Editor’s Note: the information in this post, while incredibly valuable, is simply non-applicable to those who use our Optimized WordPress Hosting, as HostGator manages all aspects of backups and security. Having said that, please enjoy the information contained herein, and do apply the same logic to non-WordPress sites as well:”
WordPress is the most popular content management system on the planet. And for good reason. It’s easy to use, and offers an incredible wealth of functionality through plugins.
Let’s consider just one aspect of managing a site: performing backups. There are many reliable, easy-to-use plugins available for backing up a WordPress site. That’s why you regularly backup your business WordPress site.
No? You’re Not Alone…
A recent survey revealed that nearly half of WordPress users do not perform regular backups.
So if you don’t frequently backup your WordPress site, you’ve got lots of company. Perhaps that will offer you some measure of consolation. After all, according to the old saying, misery loves company.
And if you continue to be lax about backing up your site, it’s quite possible that you will end up miserable – but with lots of company.
That’s because bad things can happen to any website – even WordPress-powered sites.
Updates, Break-Ins and Blunders
According to a Small Business Trends report, regularly backing up your WordPress site may save you from one (or more) of three common occurrences that regularly vex website owners:
- Update Problems: Like any other well-maintained piece of software, WordPress code is frequently updated. That means that your WordPress site should be frequently updated. But with each update, there’s a risk – a possibility that one of the plugins you use won’t be in sync with the code update. And that can cause major problems, up to and including the complete failure of your website.
If that happens, it’s really not a major problem. You identify the problem plugin, replace or update it, and restore your site with the most recent backup.
You say your backup is months old? Or you don’t even have a backup? Umm, OK…now you have a major problem on your hands. And lots of miserable company.
- Attacks and Hacks: Your site is under constant threat of a cyber attack. In fact, the cyber security company Symantec recently reported that nearly a third of all cyber attacks target small businesses. There’s much you can do to defend your site against cyber criminals. But alas, there’s no way to assure that your site is absolutely invulnerable.
So if the worst happens and your site does get hacked, having a very recent backup will go far towards minimizing the downtime – and the pain.
- Oopsies: Accidental file deletions happen with great regularity. In fact, there are really only two types of people: those who have accidentally deleted files, and those that will. So if an accidental deletion hasn’t yet occurred at your business, it will. It’s only a matter of time.
And when it happens, it’s not a big deal. Not if you have a recent backup. But if you don’t have a backup? Well, you have our sympathies.
So How Frequently Should You Perform Backups?
For most businesses, daily backups are best. Particularly active businesses may even wish to perform backups multiple times per day. But certainly no business should go more than a week without performing a backup.
Backups, after all, are easy. They can be automated to occur seamlessly and behind the scenes. There are lots of options for WordPress users, ranging from free plugins to paid third-party services.
And cloud-based backup options can even protect your business data from calamities such as natural disasters and fires.
Just Do It…
As the old Nike commercial recommends, when it comes to backing up your WordPress site – just do it. Choose your preferred backup method, and just do it. And do it frequently.
After all, misery may indeed love company. But your company doesn’t love misery, does it?
Don’t use HostGator’s Managed WordPress solution? Try it today!
Chris Delker is a freelance copywriter based in Dallas, Texas.