Imagine how painful and maddening an experience it can be to wake up one day and find out that your website has been hacked and your data is either corrupted with malware or worse, just gone. Now there are services which will charge you a pretty penny and can clean up your site— but there's no guarantee that your data will be entirely or even partially recovered.
Even if they manage to recover all your data, there’s a good chance that it can happen all over again. Now imagine how different this story would have been if you had a complete and most recent backup of all your data.
Like all other popular publishing platforms, WordPress is quite secure, but that doesn't mean it is immune to malicious attacks. Even the most secure sites run the risk of getting hacked, and WordPress is no different. WordPress attracts a lot of attackers because it's extremely popular, perhaps the most popular content management platform and it powers a whopping quarter of the entire internet.
Now you might have never fallen victim to hacking, and that might give you a false sense of security, but it is unwise to sit around waiting for disaster to strike. Hackers could steal your passwords, valuable user data, or delete your site altogether.
All this damage would prove near impossible to revert if you don’t have all your data backed up. Since you’re the owner of your site, the responsibility of backing up your data falls squarely on your shoulders and your shoulders alone.
Now that we’ve established the need for backing up your WordPress site, the next logical question should be, how can you go about doing that? There are many different options you can rely on to create your site’s backup.
A no-brainer solution is simply to use your web hosting service's backup features. Most web hosting services offer automatic backing up of your WordPress site at regular intervals. You just have to set it up once, and it will do your work for you. As simple as this process sounds, it is not fail-proof or completely reliable.
Although they offer the WordPress backups feature, web hosting companies are not legally bound to back up your data nor are they accountable if the data gets corrupted. If the web hosting service terminates your account for non-compliance or non-payment, you will lose all your data along with the backups.
Another solution is to back up your data manually. You can do that by using a File Manager like FileZilla, logging into your hosting account and downloading the WordPress files to your computer, thus making WordPress backups. You can also manually create WordPress backups using cPanel or Plesk Onyx, but the process is convoluted and requires some technical know-how.
Not only is manually making WordPress backups is drawn out and complicated, but you will also have to make a lot of WordPress backups quite often.
On the other hand, making the WordPress backups up via plugins is an effortless and time-saving alternative. Plugins like BackupBuddy, UpdraftPlus, BackUpWordPress and WP Time Capsule are relatively easy to use and pretty effective. They can be set up to make WordPress backups after specified intervals of time and can be used to recover your website if the need be.
The plugins mentioned above don’t all perform the same, of course. Some are better than the others. Even the premium plugins aren't always the better option. Some free plugins can do just a good job as paid ones—if not better. WP Time Capsule is one such plugin. It is free but also has a paid version.
WP updates can sometimes break your site and WP Time Capsule is created with that in mind. You can set it to make WordPress backups every time before installing an update. If something goes wrong during the updating process, you can simply restore it to the last saved point.
It detects changes made to the site and automatically backs up the new files.
After you’ve installed WP Time Capsule, you have to log in using your Time Capsule account, after that, you can connect it to your Google Drive, Amazon S3, or DropBox. After it has established the connection, it will create a WordPress backup of your entire website and save it to Drive or DropBox.
After the first WordPress backup has been created, WP Time Capsule will make incremental WordPress backups of recent changes after set intervals. You can schedule these WordPress backups to your convenience.
The plugin also lets you restore your website using restore points that date back to the last two weeks. However, the paid version can restore backups up to 30 days. In either case, you’ll be prepared for the worst.
WP Time Capsule stands out from traditional backing up methods because it doesn’t store backups as compressed zip files. Not only does that reduce server resource consumption, but it also saves you valuable storage space by updating the pre-existing backups.
Typically, you’d have to unzip the backup files to restore your site, but with this plugin, you can quickly restore your website and lower consumption of server resources. Besides, traditional backup methods save the entire website and database every single time which takes up time and storage.
You can set a staging site using this plugin and test new changes, updates, themes and plugins there. It takes only a single click to set up the staging site, and you can prevent unforeseen problems that can occur with the live version of your website.
You can use its all-in-one migration feature to export your database, plugins, and themes and transfer them to a different location. You can also encrypt your backup files, and you have access to customer support if you run into an issue you can't resolve on your own.
Now that you’re familiar with different backup methods and how to employ them, it should be a breeze to back up your entire WordPress site. The online world hasn't been a safe place since its inception, and your website can be the in a hacker’s cross-hairs too.
They can inject your site with malware to display their own ads, or they can get your site blacklisted by sending out spam, they can extort money from you if you are a small online business.
Aside from active malicious attacks, you can make mistakes too. You can inadvertently delete core files or overwrite them. A single faulty command can cost your entire database. If you are in the habit of regularly backing your site up and have a recent backup, you can instantly get your site up and running again. Whatever solution you opt for, make sure you always backup your website.