Backing up your data is an essential habit for anyone who works with computers. Hardware can fail at any time. This includes your own computer, an online server and everything in between. If you run a website and rely on posting content, the last thing you want to do is lose that content.
These days, backing up your computer might not be enough. What happens if your WordPress site encounters a critical error? Your web host might have redundant backups in place, or they might not. Can you rely on their backups and their speed for your business to survive? It’s best to keep a backup on your own, so that if the worst happens, you’re never set back very far.
Ideally, you should back up your site after every update, but this isn’t always possible. A scheduled backup for once a month will serve most purposes, and leave you with a minimum of lost content. Here are five of the best tools you can use to back up your WordPress site, to make your life that much easier.
WordPress Backup to Dropbox is one of the best automatic backup plugins available for WordPress today. It is updated regularly, to ensure maximum compatibility with all of the most popular plugins and WordPress updates. The support team is very active, with a high percentage of support threads solved in a short amount of time. Beyond this, it’s a simple and easy to use backup solution.
Of course, as the name implies, in order to use this plugin you need to have a Dropbox account. Setup is simple; once the plugin is installed, you authenticate it with Dropbox and choose a day, time and frequency for your backups. A complete dump of your files and SQL database will be delivered as scheduled.
Backup Buddy is one of the most robust backup solutions available for WordPress. The kicker, for many WordPress blog owners, is the cost. Unlike many other backup utilities, Backup Buddy is a paid service. However, along with this fee come numerous benefits. Backup Buddy backs up everything, including themes, widgets and plugins. The backup can be delivered to Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Services, Rackspace, e-mail or a number of other storage locations.
Backup Buddy also has a quick and easy utility to restore your backups. If your site is damaged or hacked, it’s as easy as a click of a button to restore your lost data. This functionality works for migrating hosts as well.
BackUpWordPress is another free, easy to use backup utility for those who like to schedule their backups and deal with the backup files in e-mail. You don’t need a cloud service account or any detailed setup to use this utility. All you need to do is install and run it.
BackUpWordPress has the major benefit of being able to manage multiple backup schedules at once. You can set up a standard, detailed monthly backup of every file, folder and database on your site. You can then set up a second backup, excluding most of the static data and only saving the frequently changing databases and folders, and schedule it for daily or weekly use.
BackWPup is a great backup utility, but many may find it intimidating to use. It is quick to install, easy to use and very lightweight. However, this means doesn’t have many of the amenities that most other backup utilities have. It doesn’t do scheduled or automatic backups, but it does support most cloud services.
One benefit to BackWPup is the ability to check, optimize and repair your databases in the event of corruption. Of course, you need to test your own backup files — it does no good to use a corrupted backup to try to repair your own installation.
VaultPress boasts over sixty million changes backed up with their service in the past day. This number alone attests to the widespread adoption and use of the plugin. VaultPress is more than a simple backup utility. It runs in real time, backing up any change made to your site when it happens. It also has a security shield in place, to prevent malicious intrusion. With a single click, you can restore a backup in the event of lost data or damage.
VaultPress is top of the line in functionality and utility, but that comes at a price. Like Backup Buddy, VaultPress is a paid service. For any professional blogger, however, the price is worth the peace of mind.