Why Regular Backups are Crucial for Your WordPress Website’s Security

The Need for Website Backups

Maintaining a WordPress website is no small feat. A website has many components to manage, such as generating regular content, incorporating user-friendly layouts and designs, as well as processing form submissions and customer payment information, among others.

Managing all these components and reaching a state where your website runs at optimum performance requires time and effort. It is a horrible feeling to not have a website backups and then lose months’ worth of work due to your site hacks, server outages, conflicting WordPress updates, natural disasters, or even unfortunately: human error.

Believe it or not, all of these issues really do occur quite frequently to websites all around the world. This is why a website backup plan is so important. Backups are a safeguard against these possibilities, and are one of the first lines of defense in ensuring the safety of your WordPress website.

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What if I Don’t Backup My Website?

Lacking a backup system for your website will definitely cost you more in the long run, compared to investing in a website maintenance plan which includes WordPress backups.

If your website is compromised by a hacker, the fastest way to deal with your vulnerability is to revert to an uncompromised version of your site, otherwise, you might have to manually sift through all of your website’s files in order to attempt to detect and weed out vulnerabilities.

In cases such as this, it is definitely best to take preventative measures over reactive ones, as your site’s downtime will make a huge hit to your SEO rankings. Recovering from such an occurrence can prove daunting, and is best to be avoided altogether with regular backups.

Take note that many hosting companies have backups bundled in with their services, so sometimes your site can be backed up even without you personally setting anything up. However, since your hosting company’s resources aren’t necessarily focused on backups, chances are, even these backups can be compromised as well.

Relying solely on these kinds of backups is almost as good as having a no-backup at all. With your countless uploads and all the transactional data stored in your site, it is better to be safe than sorry, legally and reputationally.

Backing Up: Which Files, How Long, and How Often?

There are usually three questions raised when it comes to WordPress backups: which ones, how long, and how often?

Which Files?

Let’s start by answering the easiest one: which files should I back up? This is sort of a trick question as a WordPress website is made up of two basic components:

(1) the files and (2) the database.

The answer is quite simply: All the important folders and data that will make your website run again upon backup reupload. This means your WordPress database, your wp-content folder (which contains all of the images and files for your site), and your WordPress config files are critical to include in your backup routine.

How Often?

Yet another frequently asked question in the world of WordPress maintenance and website backups: How often should backups be created?

This question should be answered by looking into the amount of change your website sees over a period of time. Quite like a mini-ecosystem of its own, your WordPress website changes from day-to-day, depending on your site’s traffic, transactions, and interactions.

The amount of change per unit of time is also determined by the frequency of which your content is updated or added on to. These kinds of statistics vary from website to website, of course, so answers here may vary. Imagining yourself in the scenario of needing to back up can help you answer the question by asking another: Are you willing to lose a week’s worth of changes? A month’s worth of changes? Maybe just a day’s worth of changes? Since there are a lot of important updates per hour, perhaps you cannot afford to lose hourly changes?

Regardless of frequency, it is important to note that apart from manual backups, automated backups exist. These backups can be scheduled to run in the background for a certain frequency, which can be handy if you don’t have much time to be maintaining backups too often.

How Long?

Backup storage is limited, which means that after a certain threshold of time, backup files start getting deleted to make way for new ones. This question can be answered similarly to the “How Often?” question: it highly depends on the amount of changes your website experiences in a certain stretch of time. The thought exercise applies here too, as you should think of the farthest time unit you are willing to restore your website back to, in case something bad happens.

Setting up WordPress backup systems can be a chore. Even automated systems can go wrong if not double-checked every so often. Being the largest safety net your website has against unforeseen circumstances, your backups should be handled by professionals who have years of experience in the field of WordPress security.

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The FocusWP team is dedicated to providing top notch WordPress website security solutions to our clients. Our expertise comes with a variety of website maintenance services:

  • Daily full site backups
  • Daily security scans
  • Daily vulnerability detection
  • Daily performance check
  • Immediate notification of malware or site blacklisting
  • Weekly database, plugin, theme & WordPress updates
  • Weekly database optimization
  • Weekly spam clean-up
  • Pagespeed scores
  • SEO keyword tracking
  • Personalized white label monthly reports

You don’t have to add all these tedious security checks to your daily routine in order to maintain your website. FocusWP is here to provide these solutions for you. Contact us today, and let us handle the day-to-day.

About the Author

Stephanie is a geek, entrepreneur, business coach, podcast host, internationally known speaker, notebook hoarder, and dad joke aficionado. She loves helping WordPress businesses thrive and grow.

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