Your site should be backing itself up, automatically, on a schedule.
Stop for a moment and think, “What wold I do right now if I learned my site had been completely erased five minutes ago?”
Be honest — what is the very first step you would take?
You might assume your host is taking backups, and they very well might be. But do you know how to access them? Are they full backups, or files-only backups (which means your content — posts, pages, and configuration — would be all gone)? How often are they taken?
If the whole server has been erased, are the backups gone too?
So: if you’re in charge of your business’s website, and you can’t immediately bring to mind the answers above, you’re making a tremendous mistake.
Eventually, you certainly could find the answers, or reach out to someone who can help you get them. And then arrange to have someone reassemble your site for you based on what remains.
But how long would that take?
Days? A week?
What is that time worth to you?
How much in lost sales? How many missed opportunities? How many sheepish apologies to prospective customers looking for information? How much long-term damage to your credibility?
No. This is too important. You must be creating automated backups, in a place you can easily access, so you can be back up in minutes or hours.
Here’s how to make that happen.
Step One: Download and Install and Plugin to Take Automated Backups
There are a few different plugins that work for this, but at BFC Support we use one called Backup Buddy.
This plugin comes free if you’re a BFC Support client (get your free trial here, by the way, wink emoticon), but if you’re doing this yourself, you’ll have to pay $80/year for the plugin. Trust us, it’s worth it. (And no, we don’t get any compensation for recommending it).
The best 80 bucks you’ll spend today.
Once you’ve paid and got the plugin downloaded to your computer, upload and activate the plugin the normal way. Like this:
Upload and activate like you normally would.
Nice work! Now you’re ready to set it up.
Step Two: Set up Configurations
After you install and activate the plugin, there’s a wizard you can use to walk you through the configurations.After you install and activate the plugin, there’s a wizard you can use to walk you through the configurations.
The most important things to be sure you set up are:
- A schedule. Take full and database backups automatically, on a schedule, so you don’t have to remember to go in and run a backup.
- Offsite storage. Don’t save the backup files in a directory within the website. Store them offsite, so you can always access them, even if the server goes down or gets hacked.
Here’s a short video walkthrough of setting up the Backup Buddy settings the way we do at BFC Support.
Step Three: Set a Calendar Reminder to Check on Backups
At this point, you’re almost done — one last thing.
Although the backups should be running automatically, it’s always good to confirm. So, open your preferred calendar program (we use iCal) and set up a repeating calendar reminder to, every month, log back into the backend of your WordPress site and take a quick look to ensure that full and database backups are, indeed, there and ready for use.
After logging in, navigate to the Backup Buddy menu item. You should see something like this: