Backing up is one of the most important conversations we have with all of our clients. Backups are simple to setup and administer but often they are ignored because they don’t help to achieve immediate business objectives. Only when something goes wrong do backups become top of mind.
A WordPress website represents weeks of upfront work plus months if not years of on-going updates. This is all at-risk without a solid backup plan.
Fortunately, backups in WordPress are simple and can be done with a number of popular plug-ins. The one we use with our clients is called UpdraftPlus. We like it because it’s simple to setup, easy to maintain, and can leverage numerous cloud-based storage solutions (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc) to store the backups.
UpdraftPlus uses the WordPress plug-in architecture to integrate with WordPress. To install UpdraftPlus, follow the instructions on their YouTube channel
Once installed you will need to configure UpdraftPlus to backup according to your business’ needs. For busy sites with 2-3 changes per week we recommend daily backups. For less busy sites we recommend weekly backups. Remember each backup creates a set of files which take up storage and need to be sorted when it comes time to restore. You want to have enough backups to restore your site to the last known good configuration but not so many that it feels like finding a needle in a haystack.
Connecting to Cloud Storage
Cloud storage is important because once UpdraftPlus finishes backing up a WordPress website it needs to copy these files in a secondary location. Why is this important? Normally backups are used to undo a local mistake like a developer changing some code or an administrator updating a setting. Security breaches are becoming increasingly common and backups are a great way to recover. Local backups can be used to fix these situations. However, once in a while you will experience a broader failure that will bring down the entire server. In this case you will need to recover your backup from a different system. Storing your backups in the cloud ensures you will have a viable recovery option because the chances of both systems going down are nearly impossible.
Each cloud storage provider has its own set of instructions. We have highlighted a few of the popular ones here:
Restoring from a Backup
The most important part of a backup solution is the effectiveness of its restore process. UpdraftPlus does not disappoint in this area. Restores are as simple as a few clicks of the mouse. To restore follow their instructions here: Restoring a backup