By Alex Clark-McGlenn
When your blog hits it big, you don’t want the increased traffic to make it crash. You’ve spent hours, years even, on exclusive content that people can’t get anywhere else. This material is protected by law if used in any way that devalues your blog, and if you run a marketplace, you must make sure your customer information is protected from hackers. Here’s a look at how you can back up, monitor, and protect, everything blog related.
Most popular blog services such as WordPress and Blogger have automatic export options. WordPress has a free plugin called WordPress Backup, which allows you to schedule backups periodically so you’re always protected. Blogger, on the other hand has a direct download option from the tools menu. This provides you with a file that you can then store on your computer or a cloud storage service.
When you use a cloud storage service, you entrust your information, and if you run a marketplace on your blog, your customers’ information, to a third party. While free services like Google Drive may be the standard for individuals who need extra storage for their data, why trust a standard service with this type of sensitive information. Opt for a top-of-the-line cloud storage service that offers scheduled backup options and military-grade encryption, so all of your data is protected against hacks and crashes.
Traffic Spike Crash and Prevention
If you have engaging, creative and consistently posted content on your blog that spreads like wildfire, you’ll likely see some major traffic spikes when you post certain material of high interest. A viral post can cause a traffic spike that crashes your blog, if you aren’t prepared for it. There are a couple different ways you can plan for this, one of which is server-side caching. A server-side cache stores pre-loaded pages in it, so each time a page request is initiated from a user, it doesn’t have to create the page from scratch, which takes some of the strain off the server.
Some blog services utilize shared servers, which are fine for low or medium traffic sites, but if you expect a heavy flow of traffic, then you should invest in a dedicated server from professional website host. If all else fails, you can actually compress your webpages (like a zipped file) and allow visitors’ web browsers to unzip each page, which cuts down on the work your host server must do. While this is a little tricky, it can save you from a total crash.
Customer Information Security
If you run a marketplace on your blog, use an on-premise server to store customer information. Since you and your team are the only people with access to the server it’s much less likely that you’ll be targeted by accomplished hackers — there are bigger fish in the sea.
You should also use a firewall and malware detection program such as HackAlert or Dasient which monitors any malicious code that might slip through your firewall. If you must delete sensitive information, the delete button doesn’t fully remove files from your computer. You’ll need an erasure program such as BleachBit or Blanco that completely scrubs data from your computer.
Alex Clark-McGlenn is a graduate of the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts Writer’s Workshop. His fiction has been published in the Best New Writing 2016 anthology, The Cost of Paper, Smokebox.net, and others. In his spare time he enjoys cycling, soccer, and reading. He lives the Pacific Northwest.