Don’t make the WordPress Backup goof that I did. Seriously.
WordPress blogs are designed to make jobs like backing up oh-so-easy. Sure you can do it manually, but with WP there is a plugin for everything, including backups, and you can even just set and forget it and have your blog backup automatically. Just one more reason to love WordPress.
I might not backup everything else, but with my plugin I thought I knew how to backup WordPress and do it automatically … EXCEPT … recently I got a shock.
All my backup work was going to waste!
I was backing up the WORDS on this WP blog, but NOTHING ELSE!
What I didn’t know is that WordPress has two different parts it needs to restore from a backup. There is the database, and there is also the site contents. Who knew? Well, not me, that’s for sure.
Basically doing only a WordPress database backup was taking a huge risk that only the WP database would be lost, not the whole site.
If my site had gone down all my backups would have given me all my posts, but left me with a plain vanilla blog I would have had to rebuild and retweak from scratch.
Hours upon hours of work to do.
Scary, scary stuff.
So of course I figured I had just got the wrong plugin. There must be an alternative but perfect solution WordPress backup plugin? Surely?
I went hunting, and horribly enough, no plugin is perfect!
There is no complete winner.
Here was my checklist for the very best WordPress backup plugin. It would…
- Backup the entire blog, meaning the database AND the site itself (not just one or other)
- Run automatic scheduled backups as well as immediate ones (VITAL),
- Be stable and keep updated with the latest WP versions.
- Have support from the author and/or a good forum (very important when you come to restoring your precious site and run into the inevitable techie-type problems.)
- Require as little technical expertise and tweaking as possible. No setting up cron jobs, changing to 777, or FTPing, please.
- Backup somewhere other than on the site, so that if the site goes down your backup isn’t taken with it.
- Not cost anything.
Here are the 3 best solutions, and you can pick which works for you.
BlogVault backs up everything off your site, and has a Test Restore where it puts a working version of your site Restored on their website to prove it all works! [seems to be the popular vote winner on Twitter too.]
It is simplest of the lot and only needs a plugin to be installed. There is no configuration needed and for someone non technical like me is a good fit.
If you can handle techie stuff like CHMODs, adding folders, and cron jobs UpdraftPlus will do everything you need.
UpdraftPlus is the most popular free WordPress backup plugin available on the internet.
UpdraftPlus allows you to create a complete backup of your WordPress site and store it on the cloud or download to your computer.
The plugin supports scheduled backups as well as on-demand backups. You also have the option to choose which files you want to backup.
3. Pay for premium WordPress Backup Plugin.
Okay there are good premium plugins that will do the job and do it well, so if you don’t want to stuff around make this the first option.
Some of your choices are…
- BackupBuddy from one of the WP premium providers (and now includes integration with DropBox),
- VaultPress from Automattic the owners of WordPress with a monthly subscription,
- myRepono WordPress Backup Plugin which is on the Automatic Backups list at wordpress.org
4. Use two backup plugins. Yup, 2.
Unfortunately the WP-DB-Backup plugin I was using ONLY works great for backing up the database properly and easily. What I needed to do was add in the WordPress Backup Plugin from Blog Traffic Exchange to backup the site itself.
If your blog is small enough the backups can be emailed to you.
This solution fulfills all the requirements on the list, but it takes 2 plugins.
[Update Aug-30: Just had this site taken out by a malware virus today.
So BlogVault finally got it’s FULL test – and as you can see it passed! In fact the malware had hit my computer and this blog and rescuing the blog was the easy bit. The hardest parts were getting the malware out of my computer, and jumping through Google’s hoops to let them know this site is malware-free again]