Should I Have a Backup WordPress Site?

Not for the first time did I lose my website to some poor advice I received from the internet. Very recently I ran a test to see how fast my website was loading. I use GTMetrix for analyzing this. It’s a fantastic tool for testing your website speed and indicating the problems that are slowing it down.
One of the items in the breakdown of why the site is slowing, was ‘Defer parsing of JavaScript’. I didn’t know too much about this so I started Googling, like one does!

I tended to think that the most trusted sources would be in the first page of Google, which is usually the case. I found a website advising to add a piece of code to my ‘function.php’ file. Now I knew that this file is crucial to the running to my site so what went through my mind first? – Backup WordPress Site!

So away I went adding the code to my function.php file and clicked the save button. Boom, Bang, Crash! Noooo….. Yep, my website became what’s known as ‘the white screen of death’. It’s such an awful feeling, a panic kicks in and you wonder how on earth you are going to fix this. You feel like your hands are tied as the admin page will not show up either. Thank God I ran a backup!

  

backup wordpress website Image: almagill

What Backup Plugin Did I Use?

Well I haven’t used every backup plugin for WordPress but the best one I have found is ‘BackWPup‘. This does require a separate plugin called ‘Adminer‘ to restore your backup. In fact my recommendation is to use BackWPup in conjunction with Dropbox. Funily enough I created a Dropbox account a year prior to saving my website backup to it, but I didn’t use it for anything, didn’t know how! Now I have a great use for Dropbox.

Dropbox is a cloud storage facility so if your whole computer goes down as any time, you will still have a backup of your website. It’s also very handy if you need to restore you website when away from your usual place of work. You can be in another country and still have access to your backups.

The ability to schedule backups is available also, which I highly recommend. If you only post once or twice a week then a weekly schedule is fine. If you’re constantly adding to you website on a daily basis then schedule a backup each night. Too easy.

For a great full tutorial on how to use BackWPup with Dropbox , watch the video courtesy of Craig Smith below.

Easily Restore Backups.

Adminer works extremely well in restoring backups. You can download your backup file from Dropbox to your PC. Extract the zipped file to a folder. Open up Adminer in your WordPress admin area (known as your back end!). Click ‘Import’. Click on ‘Choose File’ and pick the only .sql file in your extracted zip backup file. Now click on ‘Execute’ and its all done.

Your website should be fine, however, if you find it playing up a little, go to your ‘permalinks’ section in WP Admin area and click save. This will restore your .htaccess file. All should be good now. If you still have problems after this I recommend you contact your Host.

So What Have You Learnt?

So as you can see from my experience, DO NOT TO FORGET TO BACKUP YOUR WEBSITE. I now have a backup through Dropbox and Bluehost (my hosting provider).  Bluehost runs a backup monthly, weekly and daily.

When a crash occurs, it does go through your mind that you could have lost everything, BUT, if you follow my advice and make multiple backups, you will be able to retrieve it. It may take a little time to understand the backup and restore process if you are new to this. That doesn’t matter, all that matters is that a backup is saved. If you cannot work out how to restore it correctly, somebody else can do it for you.

Create backups of your work and all will not be lost.

If you have a better plugin or different way to run backups, please feel free to submit a comment below and share it.

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