Let’s face it: backing up WordPress, or any website for that matter, can take time and can be tedious work. It’s something that often gets overlooked until you have a problem with your website. The more time something takes, and the more tedious it is, the less likely it is to get done. The more a website changes the more often the backup is required. A website that changes often doesn’t have the luxury of ignoring a backup. And ignoring a backup is potential data loss. As I’m sure you might have guessed, that’s a bad thing.
Your WordPress database contains every post, every comment and every link you have on your blog. If your database gets erased or corrupted, you stand to lose everything you have written. There are many reasons why this could happen and not all are things you can control. With a proper backup of your WordPress database and files, you can quickly restore things back to normal.
Back up your database regularly, and always before an upgrade.
How often should you back up?
That depends on how often you blog, how often you want to do this, and how you would feel if your database were lost along with a few posts. It is your decision.
Can you use this method to back up other data?
Yes. Backups are good all around. So you can include files, and XML export of your posts, your uploads and more.
How many backups should I keep?
The general rule of thumb is to keep at least three backups and keep them in three different places or forms, like in the cloud, different hard drives, a thumb drive, your e-mail account, etc. This prevents problems if a single backup becomes corrupted or damaged.
My database backups are huge! Can I do anything about that?
Typically, anti-spam and statistics WordPress Plugins can add large amounts of data and because they are constantly gathering information, the database can swell significantly. When backing up the database, such information is probably not important to keep. Do not mark those tables for backup when selecting them during the backup process.
Can backups be automated?
Yes. There are several plugins available that automate the backup process. However, it is highly recommended that you back up those auto backups with a manual backup once in a while to guarantee that the process is working.
WordPress Backup Rules You Must Follow
If you want to keep your website’s files and ensure your site is stable and stays live, your WordPress site must be backed up. That’s it. No questions asked. It’s not open for negotiation. But, it’s easier said than done.
- Maintain a backup schedule based on your site update and blogging frequency.
- Backup your site’s database before you install anything new.
- Keep three backups in three different forms and/or places, such as in your email account, on an external hard drive, and in the cloud (Dropbox, S3, Google Drive etc).
- Only backup those plugins that contain value for your site—not those that bloat your site such as spam filters and stat plugins.
- Schedule manual backups just in case there’s an issue with an automatic backup.
Following these rules will help ensure you never lose your info again.
Backing up your site regularly is crucial in preventing data loss. Don’t expect that you will never need it. Just be prepared for when you do. Taking the email and cloud approach, as well as storing locally, can ensure that you have plenty of resilience and storage and for your files. So make sure you back up your site in someway, trust us, you’ll be thankful you did if your website ever has problems.
For further reading go to http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Backups