The importance of backups can never be overstated. It may seem unlikely to happen, but disaster can strike at any time – whether a server crash, data corruption, hacking incident or something else that results in the loss of your data. This is why we are looking at WordPress backup options in this article. As otherwise you may have no control over what is lost or how much is lost – it could be just a single comment or all of your posts and pages. During these times, a recent backup will be priceless, allowing you to quickly restore everything and get your site back to normal.
Some web hosting plans may offer automated regular backups, but never assume that your account is all set up for it. Backing up your WordPress site takes only a few minutes of your time and can be invaluable.
What is a Good Backup Frequency?
How often you backup your site is entirely up to you and depends on how often your site gets new content. If your website is a static page that never updates, you’ll probably just have to backup once and it will be ready to be restored to its latest version anytime. On the other hand, if you are dealing with numerous new posts, comments and likes a day, you may want to backup more frequently. The choice also depends on how much data you don’t mind possibly losing.
How Many Backups Should I Keep?
Backups may take up a lot of disk space especially if you have a lot of data, but think twice before deleting too many of them. It is a good idea to keep multiple copies of multiple backups in different places as safety nets. Generally, keeping three copies each of the three most recent backups should be good enough to have your back. It’s even better if you store them in different locations, such as on your hard disk, in a removable drive, on a CD, in your cloud storage, and more. This ensures that you always have a copy to fall back on in case one of the other copies gets corrupted or lost.
What Should I Backup?
A WordPress site requires both the files and the database to be backed up. While most of your post content, comments and users are stored in the database, the files contain the structure of your site, including the WordPress system, the themes, plugins, media files, custom code files and more. Without either, your website won’t be able to return to its original form.
How to Backup
Perhaps the most straightforward way of backing up your data is to access your website’s directory periodically and download the files, as well as export your database content. However, this process can be tedious and easy to forget.
One other option would be to use a file transfer client such as WinSCP, which you can use to log in to your server directory. It will then automatically sync your server’s contents with a designated folder on your hard disk, ensuring that your website’s files in both places are kept up to date.
As for backing up your database, you’ll have to do it directly from your database client. Most clients should have an option for you to export your data into an SQL file. Ensure that you check the options carefully before generating your SQL backup – you’ll want to check the options for “Add DROP TABLE” and “IF NOT EXISTS” to prevent errors from occurring during the recovery process.
WordPress Backup Plugins
Fortunately, there are also WordPress plugins for backup purposes if you would rather not do the work manually. You can obtain some of these plugins from the WordPress plugin directory, which can automatically backup your website files and database with no extra effort on your part.
One popular option is Jetpack, made by the creator of WordPress. Jetpack enables automatic backups, allowing you to set a scheduled time and frequency for your backups in just a few clicks. You’ll then be able to relax without worrying if you’ve remembered to backup your data. Additionally, if you ever wish to obtain a current backup of your website, you can always conduct an impromptu backup in one click.
Plugins can also backup all of the data off server (such as sending it to your cloud storage, Google Drive, OneDrive etc.). Many plugins even have the ability to restore backups for the user, which is great for those without the required technical knowledge, and is a lot easier even if you have the knowledge to perform a manual restore. When searching for a backup solution, be sure to research online and read reviews. One day, your selection could save you a lot of headaches if you experience a problem and need to restore your website to an earlier version.