My original title for this post was: The Most Important Thing You Can Do for a Successful Blog (But Probably Won’t).
Backups are ridiculously important and absurdly overlooked.
Admit it. You either:
I’d like to tell you “it’s OK, everyone forgets about backups”… but it’s not OK.
Here’s the one-question test to determine if you need backups:
Would you be devastated to lose all the work you’ve put into your WordPress site or blog over the years?
If the answer to that question is yes, you need to take backups seriously.
Don’t risk everything. Take 30 minutes today to setup some decent backups. I’ll show you how in this post.
Are you really sure that your hosting company makes regular backups of your site(s)? How often do they make them? How can they be restored? How long does a restoration take? Can you restore one site without restoring all sites in your account?
More importantly: do you want to leave the safety of your site solely in the hands of your hosting company?
Your hosting may or may not provide regular backups for your site. Even if they do, here’s why you shouldn’t rely on them:
Bottom line: you should maintain your own set of backups using software specifically designed for WordPress. This will ensure you’re in control of when and how frequently backups occur, where they’re stored and how they can be backed up.
By maintaining your own backups, you’ll also gain the ability to migrate your site to a new host, or to load a version of it on another server for testing or development.
I’ve tried half a dozen methods for backing up WordPress sites over the years. I’ve used manual scripts, free plugins, hosting company backups and more.
Everything I tried was either a pain to setup, a hassle to maintain, unreliable or difficult to restore from. None of the options I tried before allowed for easy migration for development/testing.
One plugin finally fixed all these problems. It’s called BackupBuddy, and it’s the simplest, most reliable and most cost-effective backup plugin for WordPress on the market.
I say “cost-effective” instead of cheapest because BackupBuddy isn’t free. There are tons of free backup plugins on the market, but free is meaningless if your backups are unreliable or un-restorable.
Your hard work and business are on the line here. Don’t cheap out and risk everything over trying to save $75. The link to BackupBuddy is an affiliate link because we’ve used BackupBuddy religiously for the past 18 months and we believe in it. BackupBuddy works, and we trust it with one of the most important functions of our business.
Now, here’s how to backup your site with BackupBuddy in 5 simple steps:
BackupBuddy Stash is essentially free built-in secure offsite storage included with your BackupBuddy purchase.
So choose Stash or whichever remote destination you like best. Click on “Remote Destinations” from the BackupBuddy menu and choose “add new destination.”
Once BackupBuddy finishes, you could download the backup file (for safe keeping or to migrate your site somewhere else), send it to your remote destination, or you can just leave it on the server. I recommend sending it to your previously configured remote destination to verify that process works.
Restoring from backup with BackupBuddy is simple. You simply upload the backup file along with a special file called importbuddy.php to your server and verify some basic information.
As I said, there are other backup options out there including free plugins and server scripts. I don’t recommend trusting something so important to an unreliable plugin.
The folks from WordPress do have a service called VaultPress which may be worth trying. Plans start at $15. I don’t have any experience with VaultPress. If you’ve used it, please share your experience in the comments below.
I’d love to hear any horror stories you’ve had with botched server backups. I’d also love to hear about any times where backups have saved your bacon.
We’re also happy to answer any questions you have.
Above all, don’t put this off. Set aside time to implement a backup safety net today. It only takes a few minutes, and could literally save your business one day.
Happy backing up!
If you decide to give BackupBuddy a try, let us know how well it worked out for you. If you use some other solution, we’d love to hear about that as well.
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