Picture this scenario: You get out of bed, have a nice cup of coffee, perhaps some breakfast ready to kickstart the day.
You’re excited for the projects ahead and check your daily website activity. When suddenly, you’re greeted with a website homepage involving acme cure medicine.
Bad news, you have just become a victim of cyber hacking. And a website backup is perhaps the only thing that can save you.
As horrifying as this is to most website owners, it’s also tragically a common issue that plagues everyone at some stage of their internet activity.
With so many exciting things to focus our attention on in our businesses, we for some reason forget that the internet is an open stage full of vulnerabilities and exploits.
Here at OptimizePress, we’ve spoken to thousands of customers and asked what their number #1 security measure was that they would like assistance with.
In this article, we will highlight a process, which we feel is one of the most important activities to focus on in your business and show you how to begin implementing it immediately. And best of all, with zero budget.
So without further ado, let’s get started…
In short, a WordPress website backup is the single most valuable insurance policy you can have because it will save you from being in a position where you’ll have nothing to fall back on if your website gets hacked or corrupted. Many things can go wrong on the internet, which we will discuss briefly.
Basically, if you don’t have at least some backup processes in place, then you’re in danger and in a vulnerable and risky position. For a few reasons…
1) Getting hacked is common
There are many enthusiasts who specialise in hacking into vulnerable computer systems for the sake of hacking into them. According to WordPress statistics, 27% of websites are run through its content management system (CMS)
This could spell danger due to WordPress being an open source and accessible to hackers.
2) Updates can go wrong
The reality is, nothing in the digital world runs perfectly. Errors can occur, which can cause massive disruptions to your business.
Not all is doom and gloom, as WordPress is the most popular CMS solution available. There are also many free and premium backup plugins you can install and use, which is easy to set up and get started.
Here is our list of 5 free and premium plugins that we personally recommend…
#1 – BackupBuddy (Paid)
BackupBuddy is the most popular Premium plugin currently available. You will be able to create hourly, daily, weekly or monthly backups, which you can save remotely through popular services such as Google Drive, Amazon S3, Dropbox, Rackspace Cloud, FTP and Stash (their own in-house cloud service).
BackupBuddy is a paid service and requires yearly updates. However, you will be able to use it on unlimited sites.
#2 – VaultPress (Paid)
VaultPress is a paid solution; offering similar features as BackupBuddy. It requires a small monthly fee for automated real-time cloud backups. If you’re flexible on a budget and require advanced features and a solid support base, then VaultPress may be the solution for you.
#3 – UpdraftPlus (Free/Paid)
UpdraftPlus is a free backup plugin, and also one of the most popular. It allows you to create complete backups of all of your website content, which you can then store on your computer or at a remote destination.
UpdraftPlus also has a premium version with other useful features for cloning your site and migrating it elsewhere.
#4 – BackWPUp (Free)
BackWPUp offers similar features as the paid solution but is completely free to use. It also offers automated backups according to your website’s update frequency, which is great for hassle-free backups.
#5 – WP-DB-Backup (Free)
WP-DB-Backup has had over 400,000 active installs, making it one of the most popular backup plugins available. The only limitation, however, is it only backups your database tables and you will need to backup your core website files manually.
If your website is generally static with no frequent updates made to it, this may be a simple and light solution.
Having listed 5 of our recommended backup plugins, we will now walk you through how to successfully backup your sites.
Please Note: For this tutorial, we will be using the free version of UpdraftPlus. If you’re using a different plugin, please consult their user documentation.
Step #1 – Install UpdraftPlus
To begin installing the plugin, go to your WordPress dashboard under Plugins >> Add New Plugin and search for ‘UpdraftPlus’ in the search box.
WordPress will go ahead and list UpdraftPlus under the plugin listings. Click on the ‘Install Now’ button to begin installing the software.
Upon installation, click the ‘Activate’ button to activate the plugin.
Step #2 – Create Your First Backup.
With the plugin activated, head on over to Settings >> UpdraftPlus Backups.
You will be taken to the Updraft main dashboard, ready to begin your first backup.
To begin creating your first backup, click on the blue ‘Backup Now’ button.
A lightbox will appear with checkboxes to confirm what you would like to backup.
Once you’ve confirmed the settings, click the ‘Backup Now’ button to begin the backup process.
You will see the Backup process bar appear, showing you the status of your backup.
To see your list of backups, click on the ‘Existing Backups’ tab.
Step #3 – Restoring Your Website
In case you need to restore your website to an earlier state, you will now be able to easily do this by heading over to the ‘Existing Backups’ tab.
Once you’ve decided which of your backups to restore, click on the blue ‘Restore’ button to begin the restore process.
Another lightbox will appear.
Confirm which elements of your website to restore by ticking the selections available.
Once you’re happy with the selections, click the ‘Restore’ button to begin the restore process.
We can’t emphasise enough just how important it is to make regular backups of your websites. Depending on how often new content is created, we generally recommend 1-2 full backups per week.