Backing up your website (regularly) is an essential thing to do. If something happens to your website, you can restore everything to working order. Servers crash, content deletion or loss can happen, or spam and malware can get installed. In each of those cases, having a spot you can revert to that is clean and complete can save hours of time (and make sure you return to business as usual quickly, rather than inconveniencing your customers while you frantically find someone to fix the sitch).
Because of this, it’s important to review available options provided by your hosting provider. You will need to install your own if there are no available solutions, or they do not meet expectations.
If your website is on shared hosting, you will want to contact their support to what is available. Some hosts may have their own backup schedule, but some may only offer for an extra annual fee. In both cases, you can still set up your own backup solution if you want to. If you’re happy to let them handle the technical details, then let them know to ensure things are good to go. If not, let’s continue on.
Most managed WordPress hosting providers make daily backups a part of their available plans. They have set it up so it is easy to restore your website to any of the available backup points. It is usually as easy as the click of a button and a little bit of waiting. Even with these occurring often, you may want to also have your own copies stored elsewhere.
If you are using a VPS for your site’s hosting, then you already know that you are on your own. This is not a bad thing. One of the reasons you went with a VPS is for the amount of control allowed. This includes the backup methods employed. The hosting provider may still offer some level of backup though. This is likely to be at the VPS level only though. What that means is the ability to backup the entire VPS, and not what is present on the server itself.
Installing your own solution.
There are many backup plugins available for WordPress, both free and premium. BackupBuddy, by iThemes is a popular premium solution. If you want to stick to free solutions, you can find a list at WordPress.org’s plugin repository. Just search for “backup.”
Maintainn customers have BackupBuddy installed and running nightly. BackupBuddy’s features allow us to send the backup zip files to our Amazon S3 storage. I also have BackupBuddy running on my own personal sites.
A not always considered solution would be keeping part of or all the website in version control. This would give you ultimate control over every part and be a persistent backup of the files. You would still need to manage a regular backup of the database though. Another edge case would be the uploads folder as you add media.
As you can see, there are many possibilities for a backup solution for your website. Some are going to be provided for you, while others may need more manual work. Which you use and are best for you depends on your own situation. Please reach out to your hosting provider to see what they already have available or if backups are already being made without you even realizing it.
Backing up your site is not that complicated and worth the extra time (and as always, if you don’t want to do it yourself, you can hire someone like us to do it for you!). At this point, most of us have suffered the loss of something virtual; it’s demoralizing and when it comes to your company website, can lose you business and attention. Don’t wait! Do it today and save yourself a huge hassle later.
Did you have any additional questions about backing up your site? Drop them in the comments and we’ll see if we can help!