Posted by Richard in Website Design

Why Backing Up Your WordPress Site is So Important

The WordPress platform offers some fantastic plus points for those looking to manage their business presence, and associated website content, online. As a WordPress web agency, we have helped countless businesses to unlock the power of WordPress and in turn serve their own customers, with excellent results. Whether you are looking to manage your own WordPress site or need a little agency help to keep it updated, there are many steps that you will need to complete post launch to ensure your website performs as it should do.

Your online journey after all doesn’t come to an end after your website is up and running. Your site and its content needs to be freshened up on a regular basis to ensure it delivers value to your customers and continues to achieve the search rankings it deserves. Another must when managing your WordPress website is keeping the security of your platform up to date. But should the worst happen and you fall victim to hacker attack, ransomware or phishing, relying on data backup is often the first port of call when recovering.

Despite the importance of backing up, a vast number of businesses forgo this essential website maintenance step. With so many backup resources – cloud-based backups are becoming increasingly popular – there’s no excuse not to backup the business critical data that populates your WordPress website and wider network.

Failing to backup is a global problem

It’s a sad fact that many UK businesses simply don’t bother to backup at all. According to research gathered by 123-reg, 1 in 10 small business owners in the UK have never backed up, which leaves them vulnerable should the data loss disasters that are all too common occur. The same survey did offer a glimmer of hope, particularly for a WordPress web agency that constantly tries to remind their own clients about the importance of backing up. 30% of those surveyed said they backed up often, sometimes more than once a week.

Unfortunately, research found that a greater number of respondents (53.45% to be exact) backed up their data once a month or even less frequently.

It’s not just UK businesses that fail to backup on a regular basis. Businesses surveyed by Kroll Ontrack across Europe, North America and Australia also admitted to a number of backup faux paus. Whilst the same survey revealed that having a current backup doesn’t rescue all the data lost by recovering businesses, 67% of those affected by data loss could restore almost all of their data. Another 13% were able to restore up to 75% of all data lost. Just like any website built on any content management system, your WordPress website will be left in uncertain territory should you not backup on a regular basis.

Data lost disasters are more common than you might think, and they don’t have to be the product of a full scale hacker attack either. 10% of computers are infected with viruses every month and 113 phones are lost or stolen every minute. The question is – what would you do if you lost all that precious business data? With World Backup Day 2018 coming up at the end of this month – put Saturday 31st March in your diary folks – now couldn’t be a better time for a change in your attitude to backing up.

Why is backing up so essential?

If we didn’t mention it already, backing up your WordPress website and wider network is IMPORTANT. As well as losing all the data you, your business and its customers hold dear, failing to backup can lead to a number of unpleasant consequences, many of which your business may never be able to recover from.

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WordPress is the CMS most widely used by businesses and individuals alike, accounting for 27% of all websites, a fact that makes WordPress sites a prime target for cyber criminals. Hackers looking to steal data, bring your website down or demand ransom work to know the WordPress platform inside out, with the loopholes and vulnerabilities identified often a ‘way in’ across countless WordPress sites. WordPress’ open source credentials unlock a variety of benefits but also mean that anyone and everyone can access the code behind it. Now you see why our WordPress web agency is keen for you to backup regularly!

Making and keeping a local copy of your website will ensure that should hard drive failures occur, hackers infiltrate your website or your server go kaput, you’re covered. Data loss can also occur during the simplest of CMS upgrades or due to a missed hosting bill or payment so don’t take backing up for guaranteed. For businesses with employees, the prospect of data loss is make even more of a reality. All it takes is a click of the wrong button or the accidental deletion of an essential file by an unwitting worker to cause data loss. Accidents happen, no matter how careful you are with other aspects of WordPress website security.

How to backup your WordPress website

You don’t need to be a WordPress web agency like us to be able to perform a backup, although our experts are here to provide the support you need to make regular backups possible. Whether you want to do it yourself or get our web specialists to do it for you, backing up is quick and easy. That is, with the right knowledge and tools. WordPress provides a number of time efficient and effective backup options, and with 54,142 plugins (as of February 2018) at your disposal, you won’t be surprised to discover that there are a few to help you backup. Yes, plugins can be used for more than just fine-tuning user experience on your WordPress website but with the sheer number of plugins available, how do you find the best backup plugin for you?

As with any plugin addition to your website, WordPress backup plugins have their pros and cons. The size of some versions may affect the speed of your WordPress website, whilst others may not deliver the support and automation you need to complete backup regularly and to the highest standards. Here we take a look at the best WordPress backup plugins in the business, so you can become one step closer to increasing the frequency of backups and be in a better position should data loss disaster arise.

