Taking backups of your website
In this post, I’m going to explain why it’s important to take regular backups of your website, and outline the different types of backup.
There are many reasons why you should take regular backups. Firstly, a software update may break your site (rare – but it’s always a possibility). Or you might update the content on your website and inadvertently delete something you didn’t mean to (and yes, I confess, I’ve done exactly that). Or – worst case – your website gets hacked.
You can’t have too many backups. I would say that, as a rule of thumb, the more types of backup you take, then the less likely you are to need them.
So what types of backup are there?
Web host backups
If you have a good web hosting plan, your hosting company will take daily backups as part of your package. Whilst this is a good thing, there are a couple of downsides you need to be aware of:
- these backups are generally provided on a ‘best endeavours’ basis, so if you go to restore a backup and then find out that the files have been corrupted then that’s just tough luck
- you are unlikely to have any control over timing – these typically run out of hours and cannot be run on demand, which isn’t useful if you want to take a backup prior to updating your site
But, if you’re in an emergency situation and have no other backups, then a web host backup may save the day.
There are some excellent WordPress plugins that enable you to set up a schedule to automatically back your WordPress website to your cloud webspace. The one I use and recommend is Updraft Plus. The free version lets you backup your website to Google or Dropbox, which should be sufficient for most sites, and there’s a premium package which would be suitable for more complex sites such as e-commerce stores. This enables you to keep a set number of backups (for example the last 7 daily backups) so that you can restore your website to a point in time.
If you like to take a ‘belt and braces’ approach, as I do, you can periodically copy the backup files from your cloud webspace to a folder on your computer and also to a USB drive.
Get into the habit of taking regular backups of your website
If you want to avoid finding yourself with no website because it’s become corrupted or hacked, then taking regular backups should be a part of your website maintenance routine. If that’s too much for you, then your best option is to subscribe to my website care plan, and I will take care of all this for you. Please contact me for more information.