A back-up is a copy of the database and files which make up your website. We always think “It’ll never happen to me” – but what if it does?
It’s always a good idea to perform regular back-ups, particularly when you add new content or if you are about to update themes, plugins etc. Once you back-up, that copy is stored and can be uploaded to magically restore your site, should the worst happen.
Backing-up your WordPress site is a bit tricky and techie, but luckily, there are several great plugins, plus your host may also be able to help.
- My hosting is with Siteground (they are great by the way, so simple, great price and really quick and helpful customer service). Siteground offers a Back-up Service but you can also do a back-up yourself. I followed the instructions here to check, and found them to be faultless!
- As far as I can discover, Fasthosts doesn’t offer free back-up service, but you can pay for it. Fasthosts also has tutorials online to show you how to do it yourself.
- My research suggests that GoDaddy offers free back-ups if you are on a Mangaed WordPress plan, but otherwise you have to do it yourself or pay for the service.
As an extra precaution or when your host does not offer automatic back-ups, go for a handy plugin!
There are many options out there – I use the free version of UpdraftPlus and export my back-ups to my DropBox account; I’ve also heard great things about BackupWP, which both offer free and premium options. With a simple site, free will almost always be enough. If your site is content-heavy and always changing, you may want to pay for more support and enhanced services. This article considers the best plugins and the pros and cons of paying for them.
I would recommend backing-up your site weekly, particularly if it’s a an active website, which often has new content added. It is good practice to keep your back-up copies ‘offsite’, so to speak, using cloud storage.
The main thing to take away from this is – ALWAYS BACK-UP YOUR SITE! Sorry for shouting but it really is worth backing-up, for your sanity and peace of mind!