There are a lot of things that can bring down your site – from human errors to hosting issues, server troubles to malware attacks. All of these can have a crippling and often long-lasting effect on your website and business. You could lose critical business data, see a decline in traffic, and even a drop in your SEO rankings.
The one thing that can protect you from all of this? A reliable website backup. Think of it as an insurance cover for your site. Having one ensures you have a safety net at all times. In simple words, a “website backup” is an exact copy of your website files and components. In the event of any loss of website data, this backup can be quickly restored to bring your website back to normal.
Pros & Cons of backing up a WordPress Site
In the following sections, we shall see what website backups are, why they are so important, and the pros and cons of a website backup.
Why Every Business Needs Website Backups?
Here are 5 reasons why every business enterprise must implement regular backups:
Reason #1: Human Errors
Daily website backups can protect your website from any human errors that are difficult to track.
Reason #2: Manual Updates
Updating your WordPress website or its components (plugins/themes) is important, however manual updates can sometimes go wrong resulting in a website crash. In such a scenario, you can restore your website through a backup.
Reason #3: Compatibility issues on WordPress
Compatibility issues on WordPress caused by a mismatch between an old Core WordPress version (let’s say, version 4.0) and a newly installed version of a plugin/theme can also bring down your site.
Reason #4: Your Customer Data
Your customer data including customer information, online transactions with your business, and account-related data must be protected and available at all times.
Reason #5: Simplify the process of migration
Website backups can simplify the process of migration to another web host provider or another domain. A backup ensures that all your updated website data is available for new website domain provider or host.
There are several more reasons, but we think these 5 should be sufficient to convince you of why website backups are so crucial for your website.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of taking website backups.
Backups for WordPress – The Pros
A backup can be performed either through manual methods or by using a WordPress Backup Plugin like Updraftplus, BlogVault, and BackupBuddy. While manual backups are more technical and time-consuming, backup plugins are easier to execute and have many advantages.
Let’s look at some of them here:
Prevents data loss
This one’s a no-brainer. Having a backup version ensures that your data is always available and safe. In fact, some backup plugins allow you to create multiple versions of your website backup. This makes it more secure and gives you greater accessibility.
Solves update-related issues
Website backups typically comprise of the various components including the Core WordPress files, database records, along with the plugin or theme related files. As a WordPress user, you should always update to the latest version of these components. Updates are free to download and can improve the overall functionality of your website. However, in some instances, an update can lead to incompatibilities between these components.
With a website backup in place, you don’t have to worry when you update your WordPress to the latest version. In the event of any update failure, you have the safe option of reversing the components back to the older version.
Easily restores your website
Apart from the facility of choosing from multiple backup versions, backup tools make it easier to access and restore backup data when required. For instance, some tools store backup data in multiple secure storage locations like cloud-powered storage platforms. As a website owner, you can easily access and view the stored backup data and not worry about losing your valuable data at any point.
Protects against natural disasters
Business data stored on your web server or your web host provider can be easily destroyed in case of any natural disaster or calamity. Backup tools store your backup data on multiple servers that are physically located in a different geographical location. As a business owner, you are assured that natural calamities will have no adverse impact on your data.
Reduces host-migration relates risks
In case of any malfunction during migration to another host, you can easily restore the previous version from a backup. Even here, using a WordPress backup tool ensures that you are in control of your data and don’t have to depend on your web host provider.
Great way to test changes (Staging)
Some backup providers like BlogVault and Updraftplus offer the staging feature to test backups or versions. Just like any other WordPress file, backup files are also prone to be corrupted or damaged. You can use a staging site to test backups and other websites changes without worrying about its impact on your live and functional website.
These are just a few of the advantages of WordPress backups and show how backup plugins make the process more effective.
Next, let’s take a look at the limitations of website backups and how to overcome them.
WordPress Backups –The Cons
Backups can be a very long and complex process.
Taking website backups is not a one-time activity. For any website going through regular changes, backups also need to be performed regularly. Additionally, the manual procedure of backing up is usually long and time-consuming. It would also require a certain level of technical knowledge and experience.
What’s our recommendation? Instead of opting for a manual backup, we would recommend you perform website backups using a plugin. Look for features like automated and scheduled backups, and an easy process that requires minimum human intervention.
Backups can be a very “server-intensive” operation.
Regular backups of large websites (for example, with over 300GB of data) can overload your web server. Eventually, this can consume a lot of your server bandwidth and resources, leading to an adverse impact on your website speed and performance. It is crucial to ensure you use a suitable web server and avoid any processes that could overload.
What’s our recommendation? Use plugins that perform all backup-related processes on a dedicated server. This ensures that there is no impact on client-server speed and performance. Look at plugins whose processes are not server intensive and make the website faster.
Backups are an additional task to perform.
Effective website management involves a lot of tasks to perform for your website administrator daily. Depending on your website needs, taking daily or even hourly backups can be an added task for your website admin, thus adding to their “to do” list.
What’s our recommendation? Plugins like BlogVault provide a user-friendly dashboard facility where admins can perform backups and restores with a single click. Additionally, the tool offers both on-demand and scheduled backups. While on-demand backups require human intervention, they are typically executed only in an emergency when there is any threat to the website data. On the other hand, scheduled backups can be automatically performed by the tool (on a daily, weekly, or even hourly basis) without any human intervention.
Backups have always been revered as one of the must-have plugins for WordPress sites. The question for most websites can no longer be about the ‘why’ of backups. Instead, we need to focus on the ‘what’ and ‘how’ aspects. The key is to select the right backup strategy that works for your website’s needs and pursue the strategy on a long-term basis for maximum returns.
Backing up your site may seem like an added task however, backup plugins take this complexity out of the equation. We strongly recommend investing in one so you can simplify your backup strategy and can eliminate most of the cons listed in this article.