Have you taken the time to install one of the best free WordPress backup plugins on your website? You may ask, which one? There are so many!
These days, if you’re not doing business online, you’re not doing business at all. But what would happen if you lost all your data? Between hackers, viruses and just plain user error, it happens. If you’re down for even a few minutes, your audience will notice!
Luckily, problems like that can easily be avoided through regular backups.
Why Are Site Backups Important?
Consider the scenario mentioned above. These types of situations really do happen more often than you might think – and the results are disastrous.
In 2013, Amazon’s website went down for just a matter of minutes and their estimated loss was just under two million dollars.
Sure, we’re not all on the same level as Amazon – but lost sales are lost sales, you may never get them back.
In a situation like that, having access to backups can make getting back online fast and simple. Just pull up the latest backup prior to the error and reload your site!
Do You Need to Run Your Own Backups?
If your site is managed by an outside hosting company, it’s likely that they already perform routine backups for you. At InMotion, we provide clients at all levels with free backups on a regular basis.
Even though we provide backups, we strongly encourage every user to take a backup of their website for protection.
What Should You Backup?
At a minimum, you need to back up everything needed to properly restore your website. That’s your database, configuration files, and everything in your wp-content folder.
In addition, you want to consider backing up everything in your uploads file. 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 should run a backup. Once a month? Once a week? At the end of every day?
There is no one “right” answer.
The solution depends on several different factors:
- The size of your website – the larger your site and the more often you make changes, the more frequently you should update.
- How often you update your files – a manual backup should be run immediately before you change any files. This protects you against any potential crashes post-update.
- Personal preference – some people just feel better when they run a backup every hour.
How Long Should I Keep My Backups?
The trick is this: in the event of an error or system failure, always use the most recent backup possible prior to that event.
If your site was infected by a virus, you’ll want the most recent backup before the infection.
Because viruses can go unnoticed for a very long time, it always makes sense to keep backups for at least a few months out. How many of them you keep is a different story.
If your website is fairly stagnant (meaning you don’t make changes very often), you can probably get away with keeping one or two backups a month. However, if you are constantly adding content and making changes, you’d want to keep far more.
Where Should You Store Backups?
The golden rule when storing backups is always: don’t keep your backups on the same server that holds your website.
Logic would tell you that if your website and backups are all held in the same location, and that location is infected with a virus or gives an error, you could potentially lose both the website and the backups, right? Instead, use a data storage solution like AWS or Dropbox to store your website backups.
How Should I Manage my Backups?
The easiest and least expensive way to handle backups is through a free WordPress backup plugin. There are dozens of options out there.
We like the BoldGrid Backup plugin because it has a wide variety of useful features, including:
- Easy setup
- Schedule automation with a preflight check
- A large amount of storage
- Stress-free restoration and migration
With the proper fail-safes in place, you’ll always be able to backup and restore your critical data. In the face of disaster, one of the best free WordPress backup plugins can really save the day! We recommend the BoldGrid backup plugin for its ease-of-use and functionality.
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