Last updated on August 1st, 2018 at 06:18 pm
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It’s that time of the month, where I head into Facebook Groups and try to a question from a blogger who needs help. The one that I’ll be answering this month is “what is the best way to backup WordPress automatically?”
If you’re new to WordPress, you might think that WordPress automatically backs up your blog. However, it’s up to you to make sure that your blog is backed up.
Before we get into the whole process of how to backup a website, let me tell you a little story. Hopefully, it’ll help you realize just how important it is to backup your WordPress blog.
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Going Back to When I First Started
When I started my very first blog, I was so excited. I really had no clue what I was doing, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. (that’s a common theme in my life)
I remember it clearly because it was a terrible feeling.
It was the only time that happened to me and I don’t want you to ever experience it.
One day, I had read about a certain plugin. For the life of me, I can’t remember the name of the plugin or what it did.
I had just learned about WordPress plugins and how to install them.
If you want to learn more about using WordPress plugins, I recommend spending time on this site.
I thought that I could install that plugin without any issues. So I it to my blog and as soon as I activated it, the site went haywire.
My site was gone in just a blink of an eye.
Back then I had no clue what I was doing. I remember using FTP to access my WordPress files, but instead of deleting the plugin that I had installed.
I accidentally deleted something that wasn’t supposed to be deleted. It was a terrible feeling and I felt sick.
I had no clue that I could’ve easily just restored WordPress to a previous version. Instead, I ended up losing my hard work.
Thank goodness I only had around 10 blog posts. However, that’s 10 blog posts that I sat down and spent a lot of time writing.
Like I said it was a very terrible feeling and it made me want to vomit. I had no choice but to start over.
If something like that happened to me today, I’d know what to do. The question is what would you do?
Would you have to start your blog over like I did? Nope, because I am going to cover 3 methods that you can use to backup your blog.
If you don’t have a current backup plan for your WordPress blog, don’t put it off any longer.
Otherwise, you may end up kicking yourself for waiting too long.
What Is The Best Way to Backup WordPress Automatically
I’d love to tell you that you that there is one great WordPress backup plugin that will meet your needs. However, everyone is different.
I realize that there isn’t a one size fits all. You might want a few options that you can choose from.
That’s why I am going to share with you the 3 WordPress plugins that I have personally worked with. Then I’ll share which backup method I am currently using for this blog.
So let’s dive in with the different ways to get a complete backup without paying an arm and leg.
Backup Buddy Plugin
When I first started this blog, I was using the Backup Buddy plugin. This is a great plugin that I continue to use for clients.
However, I no longer use this plugin to backup this site. The main reason that I decided to stop using this plugin is that in the past, I’ve struggled with restoring big sites.
For some reason whenever a site gets too big, I’ve experienced issues whenever I try to restore a site. For some reason the backup files get corrupt and I experienced several different issues.
I’ve never experienced any issues with restoring small sites. Since this blog now has over 92 published blog posts and is continuing to grow, I didn’t want to take the risk of not being able to restore my blog.
It’s been a while since I’ve tried to restore an entire site with this plugin. They’ve updated it to a newer version and at the time of this writing, I think it is 8.2 so I’m not sure if you’d still experience the corrupt file issues on a large restore.
Oh, I’ve personally never used the Backupbuddy Stash to store my files. I’ve always stored them on Amazon S3 because it’s extremely affordable.
Unfortunately, there is no Backupbuddy free download. You are going to have to pay to use it right out of the gate.
Related posts on Backup Buddy:
Updraft Plus Plugin
After reading several different tutorials on different backup plugins, I moved to the Updraft plugin.
This plugin is awesome and works great. You can use the free version, which is the version that I use for my clients.
I purchased the premium version because I truly thought that I had found the plugin I was going to stick with. Between you and I, I really didn’t notice that much of a difference in the pro version. Maybe I was missing something?
If you haven’t used the Updraft plugin, here’s a great video that will walk you through the entire process of setting it up to automatically backup your blog.
It does do backups to Dropbox, but you’ll need to make sure that you have enough space to use Dropbox for your backups.
Updraft Plus Plugin Walk Through Video Tutorial
In the video, I’ll walk you through on how to set up the plugin. After this tutorial, you’ll have your backups set up so you can focus on content creation.
I used this plugin for a few months and never actually restored my blog with it. So, unfortunately, I can’t tell you if it’s easy to restore a blog with it.
Maybe one day in the future, I’ll create a tutorial walking you through on how to restore a site using this plugin. Of course, I’ll be using a test WordPress blog like I do for all my tutorials 🙂
BackupBuddy vs Updraftplus
Whenever I see someone ask which backup plugin they should use these two always get mentioned. Yes I’ve seen a couple of others get mentioned as well like, WP All Backup plugin.
But I’ve only ever had experience with both Backup Buddy and Updraft Plus. So I thought that I would do a quick snapshot of what you can expect with both of them. Hopefully this will help you decide which plugin you should use.
