It’s amazing when you think of how much of your online business depends on so many different external factors to run. The location where you run your business – your site – can “close” down if the server it runs on becomes overheated or should you forget to renew your domain name. Even a sharp influx of traffic, something we think would make us happy, could potentially crash your site.
No matter how you slice it, you can’t fully prevent your WordPress site (or any site for that matter) from crashing or from having technical difficulties. So, the best thing you can do to ensure a quick recovery should disaster strike is to back up your files and SQL database.
How To Backup
The easiest and cheapest way to backup your WordPress site involves the use of plugins. Go to the WordPress Plugin Directory, do a search on “backup” and you’ll get tons of results.
But, not all backup plugins are equal. All have different features and you have to choose the one that’s best for you and your site. Here are 3 important factors you should consider:
What does the plugin backup? Some plugins backup the database only, some the files, and others do both. Most likely, you will need to backup your entire site, which means both. So, be sure you know what exactly your plugin backs-up. You don’t want to run into a situation where you thought you were backing-up your whole site only to discover, when you’re ready to restore it, that you only backed up the files and have lost all of your previous posts and pages.
Can you automate the backups? Most backup plugins can be automated. You set up the timing and frequency of the backups and it does the rest, freeing you up to focus on other aspects of your business. You’ll want to make sure your backup plugin has this feature as well as a “Backup Now” feature for those times when you need immediate reassurance, such as when adding an older plugin or upgrading the WordPress software.
Where does it store your site data? Find out where the plugin stores the data. Some will email it to you, or store it on your server, others will store it in a data or cloud storage center. It’s less preferable to keep your backups on your site’s server or on your hard drive. Instead, you’ll want to have your backups stored on a separate online data or storage center. Many plugins will provide this extra service and usually at a very minimal cost.