Show your website some love through regular backups
Once they are setup initially, websites are something that we all take for granted. This casual attitude toward something that is a core component to any business anymore can be problematic, especially in the event that something unforeseen happens.
Just think of all that time you spent developing your site with a designer, writer, marketing consultant or maybe it was all you, all the time. In any case, much time and energy was spent getting your site ready for prime time. Without regular backups all that time could have been for naught in the case of a hosting mishap or worse if you are the victim of the latest malware sweeping the net. WordPress is an awesome platform that works for businesses of any size but as its reach grows (currently 26% of indexed sites), so does the threat posed by possible attack. Automatic does a pretty good job of keeping WordPress ahead of the curve (as do plugin vendors) but if you are not as fastidious as you should be in your updates, breaches can occur and that can be devastating to a site owner.
Malware can be as simple as some kind of redirect added to your site header and it can be as insidious as to infect all files on your site as well as your database content. There are cleaning services that are offered by most hosts but these can be expensive. The better option for most business is to have regular site backups to rely on so you can easily roll things back to a clean state prior to the issue. The more regular the backups, the better chance you will have of not losing anything in the process.
There are a great many backup plugins available for wordpress and they all offer different levels of protection for what you need. When considering one, you need to make sure that it not only can backup everything you need backed up (DB, site files, etc) but it also has the ability to restore things easily. I have used many of these plugins over time and most of them will allow you to back things up easily enough but restoration is a bit more complex.
Of all the plugins I have used, Updraft Plus is hands down, the best across the board. It will not only allow you to backup your database, theme files, uploads and wordpress core files but it allows you to save them locally or on a remote server and is a snap to restore any part or all of the above from each backup it does. The plugin is free for basic use which should be more than enough for most entrepreneurs or small businesses. It also offers a number of individual premium add-ons that can make things easier for cloning and/or migrating your site to another domain, support for network/multisite installations of WordPress, enhanced scheduling or additional remote storage options. There is even a premium option that will allow you to restore from another products’ backup.
Whether you take my advice on using Updraft Plus specifically or not, you should definitely show your website some love with the regular backups it deserves. It will save your sanity in the event of any website based calamity.
In case you are still questioning things, you should simply heed the immortal words of Eric Stratton when he said, “You’d better listen to him, Flounder. He’s in Pre-med.” He was spot on with that advice because you don’t want someone like me to have to doctor your site after a series of unfortunate events or even an individual one.
Remember this mantra and you will be set. Backup early and backup often!