WordPress is a fantastic CMS for running a blog, but it is not without its vulnerabilities. According to an analysis of over 40,000 WordPress websites in the Alexa top 1 million, over 70% of them are vulnerable to hackers. This is one of the biggest reasons that WordPress sites crash and lose data.
However, there are plenty of other reasons that data can be lost or destroyed as well. Corrupted plugins, sever failures and problems transferring your blog to a new hosting provider are just a few of the reasons that these unfortunate disasters can happen.
Don’t assume that your blog won’t crash. It is an unfortunate possibility, so it is essential to be prepared. Backing up your blog will save the content that you spent hundreds of hours writing.
Make sure you know what you were doing first, though. If you don’t backup your blog properly, your data will still be at risk.
Here are some of the common mistakes people make when they try to backup their WordPress blogs. Make sure that you avoid them at all costs.
Not backing up your site frequently enough
Failing to backup your website frequently enough is the single biggest mistake. How frequently should it be backed up? There isn’t a universal answer this question. However, it should be easy to figure out when you consider how frequently you are creating new posts.
Ideally, you will want to make sure that your blog is backed up after every post. Of course, it may be unrealistic to schedule your backups that often if you are publishing multiple posts a day. If you are publishing blog posts at least once a day to a couple of times a week, then you should have daily backups at least. If you are publishing content on a weekly or biweekly basis, then you may just want to schedule your backups after every post. Just make sure you get in the habit of scheduling your posts and backups at the same time every week. If your backup is normally for a Tuesday and you publish posts every other Monday, then you may lose one of your posts if you publish it a couple of days late.
Of course, there isn’t any harm in backing your website up every day, even if you are publishing less frequently. The only concern is when you aren’t backing it up enough.
Choosing the wrong backup plugins
WordPress has lots of backup plugins, but they aren’t all created equal. Choosing the wrong one can jeopardize your blog in the event of a server outage or cyberattack.
If you can’t find any good information on a backup plugin, then you should avoid using it. Here are some good ones to check out instead:
- UpdraftPlus. This backup plugin is completely free. It allows you to backup your entire WordPress site on the cloud. You can also download it to your computer. You can also choose the premium version if you want to clone or migrate your website.
- BackUpWordPress. This is a very complete backup service. It also offers scheduled backup support. However, there is one major downside – you can’t use the free plan to store your site on the cloud. You will have to pay for the premium plugin if you want to store it on cloud platforms like Google Drive or DropBox.
- VaultPress. This plugin will automatically backup your blog every day. It even backs up your storage and has one-click restorations and repairs. It is a premium plugin, but very affordable.. You can get it for just $3.50 a month.
- Free R-Photo. This is a great service for backing up photos and videos. If your blog has lots of visual content, then you may want to check it out.
- BackupBuddy. This is a more expensive premium plugin. The cheapest plan costs $80. However, it offers extensive backups for WordPress sites, including data bases, theme files, media libraries and plugins.
Selecting the right backup plugin is important. If you want to settle on one that isn’t listed here, then make sure you do your due diligence.
Failing to verify that your site was backed up properly
We often put too much faith in technology. We only realize how much of a mistake that is after it fails and leaves us in a massive bind.
This is a lesson that you need to take to heart when you back up your website. Check the logs carefully to make sure that all your data matches. You don’t necessarily need to check after every single backup, but it is something you should do at least a couple of times a month.
If you have recently changed your backup plug-in, then you will want to check a lot more frequently. You might notice some issues the first couple of times. Resolving them is going to need to be one of your top priorities.
Trying to depend on manual backups
Some bloggers think that it is better to manually backup their WordPress website. There are several possible reasons for this:
- They don’t want to pay for a premium backup service that lets them automate the process.
- They think that they will have more control if they back it up manually.
- They are worried that the automated backups won’t work.
None of these are good reasons. If you are worried that your automated backed up may fail, you can always do a manual backup once in a while to be safe. However, relying exclusively on manual backups is never a good idea. You are going to be busy enough running your blog. Sooner or later, you’re going to have a period of time when you forget to do your manual backups. This leaves you seriously vulnerable if anything goes down.
As stated above, there are lots of affordable plugins for automatically backing up your servers. There is no excuse for not using them.
Neglecting to backup your site after a major change
This should go without saying, but you should always back your site up after making a major change. If you plan to switch hosts or replace your WordPress theme, then back your site up manually. You have no idea what could go wrong.