I don't know how many times I tell people this-but saving your stuff will save your life! You never know when you'll make a change, or something happens, and you'll wish you saved that thing that you didn't think you'd need. Backups are a lifesaver. There's a reason we have an undo button, and change tracking, and version saves. It's to make our lives easier. It's to make sure we don't lose data.
Saving data in the online eCommerce world is even more important. You'd be surprised what you can learn from customer data. You can map trends, see what items are popular, see what's often purchased together and a million more things.
Losing backups or previous saves can actually cause downtime for your business or make your site unreachable. Data loss can come from hacks, from human error, from an online error, or even an angry past customer or employee. So, you need to ensure you have a recovery plan in place-before you need it!
A Backup System
A good backup system for saving your online stuff should have a few things. It should be regularly updated (for all those times you update/change your website), it should be full and capture as much data from your site as possible, it should be stored separately from your servers and your site (if you have them) and you should be able to easily use and access it when you need it. While these seem like simple things, you'd be surprised how often you're not prepared for data loss.
Why do I need a backup for my Shopify/BigCommerce store?
I'm a firm believer in having previous versions of your store or site saved. You should even keep a separate word document noting the changes you or anyone else have made. This is important for when you install and uninstall apps, or for when you have developers or designers work on your site. Everyone is human and makes mistakes. Maybe your developer royally screwed up your cart page and now nobody can check-out. If you have previous versions or have notes on the changes he or she made, then you can always get help elsewhere and it's 1000 times easier.
How often should I save?
I don't think there is a minimum or maximum that is a good rule of thumb. On your site since it's constantly fluctuating with sales and updates, backup your site at least once a day if possible. If you're writing blog posts, then maybe after every paragraph-especially when you start to restructure and move sections around. If you're editing your store's theme code than save as often as you can. Even creating different saved versions of your theme and labelling them can often be helpful when making bigger changes.
The moral of the story here is save-before you need to! Losing data is never fun, and recovery can be a frustrating hassle, or even impossible. Save yourself the trouble now by taking a few minutes and ensuring you have a recovery plan, backup options and other ways to ensure your data stays safe and recoverable.