In an age where most of our business activities are online, site backups are more important than ever. If you’re on WordPress, it’s critical to learn how to backup a WordPress site.
Every month, your WordPress site accumulates data in the form of content, comments, options, and users. That makes your WordPress site more vulnerable to failure.
When potential errors occur, your website should be able to revert and function properly. You can back it up manually or with plugins. Depending on your skill level, you might want to do it yourself or have your host do it.
Either way, keep reading to learn how to backup a WordPress site.
Why It’s Important to Backup WordPress Site
Imagine you wake up in the morning and go to your computer. You're checking your website — and then you realize it's down. The server is working fine, but somehow all your files got deleted from the database. There was a certain error that made all of your hard work disappear.
There are numerous ways you you can lose important data and files from your computer, including:
Hacker attacks can destroy some of your most important data.
You can erase the files by mistake.
Your computer can crash.
Some updates can cause errors if they're done incorrectly.
If you don’t back up your WordPress site you may...
Without a WordPress backup, your site will have to be rebuilt from scratch every time certain errors occur. Rebuilding your site results in extra fees you must pay — plus, the more often your website is down, the more you risk losing visitors or subscribers.
Risk Lowering Your SEO Rankings
If an online business often faces errors, offline periods, or issues with data, you risk losing the SEO value of your domain. Search engines want to make sure the user gets the best experience, which is why high-quality websites get better positions in search results.
That means a site needs to have fast page speed, excellent performance, and high uptime (the period of time your website is online) to get a better spot in search results.
If your site is down for any length of time or it often faces errors, you risk losing subscribers or visitors. Modern customers have high expectations — if you can’t be there and offer them what they want, someone else will.
Downtime comes at a cost of something you simply can’t buy — time. Recovering your website, content, and needed files may take longer than you think, so you’re losing valuable time you could invest in other projects.
WordPress Backup Best Practices
Now let’s learn some tips for how to backup a WordPress website.
Store Your Files in Multiple Locations
Keep all your data in multiple locations. Remember, having at least two copies of your data is a must, because if the files at one location become compromised, you have a backup.
So, there are two steps you can take here:
Carefully consider what your storage options are going to be. Find proper offsite storage option(s), but also consider other alternatives like a hard drive, local server, or additional offsite storage.
Make sure to save the files across different servers. This way, you’ll always have at least one backup if the primary server crashes.
Keep in mind that it’s important to pick locations with security measures to make sure all your files are safe.
Don’t Forget Offsite Storage
When choosing offsite storage, you get a chance to store your site’s data in a remote location — including backup files. Many businesses go for this option and include protection against issues such as data hacks, server crashes, and accidental deletion.
Offsite storage also gives you the possibility to access your files from anywhere. That way, it makes it very easy to restore your website in a short period of time after it crashes.
With offsite storage, you want to pay attention to your needs when it comes to security, space, and other features like accessibility or sharing abilities. For instance, Google Drive is great because it includes Gmail integration and automatic device syncing. Dropbox offers view-only file sharing, which simplifies the process of sharing files with others, even if they’re not Dropbox users.
Secure Your Files With a Password
Just like you have passwords for social media and site user accounts, you can secure the folders and files in much the same way. This allows you to save valuable files from hacker attacks as well as protecting backup folders from accidental deletions or changes.
Keep Old Backups Safely Stored
Keeping old backups stored ensures you have at least something if anything goes wrong with the most current files. It will help you to restore an earlier site version in the case of a buggy plugin or some other update that goes wrong.
You can choose how many backups your plugin will archive. For instance, if you select four, you’ll always have the four most recent backups saved aside. You can store the backups alongside the most current files as well.
If you're a technical developer that feels comfortable with the backend development of your site, manual backups may be the best way for you. This can be done in different ways, like saving locally to your computer or to the cloud.
On the other hand, if you want to back up your files without logging into the host, you can use an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) manager — you just need to have the credentials for it. Cyberduck is an FTP client with a user interface that’s pretty simple to use. Also, it can be used on both Windows and Mac.
How to Backup a WordPress Site
You can also use plugins to backup your WordPress site. Plugins allow you to backup your site in a simple and quick way. The entire process is automatic and rather simple.
Find the UpdraftPlus Plugin
So, how can you create a backup of a WordPress site?
First, log in to your WordPress dashboard. In the search bar type “UpdraftPlus” to search for the WordPress plugin. UpdraftPlus is a WordPress plugin that can save your files in the cloud or locally. More than 2 million sites have this plugin — it’s really simple to use, has scheduled backups, and can be backed to any cloud storage.
Select UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup to install the plugin. You can customize the WordPress plugin to automatically backup your site under Settings in Updraft Backups. Choose your remote storage under the settings tab to store your WordPress site in the cloud.
Choose What To Backup
After you have chosen and logged into your remote storage, you can now choose what to backup. Some files are simply more important than others — and since you have a limited amount of space (depending on the package you have), you need to use it well. Be sure to choose your plugins, themes, uploads, database, etc. for backup.
Options for Backing Up a WordPress Site
There is never a bad time to run a cloud backup for your website. In addition, it helps you keep track of any updates that might go wrong. Sometimes, these updates can break the site because they’re keeping everything up-to-date for SEO reasons.
However, there are multiple options you can choose from to backup your site. Many companies and businesses prefer to hire a professional host that will do it for them. This way, they don’t have to worry about backups or any other technical issues that might occur.
For instance, Nexcess fully managed hosting completely covers your WordPress website, including hosting backup services and other important features that keep your online business running.
Nexcess Backs Up Your WordPress Site Daily
Now you know how to backup a WordPress site. You can do this yourself, or you can let the experts take care of it for you.
Nexcess fully managed hosting takes care of all the technical parts for you, which includes daily backups of your WordPress site. Not only are sites backed up daily, but they’re also stored automatically for 30 days. Any backup can be downloaded from your portal and onto your local drive.