning your webserver into a spam bot…
  • Your web servers hard-drive/memory/motherboard just died…
  • You accidentally deleted some files you thought were not needed any more…
  • A plugin you installed to… increase sales/make your life easier/add some fantastic new feature… just corrupted your data!!!

Regular backups are a MUST, if you don’t have them, you are uninsured!

I already have backups!

Most site backups are kept either on the webserver itself or held by your hosting company.  Yet both these solutions have disadvantages.  Although you may have a backup from which you can recover files or lost images, what happens if your Hosting Company goes bust or suffers a catastrophic hardware failure and you cant even get to your backup files?

This happened recently to a customer of  ours who had not taken the optional off-site backup facility we offer. They asked if we could restore their site onto another server as we had created it in the first place. We said “Yes but you will get the site as it was delivered in the first place (several years ago) and any new data, articles, news, images submitted since then are not available”. They were aghast – “But where’s our data?”, where indeed…

Help is at hand

Our solution presents a ‘Belt & Braces’ approach ie multiple redundant backups. Not only do you have on-site backup files for quick and easy restores, we also provide an off-site storage area that allows you to access your data whether your website hosting is up or not. Totally separate from your hosting, globally accessible 24/7 easily restorable backup files.

Why is this optional? Because the off-site storage is an added cost. Its not large but it is in addition to your hosting. We think that’s a small cost for peace of mind and ease of use.

What do I get?

  • We do the installation and setup for free, even though it takes about an hour.
  • Regular daily backups of your site.
  • The facility to restore your WorsdPress website ‘as is’ onto any other hosting server
  • Optional reports
  • Optional local backup copies to your PC/Mac etc via email

What’s the cost?

Standard off-site backups start at £70 per year. Thats it, done.

Optional extras @ £50 for a TOTAL COST of £120 per year;

  • Specify the backup time
  • Automatic backups (whenever you update your site plugins etc)
  • Easy site migrator
  • Multiple off-site stores
  • Detailed backup file/DB table options/choices


Why do my emails bounce?

We’ve all been there. You need to send an urgent message via email then, when you check your email reports you see that it “bounced.”

If that’s the case, it means that your email never actually got to the intended recipient.

Most email bounces are just bad timing. Wait awhile and try again. If persistent though, one of the reasons below should explain the problem. In 99% of cases an email bounce has absolutely nothing to do with your email server or client.

Here are seven reasons your emails may be bouncing and what to do about it:

1. A non-existent email address

If the bounce is marked as “non-existent email address,” the email address could have a typo or the person with the address may have left the organization.

There’s also a chance that the contact gave a false email address, which can be the case if you’re gathering email addresses from your website form.

In this case, it’s important to review these bounced contacts and see if there are any obvious typos in the email address. If not, try to reach the contacts by other means to confirm their email address.

2. Undeliverable email

If bounced emails are in the “Undeliverable” category, that means that the receiving email server is temporarily unavailable, was overloaded, or couldn’t be found.

A server that can’t be found could have crashed or be under maintenance, so this may just mean waiting to send your email to the address again. However, if this email address repeatedly bounces on multiple emails, it may mean their server or company has gone for good.

3. Mailbox Full

If your contact has so many emails in their inbox that they can’t receive any more, your emails will bounce back until there is space for them.

Sometimes, this can mean that the contact is no longer using that email address.

As with a non-existent email address, you may want to follow up with the contact by phone or mail to check whether their address is correct.

4. Vacation/Auto Reply

If someone goes on vacation or can’t check their email, your emails to them may get an “out of office” reply..

It’s important to note that, unlike with other bounce categories, this type of bounce means your email was successfully sent to the inbox.

Carefully monitor how often this email address ends up in this category. If months go by and the person hasn’t returned from vacation, you may want to check with the contact another way to verify the email address is current.

5. Blocked email

If the email addresses are placed within the “Blocked” category, the receiving server has blocked the incoming email.

This is often the case among government institutions or schools, where servers can be stricter when it comes to receiving emails.

To resolve this issue, you need to get in touch with the contact and request that their server administrator unblock your IP address – they can find the IP address from your domain name (for example, this sites domain name is gyroscopic-solutions.co.uk ).

6. Other

Bounces that don’t give the server a reason for bouncing are put in this category, so it can mean that the email bounced for one of the reasons above or something else.

It’s important to keep an eye on these contacts, too, to see if the bounces keep recurring.

7. Blacklisting

This is where your server IP address has been placed on a Black List of suspected email spammers or other malicious deliverers such as viruses etc.

If you think you have been black listed you can check here. Enter your domain name or IP address and choose blacklist from the orange button.

Dedicated & Shared IP addresses?

If you have not yet purchased a dedicated IP address for your domain from us, this would be a good time to do so.

Shared IP addresses mean that other domains as well as yours have the same IP address and if just one of the other domains is naughty and gets black listed, so will you. To prevent this you must have a DEDICATED IP address for your domain



WordPress Upgrades

By default all our WordPress installations are set to automatically load critical/security updates, also called minor version updates (noted as being the x in 4.2.x).

Major version updates are WordPress releases that include added or changed functionality for the WordPress core and are denoted by the major version numbers (the 4 & 2 in 4.2.3). As these releases can change functionality in core files, they may also break your website and so, we dont let these load automatically.

WordPress major updates are, never the less, important to your business. They can contain (as mentioned) new functionality but also performance enhancements, better admin interfaces and/or enhance UI capabilities along with the usual bug fixes and security patches. Here’s a summary of what an update can contain;

  • Security Updates
  • Performance Enhancements
  • Bug fixes
  • Standards/Compatibility updates
  • New Features

The upgrade process for major releases is more involved and requires preparation including backups, prior to the upgrade and theme/plugin testing after the upgrade, to ensure your website continues to work properly. This mean if there are any serious issues we can always restore your site to its previous state very quickly, with minimal downtime.

As this is an involved process it is also a premium service that we charge for. Should you wish to have your WP installation upgraded to the latest version, please contact us for a quote. Options include, test server upgrade (we upgrade a copy of your site and test it off-line, so your visitors remain uninterrupted), out-of-hours upgrades (live upgrades but done late at night so you have minimal disruption to your business).

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us.