Site maintenance and management are essential and crucial aspects of running a WordPress website. One important element is a regular WordPress backup routine. In the early days of the internet there were mostly simple HTML sites tailored together, and back then – backups were not really something that people thought much of.
Nowadays times have changed and nearly every website, blog, or professional news magazine out there is relying on some sort of database management for storing and accessing data. Your valuable content and data is what makes your website worth visiting. In case of server crashes, hard drive failures, natural disasters, hacker attacks or other major issues with your website, that data can easily get lost. You can avoid this by backing up your WordPress site.
5 Common mistakes when dealing with WordPress backups
It's better to be safe than sorry. If you dig deep enough, you can find plenty of stories circulating the web where webmasters were dealing with server crashes or other issues that caused all their data to disappear. It's really not that uncommon! Although these days reliable hosting companies usually perform daily backups for their customers, there is no guarantee that these backups will restore your website 100%. In order to raise awareness about the importance of WordPress backups, we've outlined some common mistakes that occur while backing up WordPress websites:
- Not having a regular WordPress backup schedule
- Backing up once a month
- Hosting the WordPress backup on your own server
- Not backing up everything
- Telling yourself it's not worth it
1. Not having a regular WordPress backup schedule
Not having a regular WordPress backup schedule set in place usually isn't a good idea. Taking care of a simple backup process could have saved countless hours of work for so many webmasters and bloggers out there. It's that thought in our minds: “I will be just fine, what could possibly happen to my website”, and then… it happens!
Fortunately, bloggers and webmasters can rely on countless WordPress backup solutions from service providers and the official plugin directory. Setting up a regular backup routine for your WordPress website usually takes only a few minutes. These few minutes possibly could save you lots of time, money and trouble on the long run! There really is no reason to not backup your site. At least contact your host and ask them if they perform daily backups.
2. Backing up once a month
Hosting a website nowadays is available at very low cost and limited storage space usually is something from the past. However, still many bloggers and webmasters are relying on an insufficient backup schedule, such as once or twice a month. It's certianly possible that you're not posting frequently. Perhaps you even consider monthly backups to be a non-issue, but you have to take things like WordPress comments or else into account.
Various WordPress plugins are available that backup your WordPress website once a day. Having such a daily backup schedule usually doesn't require any additional time or work on your end. Reliable WordPress backup solutions often also delete the previous backups so that you're not running out of storage space.
3. Hosting the WordPress backup on your own server
This probably is the biggest irony you can come across, ever. There really is no excuse for being foolish enough to host your backups on the same server that you're trying to backup. Instead, you could rely on cloud storage services such as Dropbox or Google Drive to host the website backups for you.
The majority of professional WordPress backup plugins nowadays come integrated with 3rd party hosting features, such as Dropbox. Also, try to avoid storing your backups on your local drive only, it may let you down as well at some point. Hosting WordPress backups on your local drive and Dropbox combined should be fine!
4. Not backing up everything
It's certainly possible to backup things such as your database only, probably the most important part of any WordPress website. But it's also very important to take into account your content folders, such as images, videos and other files, even your WordPress themes can get lost in the process.
Would you really want to do all the work again from the beginning in case of data loss? Depending on the size of your website, it's possible that your file folders are huge. Therefore, try and find a solution that can allow you to backup only the latest additions, otherwise storage space may become a problem.
5. Telling yourself it's not worth it
The above points are very valid and may just be related to inexperience. However, this last one probably is just pure laziness. Ok, you may not want to spend time researching about suitable backup solutions for your WordPress website. Or you may not want to be involved with the technical aspects of your website. Fortunately, there are all-in-one backup solutions and services available. That means it really doesn't take much of your time to implement.
How to backup your WordPress site
You've now learned why it's important to backup your WordPress site on a regular basis. A manual approach to backing up your website can be tedious; no one wants to login every single day and spend hours backing up. Moreover, performing a manual backup of your site requires you to have a really strong technical footing – a teeny-tiny misstep is all it takes for all your hard work to go down the drain.
However, you don't need to worry about doing manual backups. There are various automatic backup systems available for WordPress. They come in the form of free or premium WordPress plugins, reliable hosting companies and professional backup services. We'll now go through the possibilities you have to backup your WordPress website.
