Your WordPress site may be a critical part of your business, a source of some extra income, or just a favorite hobby. In any of these scenarios you have put a lot of time into your design and posts and you don’t want to lose it right? If you have not implemented a WordPress backup plan that is exactly what you risk doing.
Critical WordPress Components to Backup
The official WordPress backup guide is specific in mentioning that there are two major components to backup related to a WordPress site, the database and the site files. Few people read the manual so it is a common mistake to back up only one of the WordPress components (usually the site files are overlooked)
WordPress Database -The site database contains all of content on your site including the posts, comments, and links. Since content is the heart of every site you risk starting from ground zero if you neglect to backup your site database. The two major ways to backup a WordPress site database are via your webhosting control panel or utilizing a WordPress plugin.
WordPress Site Files – The site files consist of the core installation, installed plugins, themes, images, files and scripts. The site files give your site its unique look and if you do not backup this component you could be in for a lengthy redesign.
What is my WordPress backup plan?
I utilize the WordPress Database Backup plugin to automate a daily backup of my mysql database. I have the backup emailed to my email account and the eventual plan will be to save it to a secure server directory when the file becomes to large for email.
For my WordPress site files I backup via my web hosting cpanel two times a month. I have strategically opted to backup the site files less frequently then the database since my content is updated a lot more frequently then my site design.
I always have both the site files and database backed up prior to attempting a WordPress version upgrade. In the future I am going to look into automating my site file backup and will review some plugins that claim to backup both the site files and database to see how effective they are.
To conclude I’d like to review my list of the Top 5 WordPress Backup Mistakes
Mistake #1 – Assuming that because you have installed a backup plugin that you are covered. The backup plugin may only be backing up the database or the site files so you might be missing a critical component of your needed WordPress backup.
Mistake #2 -Neglecting to test your backups. You can’t be sure your backups work unless you have tested and validated the results and successfully recovered your site.
Mistake #3 – Failing to adequately secure your backups. Backups contain sensitive site information such as user login/password information and database credentials. If your backup falls into the wrong hands it could mean bad news for your site.
Mistake #4 – Maintaining a manual backup process. If you do not automate the backup process there is an increased likelihood that you will forget to backup your site on a regular basis.
Mistake #5 – Upgrading WordPress versions without taking a fresh backup. WordPress version upgrades are one of the more risky activities from a site availability standpoint so it is important to take a current backup prior to performing an upgrade. If unforeseen errors occur you can restore your site to the old version with minimal impact.
Make sure you avoid these top 5 mistakes and implement an effective WordPress backup strategy.