I grew up in Houston, where preparing for a hurricane was routine enough that we had drills at school. Once a hurricane entered gulf waters, folks would make a mad rush to the store for duct tape, batteries, and canned tuna. (If the prep list had been left to me, I probably would have stocked up on Twizzlers, Oreos, and Tang.)
When you’re dealing with a WordPress site, the prep list looks a little different (no Twizzlers or duct tape). By taking a few minutes to create a WordPress backup plan can be the difference between smooth sailing and total devastation.
A “Hurricane Prep list” for WordPress
When making a WordPress backup plan, your prep list should include two main things:
- Backing up your data.
- Backing up your files.
Shortest list ever, right? Below are two options (one free, one premium) for making sure your site is safe.
Free WordPress Backup Solution
There are a slew of free backup plugins available at the wordpress.org plugin directory.
I prefer the simple, and easy to use WordPress Database Backup. As the name suggests, it’s only for backing up your data. It comes with multiple options for your backups (receive it via email, ftp to server, or stash it in The Cloud). I have a separate email account I use just for database backups. They’re all safe and secure should I ever need to re-install or recover my data.
When it comes to files, I like to go old-fashioned and manually FTP the wp-contents folder. Zip it up and hide it away.
Premium WordPress Backup Solution
With either of these, you can back up your entire WordPress installation, including widgets, themes, plugins, files and your SQL database and you can store your backup in a variety of ways (Dropbox, Amazon, FTP, etc.)
They also both include Restore and Migrate/Clone features.With a free solution like WordPress Database Backup, there’s some manual labor with a slice of technical know-how needed to restore a site. But with BackupBuddy or ManageWP, you can restore your site or even move the entire installation to a new server with minimal effort.
* Side note: You can use BackupBuddy with multiple sites. I say it’s ideal for single site backups since you’re doing the backup management from within your WordPress install. This is a nice option if you have clients managing their own backups & updates. ManageWP, on the other hand, is perfect if you’re managing multiple client sites as it allows you to do that from a single dashboard vs logging in to each individual WordPress site.
What if disaster strikes your WordPress website?
If something goes wrong, would you be able to restore it to a fully functional state in short order? With a quick investment of your time, you can be prepared for a WordPress emergency – well worth it!