Even in 2013, so many people are not backing up their websites. Over a 2 week period at the end of December, 3 people contacted me because their websites had been hacked. Only one of those people had a backup. Of the other 2 people, they had days of stress, and one of them had to pay a small fortune for me to re-build the website for them.
If you know me, you’ll know that I’d have much preferred to just restore a website from a backup than have to charge someone lots of money to do a repair. It’s not a matter of laziness, it’s just that it could have been avoided.
So what’s the painful truth?
1) Pretty much all website hosting companies claim that they do full backups. What they don’t tell you (from experience of 20+ hosting companies):
- Either that they back up only once a week or less
- Or: Is that they can’t restore just a small part of your website (e.g. folders or a database)
Now there are some exceptions to this. There are some fantastic hosting companies. You don’t typically find out until it’s too late though.
2) If you run a WordPress website (or other website that’s more complex than just HTML files), then some day your website may get hacked
With all of the security in the world, there’s a distinct chance that your website may get hit. It’s not a nice experience, but it does happen. (It’s happend to me lots of times).
You can speculate on the motivations on people who crack websites all you like. Sadly, it still happens.
Do your own backups…
So you should have your own backups (regardless of what your hosting company does – Two backups are better than none). There are many different ways to backup your WordPress website. Even if you don’t have the technical ability to restore your website, it does mean that someone technical can get your website running quickly with full recent backups.
The one constant with people who have their website hacked is the stress of it. Having a recent backup reduces this stress considerably.
|WP DB Backup (plugin)||It’s free.||Doesn’t do a full backup of your files (such as photos), just your database. So it’s worthless.|
|cPanel Backups (service/software)||It’s free as it’s usually built into your hosting. (Most websites are hosted on servers that use cPanel).||It’s not automated, you’d need use software such as Backup Smart to automate it (It’s what I use).
- cPanel backups require some technical knowledge to restore.
|BackupBuddy (plugin)||- You only pay a one-off fee and you can backup as many websites as you wish.
- A good solution if you’re a little more technical.
|- You must ensure the backups are stored off your server, otherwise they might get deleted if your site is attacked.
- Doesn’t work with all WordPress websites, due to variations in server configurations.
|VaultPress (service)||- It automatically detects changes on your WordPress website, and only backs up changes. This means it has minimal impact on your website.
- Designed by the same people behind WordPress itself
- Designed for non-technical people
|Not a cheap service, and you have to pay per website.|
|BackupPress (service)||- Similar to VaultPress, just cheaper.
- Very easy to set up if you’re not technical
|You’ll have to pay per website, but it starts at just $5 (£3-ish a month).|
There are lots of other services like BackupPress or VaultPress, so it’s worth trying them to find one you like. If you’re not technical or want peace of mind, then use the backup services. They cost money, but if your website is part of your business, it’s money well-spent.
If you’re more technical, look at cPanel backups or BackupBuddy. (Incidentally, BackupBuddy is great for migrating websites from one server to another).
Whatever service or tool you use, please backup your website! :)