Backups - a part of the process we don't really like to talk about until we want to talk about it. If we don't talk about it, maybe it just won't be an issue, right? Well, not really, backups are pretty important. If you lost $20 would you feel bad? Probably slightly bummed, so how devistated would you (or a client) be if you lost an entire website? All the content, images, posts, COMMENTS! All of that hard work evaporating into a little wisp of nothingness into the cloud would be hard to take. So here I am in my Super Girl cape with some tips: Backing Up WordPress Blogs - what you need to know.

WordPress is awesome, but there are reasons for backups:
1. You could edit a files and make a mistake (well you probably won't, but I have).
2. You get hacked.
3. Your server gets attacked.
4. A plugin doesn't play nicely with another plugin or has a conflict when you upgrade.

We have established backing up is a good procedure so:

  • How often? Depends on how often you make updates, weekly is probably fine for most of us. If you are a designer and have completed a site, a backup zip file emailed to a client is a good idea. You keep a copy on your hard drive and they can keep one on theirs. If you are in building mode, or if you are a daily blogger, then update daily.

First, just in case you don't know, WordPress is comprised of two sections: your files and databases. You need to make sure you have a system in place that backs up all files and databases.

WordPress Files | Database

Here are some options:

1. BackupWordPress by HumanMade (Free) I like this one and use it often. If you go into the settings you can set a regular backup schedule. You can have a file emailed to you (or your client), or you can download a zip file to your computer.

2. WordPress Backup to Dropbox (Free) Now this one is helpful because not only can you backup both files and databases, it automatically stores them in DropBox, which means they are in a different location (not your hard drive or server). You also aren't using memory on your hard drive and you can share access to the file with the client.

3. BlueHost SitePro Backup - this is inexpensive and obviously only if you are hosted with BlueHost, check your hosting provider for their products ($)

4. BackupBuddy ($$) I don't use BackupBuddy, so can't comment on it personally, but I know plenty of people who can't live without the service.

5. VaultPress ($$$) I suggest that you look into Vault Press if you run a big site, e-commerce, anything that is absolutely mission critical. They offer phone support and will walk you through the restoration of files (even comments).

So, while a bit unglamorous, backing up your WordPress sites is important. If I have not mentioned a plugin or procedure that works well for you, would you be kind enough to share in the comments? Thank you!

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