One of the worst things that can happen to you as a business owner is having your website go down, or even worse, hacked.
If this ever happens, one of the most important things that will help you get back online is a recent backup. That’s why it’s so important to have a strategic backup plan in place.
Your hosting provider will likely have a certain amount of backups, but these may not be sufficient for your needs and are not always dependable. We recommended having off-site backups of your website, in addition to what your hosting provider offers.
If you are using WordPress, there are several plugins for creating backups. One that we recommend is Updraft Plus. They have a free version and a premium version. In this article, I will show you how to install, activate and configure the free version of the plugin. I will also show you how to send your backups to remote storage.
Install and Activating the Plugin
- To install the Updraft Plus plugin, first, go to your WordPress Dashboard, hover over Plugins and click Add New.
- In the Search Bar, type Updraft Plus. You will see the plugin displayed in the list of results. Click on the Install Now buttonto begin the installation process.
- Once the plugin has been installed, the Install Now button will change to Activate. Click on Activate to complete the installation.
- When the installation has been completed, you will see a pop-up to start the configuration of the plugin. To begin, click the Click here to start! button.
- You will see another pop-up to take you on a tour of the plugin. You can view the tour or simlay close the pop-up.
Configuring your Backups
The first thing you may notice is that the plugin references Files and Database. In a WordPress website, files do not change very often. These are the files that make WordPress work, and only change when you update your WordPress application, install a new plugin, etc. The database is where your website’s information is stored, and this changes every time you publish (or update) a page or a post, when someone adds a comment, etc. I’ll talk a bit more about this below.
- To start the configuration process, click on the Settings tab.
- This is where you will schedule your backups. You’ll see here that you can schedule your files and your database separately.
- To schedule your backups, click on the dropdown and select the frequency that you wish to have your files and database backed up.
- For Files, we suggest that you schedule weekly backups. As I mentioned above, your Database changes more frequently than your files, therefore it should be backed up more frequently. We suggest daily backups for the database.
- You will also need to configure the number of backups that you will want to retain. Do do this, use the arrows to increase/decrease the number, or simply type in the number.
- We recommend that you maintain at least 2 backups of your files. If you backup your files once a week, that will give you 2 weeks of file backups. For databases, we recommend that you maintain at least 14 backups of your database. If you backup your database once a day, this will give you 2 weeks of database backups.
Sending your Backups to Remote Storage
As mentioned above, it’s very important to store your backups in a remote location. That way, if any ever happened to your web host’s servers, you have an independent backup that can be used to recover your website.
You’ll notice that Updraft Plus offers a number of option for remote storage. Today, I’ll show you how to send your backups to Dropbox.
- To start, click on the Dropbox icon.
- You’ll see that your choice becomes highlighted.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the Save Changes button (you can leave the other settings as is).
- You will then be asked to allow Updraft Plus to access your Dropbox account.
- Click Complete Setup to give Updraft Plus authorsation and complete the setup.
- You will then be redirected back to your WordPress dashboard
Testing your Backup Configuration
The first thing you should do is create a backup to make sure your settings are correct and that your backups are being sent to the remote location that you have selected (in this case, it would be Dropbox).
- To do this, click on Backup Now.
- Ensure Send this backup to remote storage is checked and click Backup Now.
- When the backup is completed, you will see it in the backup list.
- The final step is to locate the file in your remote storage (in this case Dropbox). In Dropbox, the files are stored in a directory called Apps. You should see your backup, which will confirm that you have set up everything correctly.