Back Up Your WordPress Site: BackupBuddy

Stuff happens. In my experience, it tends to happen at the most inconvenient time possible. If your computer is going¬† to be stupid and lose the whatever you’re working on, it won’t be the draft of the letter you’re writing to your sister, or even the Facebook status update about your latest blog post. It’ll be something like last year’s taxes, or the irreplaceable photos from your Mom’s 80th birthday.

Bad Things can also happen to your WordPress website. If they do, can you recover quickly? You can, with BackupBuddy.

I’ll talk about hacking (and recovering from being hacked, and other security concerns) another time. But if the very worst happens and your site has broken to the point that you — or your web person — can’t get it back up and running by beating it with a stick, at least if you’ve got a recent backup you can simply replace the bad version with a good one.

BackupBuddyMy absolute favourite plugin for that is BackupBuddy from iThemes.

It’s absolutely a must on any site I work on. I love that it can do a full backup of everything, including WordPress configuration files and all of those images and media files you’ve been uploading for months. It can also do a database-only backup. It can send the backup files someplace else for storage, in case your web hosting server has a major meltdown or is hit by a natural disaster and you have to move the some someplace else. And it can do any of those on a schedule you set.

Because have I set up and developed multiple sites, some for other people, I tend to work in what’s called a “sandbox” or test area while the site is under its initial development. Then I use BackupBuddy to easily migrate the ready-to-launch site to its new permanent home. Easy peasy.

The WordPress folks issue updates frequently. Sometimes if you do that WordPress update before the folks who develop all the various plugins you use, you run the risk of breaking the site till the plugins can catch up to the WordPress release.

Before you upgrade your site, or even a plugin, you should do a full backup and store the backup file someplace else.¬† That way if something DOES go wrong, or stop working, it’s a quick fix to restore the site to the way it was just before you hit that “update now” link.

Yes, your hosting company may run regular backups. But since Bad Things Happen At Inopportune Times, it’s a good idea to be sure you can recover from disasters even if you can’t completely disaster-proof your site. That way if your site breaks one evening when you were just updating WordPress, you don’t have to wait and contact your host during business hours, and hope they ran their latest backup AFTER you uploaded that huge collection of posts yesterday.

Why not play it safe, and get BackupBuddy?

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