Everyone has seen and heard the commercials on the TV and the radio about how important it is to backup your computer’s hard drive. Just one problem with your hard drive and you could lose all of the data on your computer. Even something as simple as an honest mistake or human error could cause the same catastrophe.
The same is true for your website. It is extremely important to backup your website regularly. Especially if it is constantly being updated with new content. You will want to create backups as often as possible. Generally, ask yourself “How much work or data can I afford to lose”. On the other hand, a static site would require much less backups.
Always play it safe
It is better to play it safe than sorry. You backup your computers at home to avoid losing precious files should your hard drive fail. You may be telling yourself, “My web host doesn’t back up files for me.” They may, they may not. THey may not even run their backups as often as you would require your site to be backed up. This is why you should not rely only on your web host to backup your website.
In case of compromise, minimize the damage
Unfortunately, there is not a website in the world that is immune to being hacked. True, there are steps and things you can do to decrease the chances of a successful hack, such as keeping a wordpress site up to date. But there are never any guarantees. If your website can be accessed from the general web, the possibility of being hacked is always there. The best thing about having a complete backup of your entire website is that instead of trying to weasel out every little bit of infected code, you can much more easily delete the entire site and rebuilt it from your most recent secure backup.
Don’t get the upgrade blues
Keeping your content management system and all plugins up to date with the most current releases always carries the risk of breaking something that worked before. Things may not work the same, or as well, as they did in the previous update. Back in the day, websites were either built by one person or a team of developers. Your CMS (content management system) is not built like that these days. The core of your CMS may have been, but most of it is made up of various third party plugins and custom theming. One simple change to the CMS or plugin, even a small programming change, can render your entire website non-functional.
Having proper, full backups of your website is so important, you should not overlook the value it brings, as well as the peace of mind. There are a few methods of backing up your website. The first method is to backup all of your site’s files manually. This can be quite complicated, especially if you don’t know what files are important or do not understand the file hierarchy.
The second method uses an online service. Automated solutions like these are available for wordpress websites too. The third method employs the use of a plugin, known as a backup plugin. There are a number of plugins available, however the majority of them only backup the part of your website known as the database. Some plugins, however, do full site backups. These are the ones you will want to use.