Hosting Backups and Slow Loading Pages

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Computer BackupsA while back I wrote: Backups what is the ideal time. I am not sure that backups are something most people spend very much time with, or even think about for that matter. When it comes to backing up your website there is a common assumption or expectation that your hosting company takes care of this. Generally they do a fairly decent job, but there is no guarantee that they won’t have a hiccup.

Assuming your host is making backups at regular intervals what exactly would be the perfect, ideal, reasonable or acceptable time? This is a tough one. It could depend on where in the world your target audience is located. Where your hosting company servers are, and a number of other things.

Since I live in the U.S. and most of my audience is also here in the U.S. I tend to follow the time zones located here. There are studies that say that peek internet traffic happens somewhere around 6 PM eastern time and goes to around 10 PM to 12 AM, give or take a little. They also say that nearly two thirds of the population resides on the east coast. 6 PM to 12 AM eastern time would be 5 PM to 11 PM central time zone, and 3 PM to 9 PM on the west coast.

Now I don’t get tons of visitors and pageviews like the big sites, but I do see more traffic during these times. Ideally I wouldn’t want anything running or happening on the server that was cpu intense during this time. It wouldn’t be a good time to be running a backup on the server when you are expecting the most traffic. People don’t stick around long when a website is loading slow, and you don’t want to give visitors another reason to leave.

Anyway what I am getting at is for the past two months my website would be extremely slow from around 7 PM to 12 AM eastern time every day including weekends. I have asked my host about this several times and I was always told that the backup doesn’t run until after 12 AM. So the other night I sent another email to them asking about this again. This time they told me that a backup and cpanel update is running during that time and they would change it to run off peak (after 12 AM). Now this makes me wonder if all the other times I asked about it if they just ignored me or if they didn’t even check on it. Either way since the server resides in Softlayer’s Dallas Texas datacenter and goes by local central time I would expect the backup would happen 12 AM or after central time. Apparently for at least a couple of months strait not only the backup, but cpanel updates were running during peak traffic times.

It does appear to be changed to the preferred after 12 AM time now because my site loads much faster during peak evening hours now. Hopefully they keep it that way and someone else at the hosting company doesn’t change it.

But what about sites that focus on other parts of the world? Or, website owners that are located on the other side of the globe? It can be tough to accommodate everyone in every time zone when it comes to running backups. For example, if I lived in Europe and had a European hosting company I would expect them to go according to optimal times for Europe.

I am just glad that things are running fast and smooth during peak times again. I will obviously watch it over coming weeks just to make sure.

What a difference scheduling and timing of backups can make.

About: Jeremy LeSarge - AKA: Ray (209 Posts)

I am the site owner and administrator of DialMe.com. I provide help and tips for Boonex Dolphin on the main part of this website where you will also find an assortment of other resources. Here, on the blog I write about a variety of topics surrounding WordPress, technology, social media/networking, SEO, and webmaster resources.




15 Comments

  1. Roger Jignesh Parekh

    Reply

    My host makes backups from time to time, but I don’t rely on them. I make my own backups every Friday 😀

    • Reply

      I don’t trust hosting companies completely when it comes to backups. Usually there is no problem, but it seems like the moment you need a backup from your host they don’t have one, or an old one. Always a good idea to keep your own just in case.

      • Roger Jignesh Parekh

        Reply

        It happened to me too. One night I was extremely tired, but I wanted to finish some upgrades and I pushed the wrong button. Man, you can’t imagine how desperate I was, I erased something very important. Unfortunately, the host had a 3 days old version. Since then I’ve made my own backups

        • Reply

          I had a host a number of years back that told me something was wrong with my account and the backup they had for me was a month old. I am not with them anymore, but kind of a bummer at the time.

  2. Amanda Gordon

    Reply

    It is unwise to depend on hosting companies. Sometime they get it right, but there are ocassions when the backup gets out of sync. The onus is completely on the website owner to make sure that there are timely backups.

    This is all the more so when frequent changes are made w.r.t content, themes, plugins and upgrades. While hosting companies do take backups, it is always preferable to have a site by site backup offline.

    • Reply

      Nothing is perfect and the same could be said about hosting company backups. They usually get it right, but they are not always perfect either. Keeping your own backups can provide another layer of protection.

  3. James

    Reply

    I only know few people who are doing backups for their sites. This is often taken for granted by most site owners even if they could easily perform this task. However, this could also be the best way to be safe as always.

    • Reply

      It usually is taken for granted and expected. Making your own backups is a good idea, but can be a little time consuming too. Worth it if you have the time or can make the time though.

  4. Jean

    Reply

    Just like Roger, I also make my own backups periodically. However, lately I am running out of space and will have to buy some new storage soon. Hoping that the cost of hard drives will come down after the recent spike following the Thailand floods in the Seagate and Western Digital factories.

    -Jean

    • Reply

      Hard drives have certainly come down in price in recent years, and they have much larger storage space and capacity. Then again, we have file types that can get fairly large in a hurry and it may not take long to run out of space.

  5. Reply

    I have a scheduler custom based written script that I set for storing backup with day to day or weekly basis according to it’s setting it Just check when server have low response rate then it start schedule backup.

    • Reply

      I had a host a few years back that I needed to get a backup from. Turns out it was something like a month old. Since then I don’t have a lot of faith in hosts keeping up with them.

  6. Tan

    Reply

    Even doing backup try not to do it at pick hour. I seldom backup my websites, but I think I should get another VPS and schedule backup purpose.

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