Backupbuddy Quick Look
- Starts at $80 for one WordPress site
- Schedule your backups
- Do a complete backup or just database
- Store your backups remotely
- Downloadable zip file for your backups
- Import Buddy to restore your blog
- Email notifications of backups
- Smart backup profiles
- Development Sites with Backupbuddy Migration
Updraftplus Quick Look
- Starts at $70 for two WordPress sites
- Schedule your backups
- Do a complete backup or just database
- Microsoft OneDrive, SFTP/FTPS/SCP enhanced support for Dropbox
- Addons for one year
- Free support for a year
- Free storage up to 1GB to UpdraftVault (you’ll need a subscription)
Blog Vault and What I Use For My Blog
After using both of the plugins above for this blog, I’ve finally chosen to use BlogVault as the backup service of my choice. I love the fact that they do a complete backup of my blog every night.
This WordPress backup service does not do security scans. However, I personally use Sucuri to monitor my blog so I can sleep better.
I still use both plugins above for my clients. However, I wanted something that was extremely easy to use for my personal blog. Like I said, I’ve never restored a site using the Updraft Plus plugin, so that made me a little nervous.
The reason that I chose to go with BlogVault is that I had been using it for a client’s site. A client of mine needed a site restored and they were using BlogVault. After restoring the site for them, I knew that I needed to change.
So I signed up for my own account and moved my blog over. Since then, I haven’t looked for any other backup plugin.
The whole restoration process on BlogVault is extremely easy. In fact, I’ve done a manual backup on this site when I ran into some issues updating the Genesis Framework.
All I had to do was click a button and the restoration of the database and files was done without me lifting a finger. It was the easiest one I’ve ever experienced and that’s the reason that I’ve been with this service for almost two years now.
I’m very happy with my decision and will be staying with them.
The downside of the BlogVault backup service is that there is a monthly fee. I chose the basic plan.
You have the option of paying $9.00 per month or paying $89.00 per year. I chose the $89.00 per year payment option.
I know what you’re thinking. I don’t want to pay to backup my blog. Well, the great thing is that you don’t have to, you can use the free Updraft Plus plugin.
It doesn’t matter which backup option you choose. The important thing is to make sure that you have an automatic backup plan in place. You can buy your BlogVault subscription here.
You don’t want to wait until it’s too late.
Does WordPress Automatically Backup My Blog?
WordPress can be confusing, especially for a new blogger. It’s important to realize that WordPress does not automatically backup your blog.
It’s up to you to learn how to backup and restore your blog. Yes, you can hire someone to take care of these WordPress maintenance tasks for you.
Most new bloggers don’t have the money to outsource small tasks like this. The great thing is that these plugins make it easy for you to do this on your own.
My Hosting Account Creates Backups Should I Still Create My Own?
If you choose a hosting plan like the GrowBig plan on SiteGround, you’ll notice that they do backups for your blog.
SiteGround creates backups on a daily basis and will keep up to 30 days of them. I found this out by opening a chat with them.
It’s nice to know that your hosting account has your back. However, I personally like to know that I’m taking care of this issue as well.
I don’t want to rely on my hosting service to take care of my backups. I also like the fact that BlogVault allows me to create backups whenever I make any type of change to my blog.
How Often Should I Backup My Blog?
If your site is backed up nightly, you can rest assured that you’ll always have the latest version of your blog.
This is great in case your site gets hacked or you install a plugin that causes your site to crash, you can always restore to the previous version without losing anything on your blog.
Unless of course, you made changes to your blog after a scheduled backup has run.
Personally, I backup my blog several times throughout the day. The great thing about BlogVault is that they allow unlimited backups.
I always make a backup before:
- Installing or updating plugins
- Updating the Genesis Framework
- Making any type of changes that can bring down my site
- Messing with the WordPress files
- If I think that I need to create one before doing something 🙂
I usually end up making around 2-3 backups per day. Yes, that’s a lot of backups, but I personally know what it’s like to lose a blog.
Trust me, it isn’t fun.
Should I Rely On My Hosting?
There are companies like SiteGround and WP Engine that do automatic backups of your blog. I’ve never used a SiteGround backup before but I have contacted SiteGround about their backups and they told me that they keep current backups on file.
WPEngine does a very good job of backing up a site and I’ve personally used their copy to restore a client’s site.
That being said, if you’re trying to build a business and earn money with your blog. You should NEVER rely on your web host to do this for you. There’s so many options both free to take care of your site backups.
If you’re not using one of them to help you out, then you’re only going to eventually regret it. We like to think that nothing will ever happen to our blogs, but the truth is things happen.
Sometimes it’s out of our control. If you have a backup solution, you’ll sleep better at night knowing that you can restore your entire site in minutes.
If you’ve relied on someone else to take of your backups or just completely ignored it. Then you’re going to lose your hard work and wish that you would’ve taken care of this from day one.
Don’t make the mistake of relying on hosting companies to take care of this issue.
Final Take Away
You work hard on your blog, especially, if you’re treating it like a business. Learning how to start a blog is a lot more than just creating content, videos, and networking.
It’s up to you to protect your online assets. What would you do if something happened to your blog one day? I know you think that nothing will ever happen, that’s what I used to believe.
Don’t think for a minute that nothing will ever happen to your blog. (I hope it doesn’t)
WordPress makes it easy to create backups. After reading this post, you should now be able to answer the question “should I backup my WordPress blog and what’s the best way?”
So take your time today and use one of these methods. If you don’t want to spend any money, use the Updraft Plus plugin.
Just make sure that you use something to back up your blog.
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Have you ever lost a WordPress blog because you didn’t have a backup? Let me know, I’d love to hear your experience on dealing with backups.