Overview (Wrote on 2 Jan 2021)
- What is a WordPress Backup?
- Why do I need to Backup my WordPress Site?
- Types of WordPress plugins
- Final Thoughts
What is a WordPress Backup?
The answer is fairly simple. A backup is simply a copy of your site that you can reinstall (restore) should something go wrong. It’s a failsafe, precautionary measure that saves you a lot of undue stress. It’s like an insurance policy that protects all the effort, time and money you’ve invested in your WordPress site.
Backing up is similar to how you might save an important document to your Google Drive or Dropbox and to your desktop. It’s always wise to save important items more than once and in more than one place, or “medium” (like an external hard drive, thumb drive, the “cloud”, on your computer, and so forth.) Your website is no exception.
Now, to give you a clearer picture, I will delve further into what constitutes a full WordPress backup. Your WordPress site is made of two components. The first being your website files i.e. theme/plugin files, scripts, media etc that make up the structure of your site, and provide functionality. Then second we have a MySQL database . This stores your blog posts, comments and the options you set in your WordPress admin area.
Why do I need to Backup my WordPress Site?
A majority of cheap web hosts will talk of offering backups, but all they do is backup your MySQL database only, if they backup anything at all. They don’t backup your files, which means you can’t recover changes you make to your theme for example, if it’s corrupted. It’s also quite the hassle requesting a copy of your website from their backups, so its just best to backup your site on your own. You know, just to ensure everything is safe.
The full backup we are helping you build here will take care of your files as well as your database. This means should you lose your site, you just need to reinstall the backup and your work is done. That out of the way, let’s create full backups of your WordPress site.
Having a backup of both your database and website files means you will always have a copy of the site to revert back to in case something goes wrong.
Some common situations where a recent backup of your website could save the day are:
1. Your WordPress site gets hacked.
2. Your server has an outage and your web host can only retrieve an older version of your site.
3. There is an issue during an update and your site’s content disappears or becomes unusable.
4. You accidentally delete some important pages or posts. Hey, mistakes happen!
Okay, So How Do I Backup My WordPress Site?
If you’re running a WordPress site, then the most common backup approach is to use a WordPress backup plugin.
Types of WordPress plugins are:
2. VaultPress (Jetpack Backup)
4. BoldGrid Backup
Each WordPress backup plugin in our list has their pros and cons, but all of them offer complete WordPress file backup as well as full database backup features.
What this means is that instead of backing up all of your files every day or every hour, it only creates a backup of what has been updated literally within minutes of the update. This is ideal for a large website like ours because it allows us to use our server resources efficiently. Whichever WordPress backup plugin you end up choosing, please do NOT store your backups on the same server as your website.
By doing that, you are putting all of your eggs in one basket. If your server’s hardware fails or worst you get hacked, then you don’t have a backup which defeats the purpose of setting up regular backups. This is why we highly recommend storing your backups on a third-party storage service like Dropbox, Amazon S3, Google Drive, etc.