Your website is important to you. You’ve put hours of time into getting it setup and getting your content just right. The last thing you want to do is lose it. Don’t worry, you have a few options that can keep your files safe and give you peace of mind.
Manual Backups (NOT RECOMMENDED)
The WordPress documentation has a great post on how to back up your website manually. While this is a great thing to learn how to do (and maybe you want to do it once to be sure you have all of your files) I don’t recommend this for most of my clients. It just isn’t work the time and effort for a non-technical person to figure out.
Your Web Host may do backups
While you will definitely want to check on this, most web hosting companies do some type of backup of your data. Bluehost for example offers “courtesy backups” (performed weekly) to all its customers but it doesn’t guarantee them at all. You can however upgrade to their “Site Backup Pro” service which offers daily backups for $13/year.
If you want a premium “full service” hosting package you can go with WP Engine who not only does backups daily but also updates your website’s plugins and install and fixes it if it gets hacked.
Premium and Hosted backup solutions
Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com offers a backup and security service called ValutPress with different tiers of pricing and support.
BackupBuddy is a premium WordPress plugin that allows you to backup your website to schedule backups and have them sent off-site to Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud, an FTP server, or your email. Or download them right to your desktop.
There are lots of other plugins that offer backup solutions in the WordPress directory.
A service that I have been using the last 4 months is called myRepono. The service has a WordPress plugin that you can install, and uses a pay-as-you-go balance system (where you get $5 free for signing up) and subtracts the cost based on your daily storage and transfer amounts (you can check pricing here.) I currently have mine set to backup weekly keeping 5 weeks of data. Over the last 4 months I have used $1.58 of my $5 credit. I like that it is automatic (I don’t even think about it until I get an email that my backup was successful) and if I need to restore something I can do it right from the plugin. That being said I was a little confused as to how to restore just a single file. Once you click the restore link (I was afraid it would restore everything) you are taken to a restore session that allows you to select the files you want to restore.
WordPress Backup to Dropbox
While I haven’t used this plugin, I think I am going to give it a try. It looks like you can set it to backup automatically and then chose where in your dropbox it will store the files. You then can easily view the files in your backup directly because they are just files (although this could easily fill up your dropbox space quickly if you aren’t careful.) Because dropbox syncs across all of your computers and even your mobile devices, you will always have the files you need. The developer also offers premium addons for zipped backups and email notifications if you want that functionality.
It is important to keep your website backed up. I’ve had lots of times where having a backup has saved me hours and hours of work. I also wouldn’t rely on a single solution (like your web host company) and would suggest having at least two backup solutions just in case. Have any other backup plugins or services that you use that you would recommend? Let us know it the comments!