I talk about it a lot, the importance of backing up your WordPress blog if you are self-hosted.
Yes, I said backup.
Often when I tell users this, they ask…
There are a number of things that could go wrong in the life of your WordPress blog: host-related troubles, updates, corrupted themes, you name it. But whatever happens, even if it’s the deadly “white screen”, you can always reinstall—if you have your latest backup.
But, you say, my host backs up all my files.
Yes. Most hosting services do. And some specialized WordPress hosting services guarantee their backups. But depending on how often the do it, and if they archive the backups or not, you can still get in deep water.
For example, I had someone call me with a problem. They created a new user name, deleted the old user name, didn’t do it right, and boom, lost all the content of their posts and pages. They called called me and explained what had happened. I asked them if they had been backing up their database,. Big sigh followed by, “No.”
The only step left was to contact their hosting service. After explaining what happened, they said they do back up the files, and could reinstall the database less than an hour. My client had to pay them to do it.
Now here is where things get scary. That time, everything ended well (except for a lighter bank account balance). And I also learned something interesting. The host told me that if I had contacted them one hour later, they would have completed their weekly backup. And since they don’t archive their backups, that backup would have been my client’s empty database. Ouch!
You don’t always want to depend on someone else… so do your own backup!
There are several different options for backing up. I’ll share two of them here.
When you have finished your blog, first back up all files. You can do this via an FTP software like FileZilla, a free download. This will allow you to upload all your files to your computer. Once you have done this, install WordPress Database Backup plugin. It’s easy to back up your database on a regular schedule and have it emailed to you.
If you don’t change the structure of your blog much (add and delete plugins, etc.), you can be safe just backing up your WordPress database routinely and doing a full backup less often. The plugin I mentioned above allows you to automatically back up the database and have it emailed to you weekly, or even daily. The intervals you choose will depend on how often you change the content of your pages or how often you blog.
If you are constantly changing your blog, a good choice is the premium plugin Backup Buddy. (Note: this is an affiliate link.) It will automatically back up all files and the database however often you choose. Then you will download that zipped file to a safe and secure spot on your computer. It also has a great restore and migration feature that is well worth the money.
One final note: If anyone has told you to simply use the export tool to back up your database, don’t listen to them. It does not give you the full database backup you need.
So next time you stand in front of your mirror for your daily affirmations, simply say:
I’m smart enough, I’m backing up, and doggone it, Bob likes me.