We’ve all heard the saying “If you fail to prepare you are preparing to fail.” When it comes to backing up your WordPress website, nothing could be more true. One of the many reasons that a wp backup process is vital.
WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world. People love it because it’s user-friendly and easy-to-use – and millions of websites run on it, including some of the biggest names in business, like The New Yorker and BBC America.
But none of that means that it’s immune to problems. Just like any other platform, it can fall victim to hackers and viruses, botched updates, or a server failure – and any one of those issues can be disastrous.
In any one of those situations, it is quite possible that you could lose your entire website and all the content you’ve created – but having access to backups can make getting back online fast and simple. Rather than recreating your entire website, just pull up the latest backup prior to the error and reload your site!
Here’s what you need to know:
What Should You Backup?
The more you back up, the less you’ll have to recreate in the event of the loss of data. That being said, at a minimum, you should back up everything you need to restore your website (your database, config files, and everything in your wp-content folder).
In addition, if you have a very active blog, you’ll want to consider backing up everything in your uploads folder. That way, any images, videos, or other media that you’ve uploaded over time won’t have to be added again later. It can be a huge time-saver.
How Often Should You Backup Your Site?
You may be wondering how often you need execute a wp backup of your website, but there is no one-size-fits-all answer. To determine what will work best for you, consider:
- The size of your website – the larger your site and the more often you make updates, the more frequently you should run backups
- How often you update your source files – a manual backup should be run immediately before you change any source files. This protects you against any potential crashes post-update.
- Personal preference: some people just like running a daily backup, while others are comfortable waiting a few weeks.
Do You Need to Run Manual Backups?
If an outside hosting company manages your site, it’s likely that they already perform routine backups for you. At InMotion, we provide clients at all levels with free backups on a routine basis.
Even so, some people like to run their own backups on the side, even if they have an automated system.
If you prefer a more hands-on approach, just follow these simple steps:
- Download the root configuration and /wp-content/ files using FTP, SCP or your preferred tool.
- Download a snapshot of the database that contains the SQL commands to recreate tables and populate the data.
What About Automation?
The easiest way to run backups? Put them on autopilot. No matter how diligent you are about backups, errors happen – and forgetting to run it just once can lead to disaster.
Luckily, there are dozens of WordPress backup plugins that will do the job for you. There are a few we like to recommend, including:
- Jetpack: provides a range of security and site management tools, including real-time backups and unlimited storage space with the paid plan.
- BackUpWordPress: an easy plugin that allows you to schedule backups on the day and time that suits you.
- XCloner: an open source plugin that provides a range of scheduling and off-site storage options.
- BoldGrid: an automated backup solution that allows you to easily restore, move, or secure your website.
Remember: a backup is only useful if it works. Take the time to verify that your backups are saving properly, and all the data is being captured – especially if you’re just trying out a new plugin or another system.
Getting Started with a WordPress Backup
WordPress is easy-to-use, and a wp backup is no different. Whether you choose to run them manually, use a plugin, or rely on your hosting company, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be securing your data on a regular basis.