You built a beautiful website, you post regularly to your blog, you get comments from a core group of loyal readers, and you’re starting to see some real growth in your traffic. Maybe you’ve even had a few customers phone you up and say they found your site in Google. This Internet marketing thing is starting to look pretty good!
Then one day your site is…gone. Firefox can’t find the server, or it’s taking too long to respond. Soon, the email comes. The one that says your host has experienced a catastrophic failure of the server that hosted your account. So sorry. If you’ll just send your latest WordPress site backup, they’ll get you up and running on a new server shortly.
Your latest what?
This is Not a Fairytale with a Happy Ending
This is exactly the scenario that many website owners faced a few weeks ago when a popular hosting company lost one of their servers. Not only was the hard drive destroyed, but the back-up drive was lost as well. Site owners who were relying on the host to back up their sites were devastated to find out no backups existed. In some cases, older backups were available, costing the site owners only a few weeks of work. In other cases, everything was lost. It was a tragedy that didn’t have to happen, and one every website owner needs to take steps to avoid.
Before we go any further, it’s important to note that hosts to not generally provide this service. They may, as a courtesy, make backups available to you should you need them. However, you should not rely on that unless your host’s terms of service explicitly state they will back up your files – and at what frequency.
A WordPress Site Backup Plan – the Absolute Minimum
Every WordPress site consists of two parts: the database and the core files. The database is where your settings, blog posts, comments, and user data is stored. The core files include your theme, any images or video you’ve uploaded, and your plugins. Your theme and plugins can easily be replaced, but at a minimum you must keep a current backup of your database to protect yourself from disaster.
There are plugins that will email you a zipped copy of your database every day. That’s a good start, but it’s not enough. Files can become corrupted or plugins can stop working, and just when you need that backup, you might find it’s unusable. Unless you’re going to unzip it and check periodically, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan for your backups. Think of it like you think of backing up your computer at home. You have an external drive, a Dropbox account where you store all the important stuff, and a Carbonite account for offsite backups. Just. In. Case.
Same thing with your WordPress files. You need multiple copies stored in multiple locations to be completely safe. So keep your automatic backups, but at least once a week, log into your cPanel and back up manually as well. Store the file on your home computer or on your Amazon account, and be sure to keep several days’ worth.
Disasters can and do happen. Hosts shut down without warning; hard drives fail; even the giants of the Internet are not immune. The good news is, with a solid backup plan in place, you won’t have to worry that years of work will vanish in shower of pixels, never to be seen again.
Not sure where to start with your WordPress site backup? Let our team of experts do the heavy lifting so you can get on with business. Check out the affordable tech support solutions at http://allqualitywebsites.com .
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