Ensure Successful Backups

Kyle Van Deusen
August 1, 2020

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Ensure your scheduled backups are being completed and test their validity.

The best fail-safe you can have for your WordPress website is regular backups. No matter if your website is hacked, compromised, or if an update just goes awry— a backup can be there to save the day! Some sort of failure is inevitable. A backup is your first line of defense!

Simply deploy a backup to before you experienced your issue, and poof— the problem is gone.

How to setup automatic backups

There are a ton of ways within the WordPress ecosystem that you can setup automatic backups, but before I share some of my favorites with you I want to key in on something… These need to be automated backups!

You want your backups running on an automatic schedule (most brochure websites can get away with 1 backup a day, while some ecommerce websites require them even more frequently).

This gives you a set-it-and-(almost)-forget-it system that happens without you having to think about it.

Use a host that provides automatic backups

Most decent web hosts will provide automatic backups of your website and database. Before investing in a hosting account, make sure this is the case. At a bare minimum they should be creating daily backups of your websites on their server.

While this is the easiest backup solution (because it is done for you), it’s not always the most reliable. You don’t want this to be your only website backup plan.

Use a backup service and/or plugin

There are plenty of backup solutions to choose from that offer both free and premium plans. With most free backup solutions you’ll have to provide some kind of storage for the backups (like Dropbox or Google Drive). Premium backup plugins often will provide storage for you.

One great feature you can look for when you’re making your decision is “incremental backups”. Incremental backups start by taking a full backup of your website, then only backup items that change between your scheduled backups. This reduces the load on your server when creating a backup.

Here are a few backup solutions you can take a look at:

UpdraftPlus

BackupBuddy

WP Time Capsule

Ensure your backups are successful

It’s not enough to set your backups and forget about them. Backups do fail!

Each month you’ll want to take stock of your backups to make sure they are going through successfully. Beyond that, it is a good idea to regularly test your backups by trying to deploy one onto a development install. Even when a backup shows its successful, sometimes there can be corruption that keeps it from restoring properly.

It would be time consuming to test your backups each and every time, but you can set aside a few minutes each month to test a few at random to see if you have any issues. If everything works fine, you’re probably okay. If you experience issues, you might want to test more and try and determine the problem.

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