How to Backup Your WordPress Site Automatically
One of the things you need to do to ensure your website is always available when needed is to back it up regularly. With the world now being connected to the internet, with everyone having a mobile device, and the rise of remote working, it is essential that you have a way to back up your website and database in case something happens.
Why WordPress? Well, WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems around, and for good reason. It is incredibly easy to use, and it is an open source platform, which means that anyone can modify it to fit their needs.
WordPress makes this process very easy. You can use a plugin, such as BackupBuddy, to accomplish this. Now, before you go and install this plugin, let’s go over some of the basics of backing up a WordPress site.
The Importance Of Testing Your Backups
You have spent a lot of time putting together a great website with original content and engaging social media marketing. You have poured your heart and soul into it, and you want to ensure that it is always available when needed. For that to happen, you need to test your backups.
Doing this means getting a copy of your site, either from the live server or from a local copy you made, and then performing a restoration test to see if all your original content, settings, and design are present and functioning properly.
If you use a plugin like BackupBuddy to create your backups, then testing them is very easy. Simply activate the plugin, click on the Backup button, and then click on the Start Test button.
This will download all the files that are required to restore your website backup, and then it will start an internal browser window where you can enter the URL of any page on your site, or submit a form, and then click on Go.
If you enter the URL of a page that does not exist, you will be taken to a 404 error page, and the backup will not be tested.
If everything is OK, then you can click on the Finish button to complete the process. From here, you can download the files that were created, or you can upload them to a live server for staging or reviewing.
Where Should You Store The Backup Files?
The first and most important step is to decide where you will store the backup files. If you are using a desktop computer, then this could be on a medium, like an external hard drive or a cloud storage service, or it could be in a folder on your computer. Similarly, if you are using a mobile device or tablet, then storing the files locally is always an option. However, if you are looking for the ultimate in security, then you could back up your WordPress site to a remote server, which has been repeatedly proven to be a safer option.
You need to consider:
- How easy is it to access the files if you need them?
- How easy is it to restore the files in case of emergency?
- Are you comfortable storing personal information, such as credit card numbers and login details, on a remote server?
- How frequently do you need to update the backups?
- Do you need to use the same provider for all your backups?
- How many backups do you need to keep?
- What is the anticipated lifespan of your website?
- Do you need to keep a local copy of your backups in case something happens to the original files?
- Where will you store the original files in case they are ever lost?
- Who has access to the original files?
- What are the security measures in place to prevent unauthorized access to the original files?
- Do you need a secured connection when making the backups?
- Does the location you choose for the backups affect the restoration process?
- Is it accessible via a mobile device or a cloud-based service?
- How often does the backup process need to be repeated?
- How much space do you have for the backup files?
- How much time do you have to maintain the backups?
- What is the estimated cost of purchasing and using expensive software, like the ones mentioned above?
- How much time and effort do you have to spend on keeping the backups up-to-date?
The above is a long list of questions you need to answer in order to choose the right place to store your backups. It can seem like a lot of work just to back up your site, but it is worth it in the end.
The Ultimate Backup Solution
Let’s say you have decided to store your backups on a remote server. This has its perks, like the ones mentioned above, but it also has some drawbacks. One of the biggest issues you need to deal with is ensuring that the connection between your computer and the remote server is always secure. To do this, you will have to use a VPN tool on your computer or mobile device before making the backup, and then you will have to make sure that the VPN is still active when you restore the files.
If you use a desktop computer, then you can install a VPN app to your device, and this will make sure that all your personal information is encrypted while on the move. If you are using a mobile device or a tablet, then you can use a VPN app to connect to the server and ensure that all your personal information is encrypted while browsing the web or making calls.
There are also some extra security measures you need to take in case you restore the files on a different computer or device. If you use a different browser on the restored computer or mobile device, then you need to make sure that the URL points to your correct site. You can use a feature like Two-Step Verify to add another layer of security to your login process, and you can enable automatic logins from your email.
Last but not least, let’s say you are using the free version of WordPress, which is great because it means you do not have to think about storage space or how to back it up. The only downside is that you cannot restore the files manually. To do this, you need to use the Google Chrome extension Recover All.
This extension will allow you to browse your site, and it will allow you to manually select the content and files you want to restore. If you have more than one WordPress site, then you can use the BackupBuddy plugin to automate the backup and testing process. In this way, you can ensure that your content is always available when needed.