Do Your Own Website Backup
Do you have a website that you've put hours, months or even years of work into?
How would you feel if you lost it all tomorrow?
Which is why having a reliable backup and restore plan in place is essential.
But Doesn't My Webhost Back up My Site?
Hopefully, yes. You should check this out to be sure, but many web hosting services back up all the sites they host on their own servers and keep the backup files for a number of days.
But there are a couple of issues with relying on this alone.
Your web host will backup once a day, typically in the evening when traffic is lighter. But you've just spent 4 hours creating and publishing your best post ever. It may be a full day away from being backed up by your web host. But you can back it up right now.
2. A Dispute
You may have a great relationship with your web host, but some have been known to cut off access to your site if you are in dispute with them, irrespective of who's in the right. Having your own backup gives you the upper hand, as you can always use it to transfer your website to another web host. That can be more difficult if your web host is also your domain name registrar. That's why I like to keep them separate.
3. Another Question of Timing
What if you've let your payment to your web host lapse and have simply forgotten about this particular website? It's not a dispute, but your website is simply gone and there is no way of getting it back,
4. Your Website's Been Hacked
Any website can be hacked, typically through a weakness in a plugin. The hack can prevent you from accessing it and it can, for example, redirect visitors to another site or to a number of other sites by rotation. Your chances of getting help from any of those sites are slim to none.
Your only hope is to restore from backup.
You may be able to do this from your web host's backup - but not if the hack got into your site before the oldest backup. And if it's a Trojan, that will almost certainly be the case.
But if you've got your own backup, you're set.
How to Do Your Own Backup
There are several plugins for backing up your website. I use All in One WP Migration and have used its Restore facility many times with no problems. That's the acid test. Can you restore?
Other plugins may be fine, but All in One WP Migration works for me and I find it versatile and easy to use, so it's the one I'm going to be concentrating on.
Installing and Activating All in One WP Migration
Go to Plugins and click the Add New button. Search for all in one wp migration.
Click Install and then when the installation has finished, click the Activate button.
Now if you look at your site's WordPress menu on the left-hand side, you should see a new entry All-in-One WP migration and if you hover your mouse pointer on that, you'll see the sub-menu:
Export means you want to backup your site.
Import means you want to restore your site from a backup file.
Backup shows the number of backup files that currently exist on the server and allows you to delete them (more on that later).
Settings. The default settings are fine.
Is All in One WP Migration Free?
All in One WP Migration is free for backup, no matter what the size.
It's free to restore from backup files up to 128MB (which would be a very small site). However, you can install a free update that increases that to 512MB and a paid update that increases it to unlimited.
You can get the unlimited update from servmask.com at a cost of $69. It can be used on any number of websites.
Note that you only need it if you need to restore from a backup file larger than 512MB.
Which means you may never need it.
How to Create a Backup
It's super simple. Click on All-in-One WP Migration and then Export.
The top button Add allows you to replace some text throughout your website and to create a backup that includes the text replacement.
So you won't use it if all you want is a backup.
But, for example, suppose you were selling your site to a third party, you were both Amazon affiliates and your site was full of Amazon affiliate links. You could give your buyer the backup file for them to restore to their own web host, but with all your Amazon affiliate ids replaced by theirs.
For a normal backup, just click on the Export To button.
You will then see a number of possible destinations to send the backup file to.
I like having my backups on my local hard disk, from which I can copy them to a flash drive for additional safety if I wish, so I always choose File as the destination.
As soon as you choose the destination, the export will start, keeping you up to date with a progress report.
Note that the backup has been created on your web host's server, in a backup folder associated with your site.
When you click on the Download button, the file will start downloading to your computer's local drive.
At that point of time, you can click on the Close button.
In another post, I'll cover
- Keeping Multi-Generational Backups
- Clearing Out Old Backups
- Restoring from a Backup and
- Using Backup/Restore to transfer a site from one webhost to another.
Your backup is only as valuable as your ability to restore from it. Please check out my article Your Website Backup is Working, but Can You Restore?