As online entrepreneurs, we’re always tweaking, refining, updating, adding to + removing items from our WordPress sites. Whether it’s a new blog post or a refreshed about page, you’re likely making changes weekly. Which means that single backup you did months ago is missing at least 8 updates + it’s time to run multiple backups.
Websites are never done.
If you lost your site today to a hacker or crappy server circumstance, you’d be protected from losing everything with that old backup (phew!). But you’d still be out a few hundred dollars worth of your time by not having those updates. And since your site is always changing, you’ll want to run multiple backups for the life of your site.
Maybe you’re like me + write your blog posts outside of WordPress. The good news is that you wouldn’t be missing the content completely. However, once you restore your backup, you’ll still have to take the time to re-add those 8 or so posts back into your site.
Once that’s done, you’ll have to remember the typo you found on your service page to fix again. Then re-upload your new bio photo before adding it to your about page. Oh and any of the number of other tweaks you made over the last few months.
Do you see why one site backup isn’t doing you much good at this point?
Automatic backups + running multiple backups
I know our to do lists are too long + making “backup your website” a never-ending, daily / weekly task item wouldn’t be much fun. Which is why automatic backups are your friends. Setting your automated backups to a routine that makes sense for your process will keep you from missing all of those tiny adjustments + added content. All without you needing to remind yourself to do so.
It also makes sense to run full backups if you’re doing any major work to your site. If you spend more than an hour making big changes, do yourself a favor + run a backup before logging out of your site. No lost sleep over stressing about having to retag all of your blog posts again.
But what if I told you that your automatic backups might let you down? I hate fear tactics, I really do. So this isn’t something I say lightly.
The reality is that sometimes a backup isn’t actually usable. Sometimes internet connections or servers experience a hiccup in the middle of the backup process, which leaves the file unusable. Or, even worse, a plugin isn’t installed correctly. In that case, the backups that are running are completely useless because of those faulty installations.
The best way to protect yourself from this doom + gloom is by checking in on your backups now + then.
Some plugins, like BackupBuddy, have a built in feature that will tell you if the backup is good or bad. Which is fine, if you want to trust an inanimate object for what it “says.”
Instead, you could download a copy of your latest backup. Then set up a brand new version of your website elsewhere on your server. The best part about this method is that you now have yourself a staging site! Not only have you verified your backups work, but you’ve spent that time creating a great playground for testing new colors + themes.
Ensuring your backups are working puts you on the prepared side of the online security fence. This is a much more calm side than the “oh shit, my site is gone + I have no working backup” side. Trust me.