I know I left you with some pretty heavy homework yesterday in Creating Your Ideal Client Avatar, so today we’re going to focus on something a bit lighter and easier. Down to business, this one is a task without a lot of creative energy required.
Back, back, back it up! Do you have a plan in place to backup your blog? What if your hosting company disappeared tomorrow? Or what happens if their server dies, and their backups are all 6 months old, and you lose everything? What if you go to update WordPress and BOOM! your whole blog is gone? Or a hacker gets in to your site, and deletes everything?
While the likelihood of these things happening is low, they could still happen. I’ve actually been through the hosting company / server disappearing situation back in 2001, and let me tell you – it suuuuuuuuuuucks. When I ran my blog hosting company, we had people accidentally blow up their websites, and one person managed to do it just as the daily & weekly backup happened – so we had to resort to the monthly backup to restore their site. They lost 2-3 weeks worth of content. At least we recovered a lot of it, but those few weeks were never seen again. It suuuuuuuuuuucks.
Plugins to Help You Backup Your Blog
First a little lesson about your WordPress blog – it actually has two main components to it – the Theme, which is the design, the look & feel, the plugins, the widgets, your CSS, your logo, all that stuff that impacts how it looks – and the Database, which is where your posts actually live. Logging in to your hosting account and backing up the WordPress directory will only capture the theme elements, the design, the graphics. You need to back up the database too, and that is a little harder to do directly from your hosting company unless you have some geek fu experience.
Fortunately, wise geek fu people have created backup plugins for WordPress! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!! (Imagine me running around like Kermit, wildly flailing my arms in the air. That is how excited I am about these plugins!)
- Backup Buddy – this is the one you probably hear the most about out there. It is not free, and it isn’t as user-friendly as some of the other ones. That is the trade-off for the fact that it is full of great features. It will backup your entire site (the whole WordPress install, all the content, the themes, the plugins, the widgets, the database, all of it), they include storage for your backups, AND it also does a malware scan for you when backing things up. My favorite part is to do a full restoration it is just a matter of uploading your backup file and the importbuddy.php file (which is downloaded from within the plugin when doing a Migrate/Restore) to the document root of your Web server and then pointing your browser to the importbuddy.php file website address. Bam! Magic.
- Backup Scheduler – Free, faster to configure, and full of features as well. It will back up your whole WordPress install, the database, all the good stuff that we want. The down side? There is not a built in restore tool. You would have to get your website online manually, but there are tools out there to help you do this. phpMyAdmin would help you upload your database into the Web-based interface. You can copy the remaining files/folders to the server through FTP. Plus it is free.
- VaultPress – this one is from Automattic, the people that make WordPress. It involves a monthly fee, but if your blog is your business, this extra insurance is worth it! It also backs everything up, and it does it in real time. Write a blog post? It backs it up. Sign up for the premium service and it will check your site for malicious code as well as other features. If anything happens, they make it easy to get back online.
You really can’t go wrong with any of them, and the best thing? You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your website is safe! So back, back, back it up!
But Christine, I use Blogger! How can I back it up? Yeah, sorry about that. I have no idea. I haven’t used Blogger in 10 years or so, but I’m sure Google has tips on how to do it.