WordPress is the platform of choice for most modern websites. It’s a CMS (Content Management System) and open source blog that has grown into a well-established solution, thanks to its ease of use. When it comes to the main competitors in the open-source area, the preference for WordPress is clear.
The platform outperformed alternatives such as Joomla! (previously much more widespread) and ended up pushing them toward specific market niches. Moreover, with WordPress, anyone can set up their business or personal website without having many technical skills. The only issue that people tend to underestimate is planning backups.
In fact, a website owner rarely thinks about backups. Unfortunately, when a backup is needed, it could be too late to do it. The need to make secure website copies right from the start often gets avoided due to the excuse of having little time available or perhaps other priorities (both in terms of personal and company commitments).
In the worst case, we’re looking at substantial inexperience on the part of the operator who manages the site. In this article, you’ll learn how to solve this problem in a smart way and without necessarily having technical skills.
There are several ways to do a backup in WordPress. Few people know that it is also possible to automate the process (at least partially) so as to not have to think about it in the future.
The Manual Backup
This is the most straightforward way of doing a backup and includes two phases. In the first one, you download copies of all the files from your website on another computer (your device, for example), accessing the main folder (root) through FTP.
In the second part, you make a copy of the MySQL database, exporting it in a text format (or as a ZIP archive if it’s too large). The two phases are both essential, as they help you obtain a backup copy of the website to be restored if necessary. However, manual operations raise more problems than one.
First of all, this process requires time (unless the site is very small; on medium-large sites, it takes at least an hour to complete everything). This is time that could be used for different activities. After all, not all website owners have a technical department available full-time for this type of job.
The second critical aspect to consider is that backup operations should be performed regularly. That’s because the process should reflect the changes you make on the site, such as adding any plugins, changing a theme, writing, or updating content.
To cover these specific needs, WordPress provides various types of plugins, which you can install from the official CMS repository (https://wordpress.org/plugins/). Alternatively, you can find them directly inside the internal menu of the website using your administrator account (by clicking first on Plugin, then on Add). Let’s take a look at two of these solutions.
The Automatic Backup
BackupWordPress. This is undoubtedly one of the simplest to use. With one click, you can copy the files (which are compressed in a ZIP format) and the database of your site. The backup copy is placed, by default, in the local folder of your website, ready to be downloaded and set aside in case of an emergency. The backups, in this case, can also be scheduled–for example, an automatic backup every week.
UpdraftPlus. This is one of the best plugins for backup management. It has more options than the previous plugin and enables you, above all, to connect a Dropbox or Google Drive account and save your backups remotely. It’s a very convenient backup solution, thanks to the fact that it allows you to schedule operations and save the files in your cloud storage if you wish.
There is also a third solution, which consists of using backup solutions that are independent of the website. These can be integrated through interfaces within the backend. In this case, you perform the backup operation separately from your activities on the WordPress platform. The Critical Case backup solutions, for example, allow you to securely save all your data, regardless of the plugins that you are using. They permit you to keep a copy of your data in complete safety, along with all the advantages that come with a dedicated professional service.