Why You Should Back Up Your Blog
A few weeks ago I shared with you the reason I took some time off blogging (read that post here.)
It boiled down to about 30% I was too busy with wedding planning, working, and investing in my relationship with my now husband.
And then 70% was that my blog was infected with malware because of a WordPress plugin, my web host (obviously) blocked my access to my site until the code was clean, and to fix the code was going to be $200 for a company to do it, or Austin and I needed to figure it out ourselves.
Well, we decided to clean the code ourselves which worked, but I couldn’t get into my site to make a backup, and the only backup I could find anywhere was from a month after I started my blog. And that was like 1/6 of all my content.
What is really ironic is that the plugin that allowed my code to be modified with malware was actually a security plugin that is hella popular (1 million + active downloads). Needless to say, that plugin caused me a lot of trust issues. I do still use it because it really is the best one out there and as long as you have consistent backups, malware can usually be a quickish fix.
Anyway, I learned the lesson the hard way so that you don’t have to (you’re welcome?).
Also, quick disclaimer; I am NOT an expert at all on blogging/coding etc. so there could be other ways to effectively back up your blog. Today, I’m sharing how I effectively backup my blog.
Ways To (Properly & Easily) Backup Your Blog
There are a lot of different ways to backup your blog. Some options are manual and some are automatic. It’s also going to depend on whether you’re operating a WordPress.org, WordPress.com, Blogger, etc. blog.
Today, I’m only focusing on WordPress.org blogs because I don’t have any experience with blogger, and I am not a fan of WordPress.com.
A complete backup needs to contain your blog’s database and files.
Option 1: Create a Manual Backup Through Your CPanel
No matter what web host you’re using, there is usually a simple backup process from your CPanel. I use Siteground as my web host (love them!) and if I scroll down to “Backups Manager” there is a button that says “Create backup.”
This will take you to a page allowing you to create a full backup or partial backups. You need to create a full backup if you don’t want to loose anything.
Once the backup is complete, you’ll receive an email. Depending on the size of your database and number of files, this could take a few minutes. You can access a list of your backups in your cPanel’s “Backups” interface: cPanel > Backup > Download a Full Website Backup.
Cons: This method requires you to manually back up your site, always. Also, it stores the backup in your home directory which in my opinion is too close to your code. I prefer to keep my backups as far away as possible from my CPanel and my code.
Option 2: Automatic Backups Sent to Google Drive
There are many ways to go about setting up automatic backups, and there are many different plugins that can do this job. I use UpdraftPlus because it had excellent reviews and 1 million+ downloads and is free. Best decision ever.
UpdraftPlus offers automatic backups to Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage, email, and tons of other options. I choose to have my backups go to my Google Drive.
UpdraftPlus also creates backups of both your files and your database, and if for any reason your regular backup fails, they automatically restart creating the backup.
There is a premium upgrade, but I definitely don’t have any use for those features at this time.
Why I Love Automatic Backups
After what happened, knowing that I have a backup of my blog created daily (my choice) and that the files are not being kept anywhere near my vulnerable code is such a weight off my shoulders.
I actually use both of these backup types. I’ll occasionally create a manual backup through my CPanel, and I also keep the daily backups of both my database and files on my Google Drive.
I am SO grateful that we live in a time where services like UpdraftPlus are available (for free!) to help those of use that are not as technologically-inclined and/or are forgetful.
If you want to know that your hard work is safe, you should definitely check out UpdraftPlus if you don’t use it already.
Do you have any other recommendations or ways that you backup your personal blog or website?