VaultPress

A premium backup plugin, VaultPress doubles as a security plugin too for greater efficiency all round. We should probably explain why VaultPress is at the very top of our list. Well apart from it being pretty awesome, it’s also made by Automattic, WordPress’ very own parent company.

As a backup and security plugin, VaultPress offers a variety of essential features, including file and database backup, 30-day backup archive, daily security scans and premium support. As well as daily backups coming as standard throughout all their price plans, backups can also be performed in real-time with selected plans. With VaultPress so many actions can be done in one-click, including backup restoration and security issue fixes, making it one of the most user friendly backup plugins on the market at the moment.

Unfortunately, unlike a lot of the backup plugins available, VaultPress offers no free price plans (it really is that good). You can however request a free trial before you sign up for the real thing.

BackupBuddy

Premium plugin BackupBuddy offers its own impressive repertoire of features. Developed by iThemes, a studio that is always popular for plugins, BackupBuddy offers file and database backups, backup restoration and automated scheduling, the latter of which is a life saver if you’re too busy running your business to remember to regularly backup. Those with a bit more technical know-how can also take advantage of its manual backup option. Backups can be backed up further, with copies able to be sent to Rackspace, FTP, Amazon S3, an email account or Dropbox for extra assurance.

BackupBuddy offers real-time backup status logs, custom profiles and built-in migration. The sticking point? All these features come at a price, and believe it or not, BackupBuddy is more premium than WordPress’ VaultPress. Some may however argue that BackupBuddy price plans, which start at $80, are small prices to pay for peace of mind. Like VaultPress, BackupBuddy offers no free price plan and also doesn’t provide a free trial.

BackUpWordPress

If you want a backup plugin where you can schedule backups and forget about it, then BackUpWordPress is an excellent option. This top quality plugin may not be as popular as others in our top five but its 4.7 out of 5 average rating certainly can’t be sniffed at.

As well as being free to install, the BackUpWordPress plugin requires no setup and is super easy to use. Those utilising shared hosting will find a friend in BackUpWordPress, which specialises in delivering top notch backup and restoration even in low memory environments. BackUpWordPress is also compatible with Linux and Windows servers. As well as the usual bells and whistles found in the top rated backup plugins, BackUpWordPress gives you the means to create custom backup profiles, excluding files or folders as you see fit. The ability to send backups elsewhere however means shelling out for their developer bundle, a cost that may be a step too far at an extra $99. Support may also be lacking with BackUpWordPress and there is no quick restore option, which means all that time saved in setup may go to waste after all.

BackWPup

With more than 5 million downloads and 600,000 plus active installs, BackWPup is a long serving backup plugin. It’s also free! It is widely used, but with a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars (which is lower than our next entry UpdraftPlus), this plugin may be overlooked from time to time. With 33 out of the 53 issues resolved in the last two months however, where BackWPup loses on ratings, it makes up for in support. One thing that can’t always be said for other WordPress backup plugins out there.

Features include file and database backups, one-click manual backups, and custom, automated schedules. Backups can be sent to FTP, Dropbox, Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace, SugarSync and email accounts. Users can also choose from an array of archive formats.

UpdraftPlus

We thought we’d finish our top five backup plugins with another freebie. UpdraftPlus is a worthy rival for backup and restoration, and is extremely popular, not just because of its price tag, or lack of. With 1 million (and counting) active installations to date, and a 4.8 out of 5 user rating, UpdraftPlus certainly has the credentials but what verdict would our WordPress web agency give it?

UpdraftPlus offers much of the functionality found on VaultPress and BackupBuddy, and its features have been rigorously tested to ensure high quality, consistent and reliable backup and restoration can be embraced. Complete file and database backups with ease, enjoy custom and automated backup schedules, and restore data quickly and conveniently. Like BackupBuddy, you can also send backups elsewhere. Store additional copies in UpdraftPlus Vault, Amazon S3, Dropbox, Rackspace, Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage, DreamHost, DreamObjects, FTP, OpenStack, and email. For those looking to fine-tune the backup of files and databases further, UpdraftPlus’ separate scheduling capabilities are a dream.

With its user friendly, intuitive interface and extra options for developers and technically minded folk, UpdraftPlus definitely deserves its high rating. Some users have however found support lacking.

Let us back you up

As a specialist WordPress web agency, we go beyond WordPress website design and development. Our aftercare services provide a number of excellent options for those looking to maintain their websites to the highest standards. We can assist you with regular backups, dedicated restoration, and ongoing support, so you are prepared for every eventuality.

Get in touch with our team today to discover more about our WordPress website maintenance services or to discuss your requirements. Want the latest WordPress advice right now? Keep up to date by visiting our blog.

 

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