What is a WordPress website back up?
Let’s start with the definition of the word “backup.” It’s nothing more than an archive copy of the website. This is done for one purpose – not to lose information. Everybody want their sites to work without any problems. But the harsh reality proves that no one is immune to DDoS attacks, hacking, various technical malfunctions and other things that can severely damage the site.
Even if you use special plugins to protect your WordPress installation, there may still be a vulnerability that your plugins won’t handle. And by using backups you can easily restore the website after a software failure, hackers attack, accidental deletion of published materials or making incorrect settings in WordPress. How often should you reserve copies of your site? There’s no universal answer, and everything depends on how regularly your site is updated. If you have a website that’s not updated at all or is updated very rarely. In this case, it’s enough to do it once, right after the site is created and then to do it only when updating any site data.
Regular archiving of the site, in this case, is not needed. If you have a website that is more or less regularly filled with new content, then you should have a backup schedule. For example, once a week or once in a few days. If you have a news website where news is published daily, then you can make backups even few times a day. And a classic mistake is to replace older copy with another one. This is not entirely correct.
The matter is that the archive files can be damaged. Not completely downloaded to your computer or uploaded to a cloud storage with an error.
And here the previous copy of the archive would be handy. Therefore, make a rule of storing the last few website copies. So if it turns out that the latest version is damaged, you can always take the penultimate. Typically, by default backups are created on the hosting automatically once a day and are stored for a few days. If on your hosting they are not created automatically for some reason, you need to use a particular WordPress plugin that will perform the procedure instead.
WordPress website Backup plugins you can use
The most high-quality plugin for WordPress. It can create copies of the database, files, and content according to the pre-specified schedule. The created backups can be saved in various formats to the directory on the hosting, as well as sent to the specified e-mail or to cloud data stores, such as Microsoft Azure, RackSpaceCloud, Dropbox or Amazon.
The main advantages of the plugin are high functionality, stability and relatively simple backup process.
The plugin provides the ability to make regular backups of both databases separately and databases along with WordPress files. The plugin creates its settings page in the special section of the WordPress control panel with two default schedules already created by default and the ability to add new ones. You can set the frequency of backups, choose what exactly will be saved, how many copies will be stored on the server and whether it’s necessary to send a notification of the successful procedure to your e-mail. The paid version allows you to save files in several cloud services automatically.
This plugin allows you to save not only the site files to archive but also the SQL file with a WP database that can be later restored through phpMyAdmin. The additional server configuration settings are also exported. You can view the full list of all the features of the plugin on the developer’s page.
This plugin will link your site to a remote VaultPress service. It’s worth noting that the service doesn’t have a free or trial versions, so get ready to pay immediately. After payment, you will be given access to the administrative panel where you can find a complete list of backups made for your site according to the chosen VaultPress plan. You’ll need to configure the FTP or SSH connection between the service and the website. In the admin panel of your site will be located a simplified version of the VaultPress admin panel, so that you can work with the service without accessing their site.
Dropbox is a very popular file storage. By using the plugin, you can manage the creation of backups: set their regularity, include and exclude different directories, etc. The plugin also has an excellent protection, your data to enter DropBox is not saved in the plugin because it uses the OAuth authorization system.
The plugin will allow you to restore a site from the created copy quickly. You can make schedules in the admin panel and set their time and regularity. Through the admin panel, you can manage the created backups. This plugin is recommended to all those who have a superficial knowledge of WordPress or who are merely looking for a simple automated tool. The plugin doesn’t use any third-party services to store website copies, and that’s its small disadvantage.
The plugin will allow you to make schedules and to store your data on the Amazon S3 account or directly on your host. Files can be archived to save space for your account. Backups on the host can be removed by using the admin panel. You can set regular e-mail notifications with the statistics of the last procedure. In general, it’s a handy tool for scheduling routine procedures. The license costs about $20.
It’s worth noting that for the WordPress engine and its configuration file, some of the plugins do not save the "wp-config.php" due to security purposes. The resulting archive may include only the “/wp-content” directory with all the website content (WordPress plugins, design WordPress themes, uploads, etc.) Therefore, don’t forget to save this file to access the WordPress database of your site after restoration.