Have you ever been in a situation where you are hosting a dinner party. You have estimated exactly how much food everyone will consume and exactly how many dishes to serve. But on the night everything goes wrong. A few extra people show up out of the blue and you are left scrambling to find extra food to serve to your guests.
Having a WordPress website without a backup is little like planning a dinner party without having extra food to serve as backup.
No WordPress backup can leave you scrambling
Just like you needed a backup strategy at your dinner party in case you ran out of food. You need a backup strategy for your website in case your website crashes.
You need to formulate a backup strategy that will ensure you are not just taking backups but taking them properly. And in case your website ever goes down, your backup should be able to get your website up and running quickly. Without any loss of data and any interruption to your customers.
Five points of a Backup strategy
Here are five points that must be considered in formulating a good backup plan.
#1: Plan where your backup will be stored
Even though downloading your backup to your desktop is the easiest solution. Plan to also store your backup at a different location. These days it is easy with off-site solutions like Dropbox and Amazon S3.
#2: Begin a backup routine
A backup routine could be done manually but there is every chance you might forget. Instead create an automatic backup schedule which will take place without your intervention. Most good backup software provide for creating an automated schedule.
#3: Tailor your backup strategy to your business needs
WordPress consists of two main components Database and Files. Your backup strategy depends entirely on how often you update the content to you site.
For example if you add a new post every day then your database would have to be backed up everyday to prevent you losing data. However your files may need to be backed up only once a week or even once a month. A files backup will ensure that any upgrades to your plugin and WordPress files are also backed up.
#4: Test you backup periodically
Don’t simply rely on your automated backup software. Make sure that you occasionally test your backup by attempting to restore your backup at a different location.
Also make sure you check the backup logs regularly. Most good backup software will email you the backup log or can be set up to email you the log when there are errors.
#5: Backup your backups
This is something that people tend to overlook. Remember backups can be lost as well. Having a backup stored at a different location like Dropbox and Amazon S3 are good ways to backup your backup.
But if you are storing your backups on your desktop then make sure you are copying your backup to some external media. Also keep you backup copies at home and at another location.
The five points described above can be combined to formulate a easy and effective backup strategy.
Fortunately putting together a WordPress backup plan is not too difficult
Here is an easy backup strategy that should work for most small business owners.
Lets assume you have a website to which you regularly add content. The rest of your website is fairly stable and only gets updated with the latest WordPress or plugin upgrades.
It would be good idea to split your backup schedule into two automated schedules.
Schedule 1 – an automated daily backup of your database. This daily backup should be saved on your website and emailed to you.
This will ensure that there are 2 locations where the database backup is stored. I recommend that you always store the last seven daily backup on your website.
Schedule II – a weekly full backup (files and database). A full backup would take a lot more storage space so should be stored on your website and should also be stored at another location. Setting up a full backup to be stored in Dropbox or on Amazon S3 are good options.
I recommend that you store the last four weekly backups on your website.
The above sample is relatively easy and can be implemented with any good backup software. The frequency and number of your backups can always be changed with your business needs.
My hosting provider takes care backups
Well sure many hosting providers will backup your site on a regular basis. But consider a situation where 1000s of sites are hacked all with the same hosting provider. (Yes this actually happened to my client). Having your own backup handy means you can quickly bring up your site without waiting for your hosting provider’s support to get back to you.
Having your own backup is your best insurance.
Where do you go from here?
You have now understood the the five points for a good backup strategy and have put together a backup plan based on the easy backup strategy discussed above. Now, you can now be sure to never be get caught off guard like at the dinner party when the extra guests showed up unexpectedly.
The next step is to find the right WordPress backup software and implement your plan.
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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