This is the first in a series of posts to help people with managing their Wordpress website. We'll cover day-to-day website management tasks, and give reasons why these tasks should be part of your regular website management schedule.
In this first post we'll cover backing up your Wordpress website, why it's worth implementing, and a couple of tips to help going forward. With the beauty of Wordpress if you need a certain requirement, is there's a good chance someone has already a plugin to fulfil that requirement. A quick search of the Wordpress repository (found by going to Plugins -> Add New, when logged into your WP site) and simply typing in "backup" presents you with a myriad of options.
How do you choose which one?!
Generally when selecting a new Wordpress plugin I review the details, see how many active installs that plugin has and it's review rating in that order of importance. As you can see from the screenshot above UpdraftPlus
has 1+ Million Active Installations and boat load of review ratings, so that'll be my first preference if the details all check out. In this case they do, UpdraftPlus
is a great free option for creating automatic backups of your Wordpress website files and database. I won't go into detail on how to setup UpdraftPlus
here, the plugin's creators have excellent help and setup documentation.
But why do I need to backup my website?
I like to think of website backups kind of like insurance, useless until you need it, and then invaluable! I've had plenty of occasions where a new theme or plugin has completely broken a website, or pages have gone missing and knowing that I can simply restore a back up is a relief.
Manual backups are always possible, and something we do from time to time, but using a backup plugin is significantly easier and safer. Just setup the automatic scheduling and you're done.
No matter what plugin you use the piece of advice I can suggest is test it. Create a backup and see what happens, where does the information go? What was included in the backup? Was anything missing from the backup? These are questions that should be answered before "setting and forgetting" because the day will come when you need a backup, and you don't want anything missing or misconfigured.
Some backup plugins or services offer secure off-site backup locations, this is where your backup data is stored, and not on your server. This is a great option and helps if your web host cashes or disappears, you'll still have access to your website data.
Thats all for this part, keep an eye out for the next in the Wordpress management series, "I have a need.....a need for speed!" What Wordpress backup plugins have you using? Do you have any helpful hints when backing up your site? Let us know in the comments sections below.