Running a successful website requires keeping several factors in mind. One of the most important in today’s digital landscape is how you store your site’s data. Understanding your storage needs is crucial for ensuring functionality as well as preventing security incidents.
Different data storage options have various effects on things like analytics and user experience. Similarly, each method comes with unique security considerations you’ll have to consider. Data privacy is becoming a major concern, and you may face legal ramifications for different storage options.
Policies like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California’s Consumer Privacy Act regulate how you store and use information. If nothing else, you should understand your website’s data storage so you can comply with these. With that in mind, here are five storage concepts you should know.
One of the go-to options for client-side data is Web Storage. Web Storage holds data in a user’s browser, enabling a more seamless user experience. With this tool, you can store preference settings, localization data and more, up to 5 MB per storage area.
There are two types of Web Storage: sessionStorage and localStorage. SessionStorage records data in a single tab and session, ideal for temporary uses like e-commerce carts. LocalStorage shares data between tabs and windows, providing a cohesive cross-session experience.
Web Storage improves the user experience, but sometimes, you want to store more long-term data. Cloud storage is one of the most popular ways to manage these larger data repositories. There are multiple types of cloud storage, with private clouds being one of the most popular.
Private clouds use company-exclusive resources and infrastructure, either with on-premise servers or dedicated third-party data centers. This exclusivity gives websites more control and some security benefits but often means higher expenses. If privacy is your main concern, private clouds are an excellent storage option.
Public and Hybrid Clouds
Public clouds, like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, use third-party services and infrastructure. These solutions are typically easier to implement and more affordable than private clouds. As a result, the pandemic may accelerate public cloud adoption, which was already gaining popularity.
Hybrid clouds, as the name implies, combine third-party and enterprise-owned services and resources. These solutions are more flexible, helping you balance security and control with affordability and ease of use.
You should know about these because privacy regulations include cookie policies, typically requiring you to inform users about your use of them. Whether you rely on cookies or not, you should understand how they affect your website.
While most website data storage relies on the internet or browsers, you may keep local backups. If you use website data for analytics, you may want to keep physical copies. This practice is a helpful security measure but comes with privacy considerations of its own.
The GDPR and some other regulations apply to local copies of user information, not just online versions. So while local backups are a handy disaster mitigation measure, they’re not immune to regulation.
Pay Attention to How You Store Data
The way you store your website data affects many aspects of your business. Your privacy, regulatory compliance, analytics and user experience all change with different storage methods.
Whenever you launch or change your website, pay attention to how you store site data. It could make or break your website.