For as long as there have been WordPress, site owners, managers, and developers have worried about how to backup WordPress. Even in the early days, WordPress was a complex system. It could do a lot, but backing it up and restoring it took time, patience, and of course, developers.
Still savvy site owners understood that it was worth the effort to back their sites up. Virus and Malware, bad actors, and server crash were all pose a risk to your data. Without a good disaster recovery program, you could lose everything.
In the early days my absolute favorite solution was a plugin that simply backed up my database each night using mysqldump and then emailed it to me. I thought this was the end-all/be-all of backup solutions. It was easy, it was off-site, and I had an email rule that deleted them so in 300 days, they were gone.
The problem that is obvious now is that my database, while important, is only part of what needs to be backed up.
At Breeze Technologies Solutions we do not believe that there is a single best backup plugin for WordPress or solution. We strongly believe that different types of sites have different needs and that WordPress site owners should evaluate their needs and options and pick the best solution for them.
That having been said, any WordPress backup solution is better than no solution at all. If you aren’t backing up your WordPress based website on a daily basis, read the rest of this article, pick a solution, and start backing your site up today.
The Best Solution to Back Up Your WordPress Site Without a Plugin
Backing up WordPress via your hosting partner
Most top-tier web hosts offer backup services as part of their monthly fee. This is going to be a little different than a plugin solution because your web hosting partner has access to the underlying infrastructure and can do things that plugins simply can’t do.
Your hosting partner backup solution will almost always operate faster in both backing up and restoring because they don’t rely on WordPress to do the heavy lifting. This means that if you have a large site or large database, backing up and restoring via your web hosting partner means less down-time.
One thing to look out for when utilizing your web hosts backup and restore is to make sure that the backups are stored off-site. This means not on the same server that your site is stored on and hopefully not even in the same geographic region.
Heaven forbid that a natural disaster hit the region your site is hosted in and the entire infrastructure is out for an extended time. If your backups are also stored there then you are down for the count.
Breeze Technologies Solutions understand the need for this back up, hence we’ve absorbed the worries for you. We create daily backups of your website, make them available on a rolling 30 day basis, and they geographically distribute your backups to better ensure your data is stored safely.
Expert Tip: Just because you are utilizing your web hosting partner’s backup service doesn’t mean that you don’t still have a responsibility to keep a backup of your site locally. If no automated service is available, log in once a month and download the last backup of the month to your local computer as an absolute last resort.
How to Back Up Your Website with a WordPress Plugin
Take in mind these 2 questions by the time you will need to choose a WordPress backup plugin that best fits your needs.
What should a WordPress backup plugin back up?
A good WordPress backup plugin or solution backs up at the very minimum 2 things.
Your uploads directory
In addition, you may also want to back up:
The reason I don’t list these in the must-backup section is that these can usually be downloaded and installed thus you don’t technically need to back them up. Still, it’s a good idea to include these in your backup because it makes restoring a site much easier.
What should a WordPress backup plugin do?
A good backup solution should cover at least these three points.
Backup your site
Store the backup in a different location. In tech, we call this “off-site”. That’s a hold-over term from when we used to back things up on tape and then physically take the tape to a different site.
Restore your backup. A good backup solution is only 1/2 the problem, you need to be able to USE those backups in case of an emergency. Most plugin based solutions require you to re-install WordPress and their plugin before you can restore. Usually this isn’t a problem, but solutions that are provided by top-tier web hosting providers are better in that they can restore everything.