How I backup my WordPress sites

HowTo Article for WordPress Users – Saigon WordPress User Group

When I first started using WordPress back in March, 2006, one of the first bad habits I go into was not backing up my sites.  Okay, I just had one small website back then, SaigonNezumi.com, I still needed to back up my site.  I did have backups of images and the WordPress install itself, but not of my database.  I think I kept running site for nearly two years until one day, I accidentally deleted my database where SaigonNezumi.com resided.  Whoops, luckily a $30 US fee to AnHosting, my webhost at the time, and I was able to recover my database.

WP-DB-Backup Plugin

Since that nightmarish day, I decided to back up my websites regularly.  First I started to just backup my database regularly using the WP-DB-Backup.  This is probably one of my most favorite plugins for backups.  You just plug in your email and then schedule the backup to your requirements.  Larger sites may need one hour backups, for me I just needed a daily backup  I had it email the backup to me but the plugin also backups in a separate Backup folder in your WordPress directory.  You will need to empty your Backup directory on occassion unless you have a lot of disk space.

The pluses of this plugin is that it will email you your database in sql format, at an interval you choose, so you will always have an updated database.  I normally keep about one month’s worth of database backups in case a site gets infected with malware.  In one case, I installed a plugin that did infect my database.  Luckily I was able to install a clean version of WordPress with an uninfected database backup.

This plugin has saved me many times.  I think many of you remember what happened again at AnHosting.  One day I lost all my websites since AnHosting never updated their servers.  It removed all of my databases through root.  About a year later the server where my websites were hosted on died, it took over a week to get my site up and running again which is why I moved them to BlueHost and eventually to Linode.

WordPress Backup to Dropbox

With the launch of DropBox last year, WordPress users could now start to backup their entire website, including their database, into the cloud.  The WordPress Backup to Dropbox is now a must have for any WordPress site.  It automatically backups your entire site to your Dropbox folder.  You can choose daily backups or weekly backups, there are many options.  I use this plugin with my clients now.

Despite the fact that this plugin backups the database as well, I decided to use both this plugin and the WP-DB-Backup plugin simultaneously with all my websites.  I rather be safe then sorry.  Sometimes plugins do break and for me, having the database is very important.  Redundancy here makes good practice.  So my recommendation is to use both plugins with your WordPress sites.

Please backup.  I know for WordPress users in Vietnam, most are probably not doing a single backup.  It will just cost you money to get your old site back from your website.  The above plugins are free so why not use them.

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