WordPress backup plugins
There are numerous free and premium WordPress plugins available for automatically backing up your site on a regular basis. These WordPress backup plugins often will create a zip file of your site, and give you the option of copying the data to a remote server. Here are some of the most popular and best WordPress backup plugins:
UpdraftPlus is a very popular WordPress backup plugin that is running on over a million active installs. This plugin simplifies backups and site restoration. You can easily backup your files and database into the cloud and restore them with a single click! The free version of this plugin supports backups to Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 (or compatible), Rackspace Cloud, DreamObjects, FTP, Openstack Swift, Updraft Vault and email.
This backup plugin is not only fast and uses fewer server resources than others, it also allows you to set up automatic backup schedules. UpdraftPlus is one of the most highly-rated and popular WordPress backup plugins out there. The premium version of UpdraftPlus supports more cloud options and it's multisite-network compatible as well.
BackWPup is another popular backup plugin for WordPress. This plugin is capable of saving your complete WordPress installation and push it to an external backup service. You'll get a single backup .zip file which you can use to easily restore an installation. Remember: The most expensive backup is the one you never did!
Backup Guard is a complete WordPress backup and migrate plugin. With this helpful plugin you can backup and restore your WordPress files, database or both. Backup Guard offers scheduled site backups and comes with mail notifications. You can upload your backups to cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, OneDrive or SFTP/FTP. The Pro version of this plugin also allows to easily migrate your site from one domain to another.
Backup & Restore Dropbox
The Backup & Restore Dropbox plugin does exactly what it says, it makes a backup of your website and uploads it to Dropbox. In case there is an issue with your WordPress site, you can easily restore it from your Dropbox backup. Instead of Dropbox it's also possible to save local backups. This plugin comes with automatic database optimization and repair functionality as well. Backup & Restore Dropbox is a clean and helpful backup plugin for WordPress.
Duplicator is another WordPress migration plugin. This very helpful plugin can move, migrate or clone a WordPress site between domains or hosts with zero downtime. You can manually backup a WordPress site or even only parts of a site. The Duplicator plugin bundles everything into a simple zip file (package). You can use this zip file to easily migrate or backup your WordPress site. Duplicator also offers a Pro version with additional functionality.
All-in-One WP Migration
All-in-One WP Migration is a great migration plugin which we've used here at MH Themes many times in the past. This plugin doesn't require any technical knowledge and is very suitable for beginners. You can easily export and backup your WordPress website including database, media files, plugins and themes.
WordPress backup services
There are a few professional backup services which specialize in backups for WordPress sites. They often use a technology which is more reliable than that used by plugins. Especially if you don't want to install plugins on your site, this may be the simplest way to safely backup your site. On the downside, backup services can be a bit costly.
With a backup service in place, you'll no longer need to worry about losing a few days of work because your web host's server went down, or about falling victim to hackers and spammers, or about that one odd mistake you just might make somewhere down the line. Be smart, backup your WordPress site today, and backup often.
CodeGuard is one of the fastest and most reliable website backup services that are available for WordPress. You can track all changes on your website daily and easily revert in case something goes wrong. Getting started with CodeGuard is easy, just provide your SFTP/FTP/MySQL information and it will start an initial backup right away.
VaultPress offers powerful backups and security for your WordPress site. This backup service can store automated backups in an offsite digital vault in real time. VaultPress is suitable for site migration as well as you can easily transfer or duplicate your website. In addition it can protect your website from the most common and serious security threats.
Backups by your hosting company
Reliable web hosts usually perform their own backups, too. Some of the popular managed WordPress hosts like Kinsta do a pretty good job. If your hosting company performs daily backups, you at least have peace of mind that your data is somewhat safe. However, it's recommended to not only rely on your hosting company. Make sure you make your own backups as well, either by using a WordPress backup plugin or backup service.
Conclusion: Backup your WordPress website regularly!
As you can see, there are quite a few things to consider when backing up your WordPress website. However, not backing up your website really isn't a good idea. WordPress backups take less time than you may think, and these backups will make you feel comfortable when you realize that your website data is safe. No matter what happens! Do you have any questions or other suggestions for a regular WordPress backup schedule? Or have you even experienced data loss while not having backups in place? Let us know in the comments below.