WordPress Website Backups 101: What You Need to Know

backup a wordpress site

The WP database tracks your every post, comment, and link. When it gets corrupted or erased, though, you can lose all your hard work. A similar misfortune can befall your vital website files.

There are several possible culprits behind these worst-case scenarios. Some of them, such as hacker attacks and natural disasters, are outside your control.

The good news is you can backup a WordPress site. This simple technique allows you to come back in no time and avoid losing readership or business. It’s a proactive approach to safeguarding your precious digital assets.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll show you the main options and how to utilize them.

What Is A Backup?

WordPress is a rather safe harbor for your site.

Even so, it’s not immune to various risks and threats that cause serious disruption to your operations. Think in terms of hacker attacks, power outages, accidental deletes, update issues, etc.

It’s possible to lose an important piece of content or your entire website in the blink of an eye.

On a brighter note, a complete WordPress site backup is an easy and affordable measure everyone can undertake. It refers to the best web practice of copying the files and data that make up your WP presence.

Both your database and website files will be copied. These copies are then stored on a secure server for restoration purposes. In case of disaster, you can revert back to an earlier version of the site.

A Strategic Outlook

To do backups right, you only need to spend a few minutes here and there.

Start by assessing your needs and formulating a sound backup strategy.

Moving on, put together a schedule and commit to regular backups. The exact frequency, however, depends on how often you publish and update your blog.

These updates most often relate to new themes, plugins, and other elements.

We would argue the bare minimum is once per week. The more often you do it the better level of protection your will gain.

Pay special attention to the following components than form your site:

  • Core installation
  • Plugins
  • Themes
  • Images and other files
  • Code files (JavaScript, PHP, etc.)
  • Additional files and static pages

Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with all these terms. What you have to understand is all of them are responsible for the look and functionality of the site.

What is more, notice the database doesn’t encapsulate them all. It contains your posts and other data points your activities generate. This is why you need both database and file backup systems in place.

Managed Hosting

Managed WP hosting providers can conduct automatic backups of your site.

This is the simplest solution of them all and a cost-effective one at that. You don’t have to bother intervening or doing anything manually. Updates are the built-in feature of your hosting plan.

Thus, if your site gets comprised, it’s easy to restore everything with just a few clicks. Some providers may also offer custom backup software solutions for you.

Note that you can specify where you want backup data to be stored. Likewise, decide if you want your whole website to be copied or only certain segments of it.

Finally, bear in mind automatic backups shouldn’t be your only measure. You still want to do a manual backup once in a while.

The Plugin Way

An alternative approach is to go for plugin-powered WP backups.

There’s no shortage of excellent, user-friendly options designed for just that. Go to your WP Administration Screen and select the Plugin Browser. You can also utilize the WP Plugin Library.

We would advise you to score as many plugin features as you can.

For instance, site migration permits the cloning of your WP site to another server location. This comes in handy when you want to switch hosting providers or have a fresh start at a new domain.

Real-time backups are another feature to prioritize. They give you the ability to perform a backup in real-time, the moment updates happen. This is probably the best way to protect every single piece of your digital real estate.

Furthermore, remote destinations let you dispatch copies of your site to virtual locations. The list includes popular solutions such as Amazon Cloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox. This should be used as an extra measure, in combination with local disk storage.

In any event, once you choose your plugin, check out its Settings section. Feel free to customize and schedule the backup process as you see fit.

Exploring Other Avenues

Short of managed hosting or plugins, you have a plethora of tools to consider.

File managers are a noteworthy option. They allow you to sync your site between a local computer and a remote server. This is to say you have a mirror copy of all the content on your site.

Similarly, FTP (file transfer protocol) clients enable you to store files on your computer hard drive. In other words, they transport files between computers via the internet. If you opt for this robust solution, try to free up some space by compressing files into ZIP.

Here, note that experts recommend keeping at least three different backup versions. You should also make sure they are in different places or formats. We’re talking (external) hard drives, web servers, cloud storage, DVD, USB, or some other solution.

And when it comes to virtual solutions, they tend to be quite convenient. Just see to it the location is off-site and off-host. This way, your database/file copies won’t disappear together with your website.

The logic behind this spread approach is simple. If a single backup goes awry, you have others to fall back to.

Backup A WordPress Site: Better Safe Than Sorry

In the digital realm teeming with risks, a little due diligence goes a long way.

You want to take concrete action before your worst fears materialize. Incorporate backup practices as an integral part of your security and maintenance strategy.

Choose your preferred way to backup a WordPress site, meaning both your database and website files. Do it at regular intervals and every time you make an important change/update.

You can employ plugin and other tools or let hosting provider do the heavy lifting. Either way, you will ensure a speedy recovery and maximum level of continuity.

It’s time to gain peace of mind and focus on creative and strategic priorities.

Get in touch with us if you want to supercharge your small business’s online strategy.

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