Firstly, we know that some of you are brand new to websites and may not be familiar with what a backup is exactly. A backup is a saved copy of your website elements such as code files, database, add-ons, plugins, or themes used by your website.
Why do I need to back up my site?
1. Data Loss
Have you ever experienced losing data on your computer or saved a file from a previous date and lost all of the information? You want to retrieve or restore the data on that file but it’s already too late because you didn’t perform a website backup or there is no option available.
2. User Error
So, you have been playing around with your website and becoming more confident with the changes you are making, however, you are not feeling that confident! By backing up your website before you start to make big changes on your site can ensure that, if something were to happen, you can restore your website to the previous version.
Did you know that hackers hack several websites on a daily basis? Hacking of the websites is common. WordPress is the most attractive target since it is powering close to 25% of all the world’s websites and is open source software – meaning it is readily available for hackers to code through. If hackers gain control over the site it may result in your losing the data on your website.
As you can see it is so important to have your website backed up regularly, it means that your data and website are safe and it gives you peace of mind knowing you can always reload it or set your website to a previous version.
What about my Hosting provider?
Maybe at this stage you’re still thinking, “I am sure my hosting provider does this for me and I don’t need to do anything for my site, right?”. Your hosting provider can perform an automatic back up twice a week or once a month, but what if their server crashed or your site got hacked. The last option at this point is to use your own backup but OH! you never performed a backup in any of your remote storage. This kind of situation can really be a disaster especially for something like an e-commerce site owners that has plenty of customers and a large database of shipping to handle. Not only will you lose your data, but you will also lose revenue from not being able to send the products to your customers.
How do I back up my website?
For website owners, apart from making sure that your site is updated, performing a backup of your site is very important and this can prevent such hassle from happening. If you plan to start backing up your site now, you can choose from free or premium versions of plugins that are available in the market which you can use to perform an automatic or manual backup of your site. It is essential to read through everything before using the plugin to ensure you are backing your entire site and database correctly.
Here at Start Smart Website, we perform a monthly website maintenance as part of our TLC package that includes backing up of website files, updating all plugins and themes and making sure that the site is working smoothly in mobile and desktop version after each backup and update.
There are many different plugins to select to back up your website. We at Start Smart recommend to using Updraftplus! With Updraft Plus, It is very easy and quick setup. You have the choice to schedule or manually back up the site to cloud storage or your local storage, but either way, you can restore your files with one click. Whatever plugin you decide upon, create your backup using your chosen backup plugin, make sure it is already connected to your remote storage i.e dropbox, google drive, etc.
Backing up your site using UpdraftPlus
To create a backup of your WordPress website, you can follow these steps:
- Login to your website
- Go to Dashboard
- To install Updraft Plus, Go to Plugins and Add New
- In the Search bar, type updraft plus, once it has appeared, click install button then activate.
- In your WordPress dashboard click Settings > Click on UpdraftPlus Backups,
- This will open the page to UpdraftPlus Backup/Restore, you can perform a back up at any time just by clicking the back up now button
- In Settings, you have the option to set a scheduled back up, choose in the dropdown how frequent you would like this to be done automatically by Updraft Plus. You can also save a copy to your remote storage by downloading files to your computer.
- If you prefer to save it directly to your storage, you can click the settings tab and scroll down and choose your remote storage. Click your desired cloud storage and click the link to login and allow Updraft plus API to perform the backup.
Check the front-end or go to each of your site pages to confirm that there are no broken links, images or something isn’t showing right, if there’s anything broken but you can’t fix it on your own then you can then restore a back-up that you created.
Make it a Habit
Lastly, It is better to perform a backup routine for your website twice a month, if everything fails, it will help you to have easy access to a copy of the site at the latest date. If you also had major changes to your site it is better to save a copy as well.