The ultimate WordPress backup strategy

The ultimate WordPress backup strategy

At SevenDev, we believe that we provide the best WordPress maintenance in Australia. Our plans offer great services that allow websites to perform at their best and have a great level of reliability. A maintenance plan is not just about keeping software up-to-date but having a contingency plan in place for when things go wrong. A WordPress website is a dynamic marketing tool that evolves and lives on a very technical web server. Because there are many moving parts, sometimes things go wrong and your website might experience downtime, potentially losing your business money. 

A hacked website is a disaster for any company. It will not only cause the company to lose money but will also result in a loss of customer engagement and trust.

A study by Google found that on average retailers lose up to $2,000USD in revenue for every hour their website is down. This means for every hour your website is not accessible to your customers, you could be losing a considerable amount of income that would be covering business operation costs, staff wages, and profit.

The first step in recovering from a hacked website is identifying the extent of the damage and fixing it as quickly as possible. The quicker you can get your site back up and running, the less damage will be done to your business reputation and bottom line. 

This is where a maintenance plan comes into action.

Our maintenance plans make use of what we call the ‘Ultimate WordPress Backup Strategy’ and It ensures that there are many backup fail-safes in place for if or when your website goes down. 

In this article, we are going to give you the full breakdown of what this entails and how it protects your greatest marketing tool.

What is common (and terrible) practice for WordPress backups?

Unfortunately, most WordPress websites don’t utilise a robust backup strategy. A large percentage of WordPress site owners only rely on server backups from their hosting provider. Although these backups are better than no backups at all, there are certainly some drawbacks with this being the only fail-safe.

  1. Backups aren’t always 100% reliable
    Although most of the time backups work very well, they do on some occasions fail or corrupt. This means you are not able to restore your website in the event you need to roll back.
  2. Some hosting providers will charge fees to restore backups
    Although most providers don’t, there are those that captilise on the opportunity and charge a fee to restore your site from a backup.
  3. Most providers will only provide weekly or daily backups
    Depending on the type of WordPress site you have will depend on the frequency with that you will need to take backups. If your website content or data doesn’t change regularly, then you could get away with daily or perhaps even weekly backups. If you run an online store or a membership site you would most likely want to back up hourly to minimise the risk of lost data. The database is the brain of a WordPress website and when data is lost there is no way to recover it.
  4. Depending on the hosting provider, it can be a technical process to access and restore your backups.
    Hosting provider admin panels can vary in quality based on how large of a hosting provider they are. Companies that invest money back into their platform will often have more intuitive tools that make restoring from a backup a breeze. Unfortunately, others would require you to understand some pretty technical terms and jump through a number of hoops to get the job done.

What is the best WordPress Backup strategy?

The best WordPress backup strategy is one that has multiple contingencies and redundancies in case of backup failures. What this means is that the website gets backed up multiple times using different backup methods.

A solid backup strategy should include three different backups: local, off-site, and cloud backups. Local backups are the easiest to do and provide the quickest access to your site content. They are also the cheapest option for small websites or blogs. Off-site backups are best for larger sites that require storage in an off-site location such as a digital archive. Cloud backups offer an easy way to store all of your files in multiple locations through the use of storage providers such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive.

The strategy the SevenDev uses as part of our maintenance plans works on a 3-prong approach. We back up your WordPress website in the following ways.

  1. Server backups
  2. Offsite backups (up to 3 different methods)
  3. Local site backups

Server backups

As mentioned above, server backups are provided by your web hosting provider. All hosting providers should offer this service as part of your monthly hosting costs. Some providers offer better backup options than others but we always ensure those server backups are enabled as part of our backup strategy.

Server backups will not only backup your WordPress website but also anything else that runs off your hosting including email accounts.

When joining a maintenance plan, if we feel that your hosting is not benefiting your business, we will recommend other hosting solutions and discuss suitable website migration options.

Offsite backups

Offsite backups are full backups of just your website files and database. These backups are also stored away from your web hosting provider and can live in many different locations. Offsite backups can be stored on any cloud storage provider such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Amazon S3 to name a few.

Offsite backups are an important component of the backup strategy as it creates several redundancies to ensure your backups are accessible. If you only store your backups on the same server as your website and your hosting servers go down, you won’t be able to access your backups.

As part of our maintenance plans, we store your website backups in 2 offsite locations. This includes a copy with our maintenance systems to ensure we can easily access your backups at a moment's notice, the other being your choice of cloud storage. We usually recommend Dropbox for this but we support most major cloud storage providers. This means we can automatically send website backups to the provider you may already utilise in your business.

Local site backups

The last method by which we back up WordPress is local backups. This is where the backup is directly stored within your WordPress ecosystem. These backups are still stored on your web hosting but they are directly accessible from within your WordPress dashboard and can quickly be restored if needed.

Local site backups are perfect for when your hosting is working correctly but your WordPress website is experiencing an issue after a recent update or content is accidentally deleted by a user. With a few clicks, you will be able to restore the previous working version of your website. Something to keep in mind with local site backups is that will contribute to your hosting storage limits, so you will need to ensure you have enough space on your hosting plan to store them.

The best WordPress backup plugins

WordPress is known for its massive library of plugins that can expand its default functionality. Backups plugins are a popular category and they are an important part of a backup strategy. Not all backup plugins are created equal and choosing the correct plugin isn’t just about getting the necessary functionality but also the quality of development and how often the plugin is updated. Based on these considerations we recommend the following backup solutions.

UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus is the most popular backup plugin for WordPress and for very good reason. It offers great capability and support for cloud storage providers and has a simple restoration process for when things go wrong. Some great features of the plugin include;

  • Proven to backup sites up to 100GB in size
  • Supports both manual and automated backups
  • Automated backups can be scheduled
  • Routinely prunes the number of old backups kept
  • Supports many cloud storage providers for offsite storage
  • File encryption when transferring backups to storage providers
  • Reliable backups and simple restoration

UpdraftPlus is a great plugin and is our choice when defining a strategy for offsite backups. While on a maintenance plan your website will receive a premium licence of UpdraftPlus.

BackupBuddy

BackupBuddy is very similar to UpdraftPlus and is another great option for reliable and secure WordPress backups. It offers a range of offsite cloud storage solutions with the ability of scheduling backup times and frequency. Additional features of BackupBuddy included; 

  • Malware scanning during the backup process to make your site and online reputation is squeaky clean
  • Update text throughout your database with an advanced find-and-replace feature
  • Database scan and repair to find common database issues and fix them

BlogVault

BlogVault not purely a WordPress plugin but an online service dedicated to taking WordPress backups. It has a fantastic reputation for being the most reliable backup solution for WordPress websites. It offers great features such as;

  • Incremental backups
  • 1-click restore
  • Enterprise-grade security
  • Integrated staging environments
  • Realtime WooCommerce backups

Any of the 3 backup solutions mentioned above will do a great job of keeping your WordPress website protected. If your site is not utilising a backup solution then you are risking downtime for your business. If your website is the driving force for incoming leads and sales, a robust backup strategy is a must.

Conclusion

WordPress maintenance is an important part of the website lifecycle. It should never be overlooked, as it is an integral part of the website development process.

A backup strategy is a crucial part of any website maintenance plan. Without backups, you will not have a way to recover your website in case of an emergency.

Ongoing maintenance is an important part of owning a website. It can be a tedious process that requires regular attention and work. If you are looking for a reliable and trustworthy solution to your backup needs, then look no further than our WordPress maintenance plans as we offer all types of backups strategies for every budget and need.

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