Many backup platforms give you one method of backing up or another. Your choices? Manual or automatic. Much like a stick shift versus an automatic car, people are pretty opinionated about which they prefer. Just ask anyone who drives a standard what they think of cars with automatic gear shifting capabilities and you’ll find out that the opinions can get pretty passionate.
Much like with cars, the manual vs. automatic debate holds some of the same arguments. You often hear automatic drives say that their cars are easier to drive than manuals, and that they like not having to think about switching from gear to gear. Manual drivers, on the other hand, like their vehicles for this exact reason. They feel like switching gears manually keeps them in better control of their vehicle, and they don’t have to worry about automatic technical failures that can damage their transmission.
If you’re more interested in technology than car shop talk, we’ll break it down for you in tech lingo. There are arguments for both manual and automatic backups, and it’s up to you to decide which you prefer — or if you have to prefer one over the other at all.
A manual backup means that instead of a backup being created on a schedule, the tech user themselves has to ask for a backup to be made. This can work via asking a domain owner for a backup of their site, or simply clicking a button that creates a backup via a backup provider service. Either way, there is no backup that simply pops into the ether — someone has to put something in motion to create it manually.
The benefit of a manual backup is that you get the data copy you want at the exact time that you want it. Automatic backups may copy data too soon or too late based on recent changes you’ve made. If you change your data at 12:00 exactly, and your automatic backup tool creates your backups at 11:30, you have to wait for almost 24 hours to have a backup containing your changes. Alternatively, if you make changes you don’t like at 12:00 and your automatic backup is created at 12:30, it can be hard to revert if you decide your changes aren’t the right ones. Manual backups remove this risk by putting the power completely in the hands of the tech user.
Automatic backups serve a more general purpose — they create failsafes where there are none. Let’s say you’re using a manual backup service. You create a manual backup in June and don’t create another one for a while. Half a year passes by — you’ve made major changes to your data but don’t create another manual backup.
Disaster strikes and your entire computer is fried. You do have a usable backup, but it’s now December and any and all data changes you made since June are gone. With automatic backups, you know that you’re protected because your service is doing all of the work for you.
Rewind’s In the Middle
For the benefits of both manual and automatic backups, the question is really this: why can’t you have your cake and eat it, too? We think you should be able to eat as much cake as you want, which is why Rewind both automatically backs up a user’s Shopify store data and allows them to create manual backups that they can use immediately.
Don’t just settle for one way of protecting your data — give yourself the best of both worlds.