Safety Measures in WordPress: The Importance of Backups

safety-measures-in-wordpress-the-importance-of-backupsImagine this: Your first WordPress website, finally up and running. You’ve never felt this accomplished in months. You give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back, and so do the people who’ve helped you accomplish the fruit of your labor. You install the plugins you need, and start planning further into your website’s future. It looks bright, and everything’s going swell.

Until the unthinkable happens. And your site crashes.

You shrug to yourself. You’ve heard of this kind of thing happening, even to the best of people. Heck, you’re sure Mark Zuckerberg and David Karp have had this kind of thing happen to them before, and they’re both doing just fine now, aren’t they?

So you try to get it back up and running, Googling frantically for fixes. It doesn’t work the first try. It doesn’t work on the second either– or the third, or fourth, or the seventeenth, and even twenty-second. Your eyes widen at the realization that you’re completely and utterly doomed; your website is gone forever. You go through the web for a solution, but almost all of the how-to sites say the same thing:

You should have backed up your WordPress files from the get-go.

You should have backed up your WordPress files from the get-go.

You should have backed up your WordPress files from the get-go.

One of the website owner’s worst nightmares, at best. This exactly the kind of thing we want to avoid, so how exactly do we prevent it? Well, the answer is kind of simple: We need to install a good backup plugin.

How and Where to Start?

The first step in backing up your WordPress site is knowing exactly what it is you need to back up. WPBeginner, in their article “Which WordPress Files Should You Backup? And the Right Way To Do It”, the following are listed as the essential files needed to be backed-up for this task:

  • Core WordPress Files
  • Files in the wp-content Folder (your theme, plugins, and uploads)
  • WordPress configuration file
  • Your WordPress Database

Backups Explained A Little Further

WordPress alone doesn’t come with its own security and backup systems for your site (you could learn how to manually set them up, though– although that will take a lot of time), so it’s up to you to find a way to lessen complications. Updating your site is always a given (just in case you want to add in anything new to it, like another plugin, or if you want to take something down), and backups are must, unless you want to lose data (you don’t). Other reasons to back your site up and tighten security include the assurance that it’s hacker-free, and that no one gets to steal any of your site’s data.

“There’s a Plugin for That, Too.”

WordPress has tons of plugins for all kinds of features, including (yep, you guessed it) several for security and backup measures. There are a ton of these plugins you can choose from too; a few of the more popular ones include BackupBuddy and UpDraftPlus. There are reviews for these plugins (and more) almost everywhere, so don’t worry – the magic of the internet has your back. Personally, we use VaultPress, for both security and backup, for the following reasons:

  1. VaultPress was made by Automattic– founded by Matt Mullenwegthe same person who who founded WordPress itself. Many if not most of Automattic’s products and service are fool-proof, and it’s never a bad idea to subscribe to plugins that have already been tried and tested.
  2. Unlike most backup plugins, VaultPress doesn’t require storage space. They store your stuff in their own servers so you won’t get any “you’re-eating-up-a-lot-of-the-server-space” notices from your web host.
  3. Simplicity. To use it, you just need to log into your UI, and you can view all your backup details and perform operations from there.

Now, because VaultPress meets our personal standards, it works for us perfectly. However, if you’re not satisfied with VaultPress, many sites – such as WPBeginner and wpmudev — offer the usual compare-and-contrast article in case you have any more trouble deciding.

All Up to You

At the end of the day, the decision of whether or not to secure and backup your website is up to you. Some people are confident they’ll be able to face of the risks an unsecured site presents… and some people aren’t – and that’s okay. It’s better to be safe than sorry, after all.

Whichever decision you stick to, always remember to weigh in your options. After all, only you can gauge what it is you’re capable of handling.

Good luck!

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