Let’s imagine that you are skydiving, there you are gliding enjoying the thrill of it all. It has now come time to open you main parachute but it refuses to open. Panic sets in. Your heart is in your mouth, you are now free falling, the earth is rushing towards you. Instinctively you reach for your backup parachute, it unfolds and you drift calmly down to earth. You live for another skydive.
A backup of your WordPress website is your backup parachute
When you backup your website you are providing yourself with a backup parachute. You are creating a fail-safe for when you find your website has for whatever reason crashed to the ground, you can calmly reach for your last website backup.
Why has backing up your WordPress website become extremely crucial
WordPress has become extremely popular over the last few years. And with it’s popularity has come the rise of the hackers. You only have to read the news to hear about the latest WordPress hacking attack.
So besides all the usual reasons like hardware failure etc. for backing up your website there is the additional threat of your website being hacked. This could mean your website going off-line and your customers left in the lurch.
Will your customers support your dangerous lifestyle?
Maybe you have assumed you have a secure and hack proof website and backups are not crucial. Or it is something you will get to eventually when you have time.
If your website goes down tomorrow, do you know how long it will take to get your site on-line again? Will it take you a day, a week or even a month?
It’s very likely that your customers may get upset or distracted and go elsewhere. And there’s also the danger of losing new customers and revenue. Existing customers may also leave, because your services or products are no longer accessible.
All of this can be easily and painlessly avoided by backing up your website.
What should you be backing up?
So, you are convinced that living dangerously is not for you but now are not quite sure what to backup. It’s really quite simple.
A WordPress website is composed of two components: Files and Database. These are the two components that need to be backed up.
Files essentially control how your website looks — its layout, the colors and fonts that are used, etc. They are used to generate your site.
Files can consist of:
- WordPress Core Installation
- WordPress Plugins
- WordPress Themes
- Images and Files
- Additional Files and Static Web Pages
The database contains your posts and a lot of the data generated on your site. The database largely contains the content that is displayed on your site — the actual page and post content, the comments from your visitors, etc.
How do I backup my WordPress website?
Knowing what to backup is one half of the equation. It is equally important to choose the right backup software.
Fortunately, there are many free and paid WordPress plugins that are easy to install and setup.
The difference between the paid and the free option is that the paid option comes with a guarantee. Whereas with the free option you have to rely on the feedback of the WordPress community. Just ensure the backup software that you select has the ability to backup the WordPress files and database.
Do I need to test my WordPress backup?
Would you test your backup parachute when you were falling to earth? Or would you ensure your chute is in proper working order before you start your dive?
Just like your backup parachute, your backup (whatever the backup software you choose), needs to be tested every so often. You need to ensure that all your files are being backed up correctly.
What should I do next?
Now that you are convinced on why you need to backup your WordPress site. And what you need to backup. It’s time to move on to the next step which is to formulate a backup plan. This backup plan or strategy will help you decide how and when you should backup your WordPress website.
Do you still feel unsure how to proceed, don’t hesitate to contact me. I will be more than happy to help.
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