Backing Up Your WordPress Website

by | Best Practices, Websites, WordPress


Are you backing up your website regularly?

Backing up your WordPress website (or any website for that matter) on a scheduled basis is very important. While some web hosting providers provide a free periodic automatic website backup, subject to some conditions, not all do. And where the service is free, it is usually not guaranteed.

A new client to us, last year, discovered this the hard way. Her website hosting provider offered free backups but had a major problem that resulted in the complete loss of the client’s website and content – everything!! Her website had to be completely rebuilt from scratch.

While this is unlikely to happen, it does happen periodically – and there is no guarantee that it won’t happen to you!

Stuff happens all the time. And if something out of the ordinary does happen, as with home and car insurance, website backups are insurance against losing some or all of your website content. As with any insurance, you don’t need it until you need it!

Backing up your website regularly makes it possible for you to restore your site if you need to, without huge expense.

There are paid and free options to scheduling regular backups of your website yourself. Both require some setup. You can also pay for a service that promises to backup your site regularly.

When backing up your website yourself, there are two parts to the process: Database and Files

  • Your database contains your posts and a lot of data generated on your site
  • Your files include the WordPress core installation, plugins, themes, JavaScript and PHP scripts and other code files

Both your database and your files are needed to generate your website.

The WordPress Codex provides detailed information about backing up your WordPress site.

As mentioned, there are also plugins and services that promise to do this for you.

Check around before deciding on the option best for you. If you or a team member will do this in-house (see the WordPress Codex link), the backups should be done regularly – particularly if your site is being updated with new products and/or information on a regular basis.

Keep in mind: Rebuilding your website is a lot more costly than spending the time, or the money, to make sure backups are done on a regular basis!