I don’t mean “get your back up” as in get all huffy, I mean GET YOUR BACKUP as in protect your data! Everyone has a data loss horror story. If your website is a WordPress site the lost data story could mean more than a lost file – it could mean the loss of your site; which in turn means lost revenue. Perhaps this sounds familiar; “I was installing plugin/theme/update and now my site isn’t working, there’s just a white screen.” Yikes!
This Yikes! moment is for sure a stressful one, one that instantly triggers increased sweats and makes your stomach sick, but it’s one that can be easily prevented if you “get your backup”. Being responsible for your site means this should be on your to-do list and there are countless backup plugins available that make keeping a copy of your site’s data super simple.
WordPress Backup Rules to Follow
No matter what kind of backup solution you use, there are a few things you should keep in mind about backing up your site:
- Always backup your site’s database before you perform a WordPress upgrade or do any major work to your site.
- If you choose to run a scheduled backup, base it on your site updates and blogging frequency.
- Keep 3 backups in 3 different formats and/or places. The WordPress Codex suggests keeping a copy in your email account, on an external hard drive, and on a CD.
- Only backup those plugins that contain value for your site. Spam filter and statistics plugins add major bloat to your database and can enlarge the size of your backup files significantly.
- Perform a manual backup (see below) on occasion to act as a fail-safe for any automated backup solution you’re using.
- Know how to restore your site using your backup file BEFORE the need arises.
Depending on how savvy you are you may prefer to do manual backups and that is OK. In fact, they can be very useful giving you have direct control over what’s backed up. Many plugins let you choose specific files or directories but the manual approach gives you total control.
It’s also a good way to absolutely ensure your auto backup solution is working. It’s never a bad idea to do a manual backup every once in a while and compare it to your most recent automated backup. Do they match? If not, your automated solution may have skipped a scheduled backup and what a huge sweat moment that would be if you’d written the best-blog-post-ever to find out later you were unable to retrieve the latest copy of your site!
The WordPress Codex offers in-depth instructions on how to manually back up your site – get familiar with the process if you’re going to manage your own site.
One additional precaution is you should speak to your hosting provider and understand what your hosting package includes. If you ever run into an issue with your local backup solution you want to know your ISP has your back (pun totally intended). Ask if your package includes daily backups and how easy is it for them to recover files; how fast will your site be restored?
Following these rules will help ensure your backups are successful and you’ll never have to worry about losing your info.
If you’re unsure about this and need assistance, please give me a call or send me an email, I’m happy to help with Getting Your Backup!
Below is a list of backup plugins to help you reduce those stressful sweats and stomach aches and prevent losing information so your site is always up and live.
A special thank you to my daughter for her acting and giving me a great “yikes!” picture!