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10 WordPress Backup Myths It’s Time to Debunk

WordPress backup is serious business. But not everyone gets it. Some people have fallen for these common WordPress backup myths, allowing misinformation to endanger their website. That’s not cool.

We’re here to dispel the WordPress backup myths.

Being able to backup and restore your site is crucial. You shed a lot of sweat and tears building your site, so protect it. Let’s pour a little truth on those WordPress backup myths:

1. “WordPress Backs Up My Site Automatically”

Nope. Out of the box, WordPress has no automatic backup functionality whatsoever.

It does have an export feature where you can get an XML file that contains your posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories and tags. You have to do it yourself, it doesn’t do any kind of restore for you and it doesn’t get everything you need to fully backup and restore your site.

2. “A Database Backup is Good Enough”

Not good enough. A database backup, whether it’s the simple native WordPress export or something more complicated, only contains your site’s content. You’ve saved the words on your site, but nothing else.

Media? Nope.

Design? Nope.

Settings? Plugins? Themes? Customizations? Nada.

A database backup will save your content, but you’ll need a lot more to get your site back up and running. A good WordPress backup needs to include your full site.

3. “My Web Host Will Take Care Of Me”

Maybe. Many hosts offer backup. But can you afford to put your entire site in their hands alone? That might be a helpful solution in a pinch, but it’s not a backup solution you can rely on.

You have no control over how your host handles backups. Getting to the backup is dependent on them. How do you restore the backup? What if you need the backup because of a problem with your host? That problem might be impacting the backup you’re pinning all your hopes on. Or they might be too busy with their own problems to restore your site. Then what?

A host backup is a nice last resort, but it’s not the WordPress backup you should count on.

4. “I’ll Never Need a Backup”

Famous last words. That’s what people say just before tragedy strikes. You never think you’ll need a backup, until you do. And then you’re screwed.

You have to be proactive. Servers fail, updates crash, hackers get in, “someone” hits the wrong button—stuff happens. You have to be prepared.

5. “I’m Not Dumb Enough to Break My Site”

That kind of arrogance is just waiting to be proven wrong, but let’s assume you are a techie genius who isn’t going to inadvertently kill your WordPress site. Doesn’t matter. Someone else could inadvertently kill your WordPress site: an update gone bad, a half-baked plugin, a hacker. You need to protect your site from more than just your own mistakes.

6. “Hackers Don’t Care About My Site”

Oh, honey. It doesn’t matter how under-the-radar your site is. Hackers would love to get their hands on it. And they’re trying. Right now.

Don’t believe me? Install the iThemes Security plugin (it’s free), set it up and start watching the logs. Hackers are trying to log in using stolen or cracked passwords. Robots are hunting for malicious code and wracking up the 404 errors.

It’s a sobering reality.

7. “Well I Backed Up Once, So I’m OK”

Nice try. How ancient is that backup? How much has changed since then? You should be updating your site and that means creating new backups on a regular basis.

Your backup needs to be consistently scheduled and automatic. It’s too easy for last month’s backup to become last year’s backup, and that’s not good enough.

8. “A Backup Is Too Much Work”

Really? Clearly you haven’t tried BackupBuddy. You can get backups going in minutes. You can schedule them. They’re automatic.

It’s easy.

Yes, you need to set it up. Yes, you should check in periodically to make sure everything is working. But WordPress backup is not hard.

9. “A Single, Local Backup is Plenty”

Not quite. Backing up to a single location is never a good idea. You’re putting all your eggs in one basket, and that’s asking for trouble.

If that single backup site is your computer, it could crash, get stolen, or be susceptible to natural disasters.

The same is true of a single off-site location.

Your best bet is to have multiple local and off-site backup locations. BackupBuddy even includes free offsite storage with Stash.

10. “A Backup Is Just for Catastrophic Failures”

Maybe you’re crazy enough to role the dice and hope you’re not one of those catastrophic failures. But even if you are crazy and lucky, a WordPress backup is still tremendously helpful for everyday uses:

  • Accidentally delete an image? You can restore single files.
  • BackupBuddy’s restore feature makes it easy to transfer entire sites. Developers use this all the time to build sites locally and then transfer them to the web.
  • BackupBuddy can scan for malware, repair your database and more. It’s more than just backup.

And because 10 WordPress backup myths isn’t enough, here’s a bonus myth:

11. “A Backup Is Too Expensive”

Not at all. You can get BackupBuddy for two sites for $80 per year. That’s a small price to pay for piece of mind.

And if that feels pricey, try BackupBuddy Gold. Unlimited sites for $297 for life. That’s right, lifetime updates. Never pay for an upgrade again. If you have a few sites and want them to be around for a while, that’s quite a deal.

Debunking WordPress backup myths: BackupBuddy Gold is hardly too expensive.


  1. […] IThemes had a great post a few days ago about all the excuses WordPress site owners and managers give for not backing up their sites – and not protecting their investment. These were my three favorites, and they are all something I’ve heard from one or more clients in the last six months. […]



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