Websites are never done.
As online entrepreneurs, we are always tweaking, refining, updating, adding to + removing items from our site. Whether it’s a new blog post or a refreshed about page, you’re likely making changes at least once a week.
Which means that single backup you did 2 months ago is missing a minimum of 8 updates.
If you lost your site today to a hacker or crappy server circumstance, you’d be protected from losing everything (phew!) but you’d still be out a few hundred dollars worth of your time by not having those updates.
Maybe you’re like me + write your blog posts outside of WordPress, which means you wouldn’t be missing the content completely, but 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, re-upload your new bio photo before adding it to your about page, and any of the number of other tweaks you made over the last few months.
Do you see why a single site backup isn’t doing you much good at this point?
I know our to do lists are too long + making “backup your website” a never-ending, daily 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 are 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. every now + then 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 properly + the backups that are running are completely useless because of those faulty installations.
The best way to protect yourself from this doom + gloom situation is by checking in on your backups every once in a while.
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 + try setting 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! So 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 — which is a much more calm side than the “oh shit, my site is gone + I have no working backup” side. Trust me.