Lesson 33Keeping Backups

Back up or die. It should already be your mantra for your home devices; now do the same for your website. Without a backup of your data, you face disaster if something happens; it rarely does, but the key word is “rarely.” Because it's even remotely possible for your server to crash or a hacker to mess up your files, you must keep backups.

And for backing up WordPress, there is only one course of action: Automate your backups.

I've tried many different ways over the years to educate clients and readers about how to back up WordPress, how often to do it, and how to get into a routine of doing backups. Almost without exception, it doesn't happen. We get busy, we forget, we get intimidated by the process; whatever the cause, people do not take the time to back up their sites.

The good news is that it has become so easy to do automated backups with free and paid plugins, or third-party services, that there's no point in even trying to develop a manual backup routine. Whatever method you use, make it an automated one that's easy to restore.

The Elements of Backing Up

After being blunt about the “why” of doing backups, I'll now briefly consider the what, where, when, and who, followed by some details on the how.

What to Back Up

Following are two elements to a WordPress backup:

  • Site files (WordPress, themes, plugins, and your media files)
  • Site database (settings and all your text content)

You need to understand that these are completely separate on the ...

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