Backup Your Data
One of the most important parts of site maintenance is ensuring you make regular backups of your
data, so that you’re prepared to restore your site if the need arises. This includes having a copy
of code, plugins, database, content, uploaded images and any user-generated data (comments, likes,
There’s many things that could send you looking for a backup – your web host filing for bankruptcy,
hardware errors in the data centre, hackers compromising your site and injecting/editing your
content, legal issues or even a migration to a new server.
Some basic questions you should get nailed down before you start backing up your data:
- Where to store your backups safely?
Depending on the importance of your website, you’ll want to host your backup data locally on your machine, on the web host where your site is and a remote storage area (e.g., cloud storage, external hard drive). An optional strategy is to have a physical copy of your data by burning it to a DVD, CD or some other form of removable media. If you don’t want to go that extreme, at least ensure that you are using a reliable cloud hosting solution to store your backups – here’s a few of the free options: Dropbox, Copy, iDrive, and Microsoft SkyDrive.
- How to backup your data and how to automate it?
There’s a wide number of ways to do this, but I’ll go over the most common and simplest solutions.
- Web Host Backup– Most modern web hosts provide a hosting panel that allows you to take backups or schedule them. If you have access to CPanel (WHM), Direct Admin, Plex or Vista Panel, you should have the ability to automate backup by navigating to the backup/restore section of these panels.
- Plugins/Addons– There are a number of good backup plugins for most popular content management systems. For WordPress, this includes Updraft Plus (supports backing up data to cloud storage like Dropbox and GDrive) and Simple Backup (light weight solution, can schedule backups too).