WordPress Backup Myths

IThemes had a great post a few days ago about all the excuses WordPress site owners and managers give for not backing up their sites – and not protecting their investment. These were my three favorites, and they are all something I’ve heard from one or more clients in the last six months.

1. WordPress backs up my site automatically.

Er – no. Actually no, it doesn’t. That’s a huge misconception; maybe because WordPress seems to do so many things, like a Swiss Army knife, it’s assumed that this is just one of those things.

Maybe it’s true of WordPress.com? I’m not sure… but definitely, a self-hosted WordPress site will not magically back itself up.

2. My Web host will take care of me.

Maybe they will, maybe they won’t.

While all the hosts I’ve ever personally used assured me that they took at least weekly backups, I’ve had to rely on this three times in the entire time I’ve had websites. On one occasion I got a backup that was 4 days old, the other two were 10 days or two weeks. Not bad – but what if you’re running a very active blog, and you put out a handful of posts every day or two? That’s a lot of work you could lose in two weeks’ time, and there’s no guarantee that your host is really backing up as often as they say.

One design client that asked me to fix their site after it had been hacked was counting on their host’s backups, and was not happy to find the most recent one available was over a month old.

Don’t rely on your host. Either do it yourself or use a service that manages backups for you, preferably daily database backups.

3. I backed up once, so I’m okay (or – I have a copy of my site on a DVD from the developer).

And how old is your site? Has it changed since you backed it up that one time, or since you launched it?

If it hasn’t you may have worse problems than getting hacked… but if you’re posting new content to your site regularly as you should be, you stand to lose everything that’s gone into it since that last backup. How much work could you lose? Can you afford to lose it and have to start over? Most likely the answer is no.

Take control of your own backup situation – either do it yourself, or check out our plans, which include daily database backups and daily or weekly full-site backups. Don’t leave it to chance or rely on someone else to handle it, it’s too important.

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