Turn on the Way-Back Machine; WordPress backups

Wordpress backupThe internet can be unpredictable, and it pays to be prepared.

New clients call on me, now and again, to take a look at a problem on their site. Almost 100% of those that I investigate (aside from the problem that initiated my involvement) do not have a WordPress site backup.  Some who think they have back-ups — do not have working backups.

This is where picking a host provider who states that back-ups are provided, can be a very good decision. Sometimes for a small fee, a host will include this service. Either way, that is a very good decision and certainly better than no backup plan.

In addition to my host’s backups, I run them for my own site through the host’s c-panel, and also run WordPress backups through my WordPress Dashboard via a plugin.  Ok, that may be overkill, but you at least want to do the latter. Any backup you create and download off the host server is your property, and a bit of insurance that your content will not be destroyed by cyber gremlins.

I talked about WP-DBmanager in another post and some simple advice for getting an error message to clear.  This plug-in also does some cool database repair and database optimization. The plug-in states that database optimization should be run once a month. (Database optimization can speed up a site considerably, especially if it has been neglected for any length of time).

The backup created by WP-DBmanager resides in a folder on the server where your blog is located. If electronic or physical disaster strikes that server, and you don’t have a copy somewhere else, you will not have a backup….  Be sure to download a copy of the latest backup to the device of your choice (cyber vault, external drive, PC hard-drive, etc.) on a regular schedule.

Even an irregular schedule is better than none ;)

Another cool plug-in — cool because I can get a back-up before I start looking into working on a site — is Online Backup for WordPress.  It appears that you have to have a vault to run the plug-in, but you can configure to just run a manual backup and then download that to your own space, which is some assurance that you are not working on the website without a safety net.

The thing about backup plugins is that they have to be configured. Installing them and thinking you are done, is not going to work. (This is a misconception that I have run across a time or two in my web-fix travels).

More commonly I ask, “Do you have a recent backup?” And the answer is, “I have no idea…”.

If you haven’t addressed the backup question for your website, please make it a priority on your to-do list, — so that if you ever need to call on the Way-Back Machine, it will be extant — and functional :)

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