A website wipeout – to be avoided for sure! Still, I have to ask, have you ever experienced suddenly discovering your website has disappeared? Did you feel it in your stomach? Ouch! Instead of your carefully crafted digital domain, there’s the “white screen of death” aka nothing!
It’s like realizing your car is not where you parked it.
A few moments of panic is a normal and perfectly justified initial reaction.
If this has happened to you, you’ll know this is one of online life’s lessons you definitely don’t want to learn the hard way.
It’s a horrible shock but your normal pulse rate can resume quite quickly if you have an up-to-date, full backup of your website that’s stored off-site and you know how to restore it. Easy enough?
Well, there are four big “ifs”:
1. Up-to-date backup,
2. Full backup,
3. Stored off-site and
4. You know how to restore it, or someone on your team does.
Let’s look at why each of these points is important and will save you from losing your digital asset and, for many of us, our main source of income:
WordPress itself doesn’t have the integrated functionality to schedule backups of your website. To do this yourself, there are backup plugins to the rescue.
As this is such an important website duty, it’s best to select a premium plugin (one you purchase) so you know there’s a reliable, solid development team behind the plugin, improving and updating it, and providing support, like the hugely popular BackupBuddy*. (I’ve used for nine years.)
If you are publishing new content daily then best to run daily full backups of your website.
With the premium WordPress plugin BackupBuddy, I can schedule a backup to run once hourly or once daily or once weekly or any one of 12 different time interval options. So I never forget to backup my site.
In my experience, most hosting providers usually only make weekly backups. This may be enough for your needs but if you’re working on your site daily, you could lose multiple hours of your work.
Full site backup
When talking about a full site backup, we usually mean backing up the database and the whole WordPress installation, including all your plugins, themes, media… everything on your website.
We need it all so, in the event of your site being wiped out, we have all of your site to restore.
It’s simple enough to figure out why this is vital. If your backups are stored on your hosting and your hosting goes down, you can’t access your backups either.
You (or a team member) knows how to restore your site
Back in the day, my dear ol’ Dad taught me how to change the wheel of my car in case I had a puncture. You need to have someone that knows how to restore your backup for you.
Luckily, I haven’t needed to change a tyre myself, stuck on the side of the road, but I’ve needed to restore many a website. Like most things, the more you do it, the easier it becomes, not to mention how technically advanced BackupBuddy has become over the years.
For business owners wishing to have one less thing to worry about, take a look at my Peace of Mind Care and Protection Plan.
For DIYers here’s where you can find more info on BackupBuddy*
Perhaps you are wondering if your hosting provider’s backup is enough?
Check out iTheme’s Infographic: Is My Host’s Backup Enough?
*This post contains my affiliate link for BackupBuddy as I’ve used the product myself for years and can recommend with confidence.