Every WordPress website needs a solid WordPress backup plan. Enter BackupBuddy, the powerful and feature-packed WordPress backup plugin. BackupBuddy makes it easy to backup, restore and move your WordPress website with automatic, scheduled and even real-time backups.
But how do you get the most out of BackupBuddy? In this post, we’ll cover some tips for using the plugin and how you can use BackupBuddy to completely customize your backup, reduce downtime when disaster strikes and a whole lot more.
First Things First: Why Backup Your WordPress Site?
Why does having a backup of your WordPress site matter? Because WordPress doesn’t have a built-in backup solution, you need to have a plan for backing up your site.
Here are a few additional reasons you need a WordPress backup:
- Hack Recovery – If your site has been hacked, you need a backup to roll your site back to a “clean” version.
- Roll Back Broken Update – Sometimes a theme or plugin update could break your site. Make sure you have a backup to “roll back” from an update.
- Accidental Deletion – From database tables to entire directories to blog posts and pages, a backup is important for recovering any files lost due to accidental deletion.
- Data Corruption – Make sure you always have a backup of your data in case it gets corrupted due to a hack or server crash.
The Real Cost of Lost Data
Data loss can cost you not just money but other valuable things as well.
- Record of Sales – If you’re running an e-commerce site, losing sales records is a huge headache, especially if you’re fulfilling and shipping orders.
- Student Progress – If you’re running an LMS site, students could lose their information, including course completion or class progress.
- Customer Trust – Your customers depend on you to secure and protect their data.
- Your Time – Losing your website and data is a stressful, time-consuming event if you don’t have the right security measures in place.
Creating A WordPress Backup Strategy
Here are seven steps to creating a solid WordPress backup strategy.
- Choose a Backup Method
- Decide What to Backup
- Choose Your Backup Frequency Backup Strategy
- Schedule & Automate Your Backups
- Choose an Offsite Location to Store Backups
- Scan Backup For Malware
- Practice Restoring
Decide What to Backup
What should you include in your WordPress backup? A backup should include these important elements of your website:
- WordPress Core Files
The Anatomy of a WordPress Site
A WordPress site is composed of important files and directories (folders) with more files. It’s a good idea to be familiar with the components of your website.
Inside the WordPress Install Directory
- The wp-admin and wp-includes directories store the background files that make WordPress go.
- The wp-content directory stores the plugins, themes, and uploads directories.
- The .htaccess file will contain various server rules.
- The wp-config.php file stores important information like the site’s database credentials.
- The plugins directory stores the plugins installed on the site.
- The themes directory stores the themes installed on the site.
- The uploads directory stores the media library and various other files uploaded to the site.
Inside the WordPress Database
The database will store your WordPress posts, pages, comments, users, options and more. The database is also used by plugins and themes to store settings choices, quiz attempts, course data, user achievements and more.
What Should Be Excluded From Backups?
- Directory Size – An unexpectedly large file can be an indicator that it contains unnecessary bloat.
- System Files – Server environment files such as php.ini, nginx.conf, and debug.log can be excluded.
- Subdirectory Sites – Excluding sites in subdirectories will prevent unnecessary backups.
- Caching Files – Caching directories can be large and cause issues when restoring a backup.
Excluding any unnecessary will create lighter backups. Lighter backups use fewer resources to create and will reduce the times it takes to restore your site when disaster strikes.
10 Tips to Get the Most Out of BackupBuddy
1. Use the BackupBuddy Size Map
Use BackupBuddy’s Directory Size Map to display a comprehensive listing of directories and their size. Knowing which directories contain bloat can help you choose which directory you want to exclude.
2. Set WordPress Database and File Defaults in General Settings
Now that you know to exclude, update your global defaults in the BackupBuddy General Settings.
3. Create Custom Backup Profiles
Create a backup profile to fine-tune what is included in the backup. Use backup profiles to rollback any issues caused by an update. Backup profiles can be created for a complete backup, database backup, themes only, plugins only, media only or any custom combination.
4. Add a Remote Destination
From the BackupBuddy Destinations page, be sure to choose a remote destination for your backups. You don’t want to store your backups on the same server as your website, so a secure, off-site destination is a best practice.
Why Store Your Backups Offsite?
- Server Hack
- Server Crash
- Hard Drive Failure
- Natural Disaster
5. Schedule Your Backups
Create a backupsSchedule to automate your backups. Now that you know how often you need to backup, choose when you will create your backups.
How to choose your backup frequency:
- How often does the content on the site change?
- How much often do users interact with the site?
- How much tolerance do you have for lost data?
- How often is the site updated?
A good rule of thumb is that you should be backing your site often enough to keep up with changes to your website. For example, if you have an e-commerce website with frequent sales, you should probably be backing up your database once hourly.
6. Backup Before Updating
A plugin or theme update could potentially break your site, so it’s important to run a backup before updating your themes, plugins and WordPress core, especially if it is a major version update.
Run a complete backup from BackupBuddy’s Backups page.
7. Restore From the WordPress Dashboard
If you are needing a backup to restore your site, the chances are trying to recover from a disaster. Being confident in your ability to restore the site will make it easier to recover your site under duress. Having a backup will only help if you know how to use it.
Use a Stash or Local backup to restore your site without leaving your WordPress Dashboard, or roll back an update with dashboard restore. Use a Stash or Local backup to roll back a broken update.
8. Leverage the Power of the Diagnostics Page
BackupBuddy’s Diagnostics page has a wealth of information you may not know about.
From here, you can view information such as:
- Server Configuration
- Directory Permissions
- Recent Backup and Restore Logs
- Activity History
- Cron Events
9. Manage Backups From Sync
iThemes Sync, our tool to help you manage multiple WordPress sites, also allows you to perform remote BackupBuddy actions for all your sites. Instead of having to log into each individual site, you can have one central place to take care of your WordPress admin tasks.
- Create a Backup
- Create a Backup Schedule
- Manage Stash Storage
10. Use BackupBuddy Stash Live
Stash Live is our real-time WordPress backup solution. Stash Live continually watches for changes on your website and pushes those changes to a cloud-based backup so you always have the latest version of your site backed up.
- Actively Tracks Real-Time Changes
- Creates a Snapshot of Your Site in Time
- Backups Are Stored Safely Offsite
- Fast and Easy Restore
- File-level Malware & Virus Scanning
Watch the Webinar: 10 Tips to Get the Most Out of BackupBuddy
Get BackupBuddy Today
Get BackupBuddy, the original 3-in-1 WordPress backup plugin. Easily backup, restore and migrate your WordPress site to a new host or domain with BackupBuddy. Now with support for Microsoft OneDrive, as well as Google Drive and more, you can safely and easily store your backups off-site. With BackupBuddy’s Stash Live’s real-time WordPress backups, you’ll always have a backup of the latest changes on your site.