A 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.