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Backing up your data is crucial, Especially with your website where there are many things that could go wrong and cause you to lose your data. This could be in the form of Hacks, Malware, User error and incompatible updates/plugins. Losing your website would risk your reputation, and make you lose time and money recreating it, and so it’s worth making regular backups of your site, Especially if you plan on making any big changes or installing new plugins.
There are many ways to backup your website, You do this through your hosting provider or set up backups through FTP. However, If you are using a WordPress site the best option is to use a backup plugin. Using a plugin is a fast and easy way to frequently make backups, and can provide you with many options to tailor the backup to you.
One such plugin is BackWPup, Which offers a premium and a free version, So you can scale your backups to suit your needs. BackWPup allows you to schedule backups and offers a range of formats for this, as well as allowing you to backup locally, to Dropbox, via FTP server, web space, SugarSync, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace & to email. BackWPup is supported up to the latest version of WordPress (4.8.2) and receives frequent updates.
Another similar Plugin is UpdraftPlus. Which similarly has a range of backup options and allows you to schedule backups, but also has support for restoring previous backups. UpdraftPlus is currently one of the most downloaded backup plugins, its ease of use, reliability and pricing options make it a good choice.
If you’re comfortable using, and know the FTP details for your website another good option is Duplicator. While Duplicator is primarily designed for site migration, It does also serve as a simple backup utility.
What should you back up? And How often should you do it?
Your main option when creating a backup is what you should copy, you could create a full backup of all your website files or a database backup.
Database backups will create a copy of all your pages, posts, and comments-They back up the content of your site. So it is recommended you backup your databases daily, or whenever you add content.
A full backup will create a copy of everything, all your plugins, themes, and files, as well as your databases, it is not necessary to do a full backup daily but it is recommended you schedule these weekly. It is also critical to create a full backup when installing new themes/plugins and especially when you update your version of WordPress, to avoid loss of data.
Whichever method you choose, it is essential you are keeping regular backups and monitoring these so you are never left stranded.