For all the plans you have for your WooCommerce store, one of the most important—and often forgotten—is backup. If you’re not doing WooCommerce backup, you’re in trouble.
Having a backup of your WooCommerce site is not negotiable. Every e-commerce site must have regular backups stored in multiple locations.
Why? Simple: To keep your virtual doors open and your real money coming in.
It’s bad when a regular website goes down. But when an e-commerce site goes down you’re losing money. Every minute the site is down those are sales you’re not making. But if you have a backup (and restore) solution, you can get your site up and running again quickly.
If you don’t have a backup, well, you’re screwed. It might take you days to get your store up and running again. And more than the money you’ll lose the entire time your store is down, you’ll also lose all the brand trust you’ve worked so hard to build. When customers see your store up one day and down the next, they’ll think twice about handing over their credit card information.
A WooCommerce backup is crucial to protect your income stream and your credibility.
Why You Need a WooCommerce Backup
Let’s look at some all-too-common scenarios where a WordPress backup is needed:
- Hackers: There’s a lot of malicious stuff out there ready to take down websites. And an e-commerce site with loads of customer data? That’s a juicy target. More than your site specifically being a tempting target, WordPress and WooCommerce are popular and that makes any website using them a target.
- Tech FAIL: As much as we love our technology these days, we can all admit it doesn’t always work as advertised. Things break. Outdated versions become compromised. Sometimes it’s completely out of your control, like server failure at your hosting company.
- Human error: And as much as we blame the tech, more often the problem is with the humans. Neglecting to update to the latest version of WordPress or the the themes or plugins installed on your site can leave you vulnerable. Hitting the wrong button can delete your site. Oops.
In each of these cases, you could lose your entire website. Your tech set-up, your product info, your content, your customer data, your orders and shipping info. It’d be awfully nice if you had that info backed up somewhere, right?
Create a WooCommerce Backup Plan
OK, you get it. You need a WooCommerce backup plan. So what do you need to do and how do you do it?
What a WooCommerce Backup Requires
What does your backup plan need to include? Well, it should allow you to completely restore your WooCommerce shop to the way it was before any kind of failure or loss. That includes any content updates you’ve done—adding products, editing descriptions, new photos—as well as all the backend files from plugins to settings. It should also be frequent enough that you don’t lose any orders.
So any solid WooCommerce backup plan needs to include four things:
- 1. Complete WordPress Website (Database + Files) Backup: Your entire site needs to be backed up. That includes all files, databases, directories, plugins, themes, etc. A WordPress database backup isn’t enough because that doesn’t cover your Media Library, your theme and plugin files and many other important files required to restore your website back to its original glory.
- 2. Scheduled, Automatic WordPress Backup: You need to have an automatic WordPress backup schedule. How often do you backup? How many of those backups do you keep? Regular sites should be backing up as often as the site is updated. So if you add new products daily, you should backup daily. But an e-commerce site doesn’t want to lose orders, so you should backup frequently enough to minimize any loss of orders. Your backups must also be consistent, so an automatic schedule is a must. If you want to go a step above, real-time backup is the way to go.
- 3. Off-site Backup File Storage: You need to have multiple locations to store your backup files. You can often save backup files on your server, but that doesn’t do you much good if your server dies. You can also download backup files to a local hard drive, but that doesn’t help if your local drive dies, there’s a fire, etc. The only safe solution is to store backups in multiple, off-site locations. Go for redundancy. Better safe than sorry.
- 4. WordPress Backup & Restore: Whatever backup system you use needs to have a restore feature. What good are the backup files if you don’t know how to turn them back into your website?
How to Do WooCommerce Backup
Now that you have a plan, how do you pull it off? A WordPress backup plugin such as our own BackupBuddy can take care of the heavy lifting.
BackupBuddy will backup your full WordPress website with automatic WordPress backup, remote WordPress backup storage and it has a handy WordPress backup & restore feature. You just need to install BackupBuddy, set it up, and make sure everything is working.
Be sure to look into BackupBuddy Stash Live if real-time WordPress backup is an important part of your WooCommerce backup strategy.
After installing BackupBuddy, be sure to configure your automatic WordPress backup schedules. For most active e-commerce websites, you’ll need to be running daily database WordPress backups to make sure you’re capturing sales information.
You’ll also need an offsite backup storage solution (or two or three; redundancy is important). BackupBuddy can send files to lots of places, but you’ll need to set up the accounts. You can use Amazon, Dropbox, our own BackupBuddy Stash and more. Just make sure you have ample storage for your WordPress backup files. If you’re doing full backups every day and keeping them for six months, that’s a lot of data.
Keep At It
Once you get your WooCommerce backup strategy up and running, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Sort of. Yes, you can breathe easy knowing your WooCommerce site is being backed up. You’ve now covered your butt and you’re prepared in case the worst should happen. But don’t get complacent.
You should check in on your WooCommerce backups on a regular basis and make sure everything is working as planned. BackupBuddy will send you a notification if something goes wrong, so don’t take those notifications lightly.
Every time you update your site you should just check in on your backup strategy and make sure it’s still humming along. Better safe than sorry.
A WooCommerce Backup Can Save Your Bacon
You need to protect your investment: The stakes are higher with e-commerce. Save your bacon by creating and implementing a solid WooCommerce backup strategy.
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