As creators we pour hours and hours into our websites and blogs. It really is a labour of love. Adding new blog posts, selecting the perfect images, updates to page content, replying to our much loved followers’ comments, and that’s just the on-going maintenance side of things.

So how much would you think it would cost to replace your entire website?
Ithemes have a nifty little calculator to help you roughly work out the cost associated with replacing your content. Jump on over and work it out now (be sure to come back with your replacement figure and finish the article).

Why am I asking this question?
If you don’t have a regular backup system in place, this is the price you are looking at paying to replace your website if something goes wrong and you lose everything. Scary thought?

As WordPress becomes increasingly popular, (held 19% marketshare in July last year), it becomes a lager target for hackers. This is one of the biggest comments I see floating around the web “help my websites been hacked, how do I get it back?”. Now if you have a backup then its easily fixed by restoring a backup from before the hack occurred, and increasing security to prevent future hacks. In this instance you may lose some content, depending on how frequently you update and how long the hack has been on your site, but its much better than losing everything.

Many people also think that their hosting company takes care of backups for them. While in some cases this may be true, for the most part I would not recommend relying on this. You don’t know how frequently they perform backups, or whether they are complete or only partial backups. Sometimes they are also stored on the server with your site, so if the server is causing a problem with your site then the backup recovery could also be problematic. If you have your own system in place then you have complete control over how frequently backups are created, what gets backed-up and where it gets stored.

Compatibility with upgrades is always going to have some issues as it’s impossible to create a fix for the infinite number of combinations between plugins and themes of any WordPress site. So another reason to have a backup routine is to create a backup before performing a major version update. (Note: minor version updates are now automatic in WordPress). That way if the new version created problems with your website then you can easily revert back to the old one in an instant, and try again when there is a minor update applied to fix any bugs in the previous version.

So now I’ve have hopefully won you over to “You MUST backup your WordPress site”, what plugins would I recommend using?

My first recommendation is itheme’s Backup Buddy. This is a paid plugin which costs $80 for 2 websites, which in the scheme of things is no comparison to how much it would cost to replace your website. Its very easy to setup and use and they have great step-by-step tutorials to help you if you get stuck.

Next up is wordpress backup to dropbox (WP2DB). Obviously you need to have a Dropbox account to be able to use this plugin, but it’s a great option if you are not ready for the paid Backup Buddy plugin.

My third recommendation is BackWPup from MarketPress. They have both free and paid versions. This one is not as quick and easy to setup, but if you want a free plugin and don’t have Dropbox then go with this one.

The most important thing isn’t choosing what plugin to use, it’s that you do choose one and get it implemented as soon as possible.

Now I’d love to hear from you! Have you been in the dreaded situation of losing your website because of no backup plan? Or have you had success because you did have one in place? There are more plugin available as well, do you have another that you think is easy to use and works great? Let me know in the comments below.

Adios amigos,


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