I see it all the time, business is very excited to get a website launched, they forget the ongoing work on maintaining the website, I’m not talking about creating content, or adding new products to sell, I’m referring to keep the site safe, software maintained with latest versions.
We all have the same amount of time each day, as I wrote about in
Time management will be key for running any online business, there are so many tasks that need completing, it’s easy to feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day.
If you running a WordPress website and are serious about keeping your WordPress site up to date with new releases of WordPress and updating plugins so your site is running smoothly.
If you do not have the time to keep your site up to date and take regular backups, you should think about hiring a WordPress maintenance service provider. I did that by hiring ThunderBear Design, they worked with me to create a website maintenance routine.
I can not be happier now, as I do not need to worry about my website being out of date as to WordPress version and plugin versions. I highly recommend the folks over at ThunderBear Design.
The folks at ThunderBear Design pointed out to me that backing up a site isn’t especially complicated as there are many plugins to choose from that make the job easy. It’s getting the routine to regularly do the backups, and where to store your backups, there are so many choices, and if you have an outage and need to restore, what is the best practice.
The folks at ThunderBear Design helped me understand not only to backup my site but also back it up in the right way, here are some WordPress backup tips that I learned from ThunderBear Design that I want to share with you.
WordPress Backup how to keep your data safe
Take a look at what you need to do, to keep your site backed up safely, and how your data will be kept safe, also when you read this, think about if you have the time to schedule backup activities into your schedule, what takes priority prospecting, backup, SEO, marketing it all depends on what your website is about.
These are the pitfalls to avoid when you backup your site:
How often do you update your website with new posts, or how often do your visitors leave their mark on your website. If you have daily updates on your website’s posts, visitor comments, new sales, you should backup daily so you do not lose any data, compared to a site that may have only a few updates in a month.
A good strategy is to backup the database more frequently because that’s where your posts, comments, sales data are stored. If you only update your plugins and themes once a month, you only need to take a backup once a month. With the ThunderBear Design service, they separate database backup from your site directory backup (software file), they make it easy for you to recover in case of an outage or if your site got hacked.
Not carefully choosing a backup plugin
There are many ways you can go about backing up your data, with some hosting companies you can take a snapshot of your server which acts as your backup. You could just backup your database with PHPMyAdmin if you have that installed.
There are many plugins to choose from to make backups easier from the admin menu, you have to watch out for some plugins do the only backup your database, while others back up your directories and finally the most sophisticated plugins that backup your databases and directories.
A number of backup plugins automate and manage backups and also do restoring. It’s preferable if you do it yourself, to find a backup plugin that can schedule backups on a regular basis.
Working with ThunderBear Design they came up with the backup plugins suitable for my installation of WordPress.
Not backing up your site while doing tweaks or during a big change
If you are like most WordPress admins or site owners, you’re constantly tinkering with your site. Before you start tinkering with your site, you should take a backup, even the smallest of a change could shut down your website. Always take a backup before you start.
It’s also a good practice to do a backup just after making your changes. That way, you can come back to it later.
Where to store your data
Some backup plugins store the backup file on the same server as your website. This is called a local backup, and they are not recommended. What if your server goes down, our you hosting company looks you out, then you have no access to your backup file, you need to think about where to store your backup files.
ThunderBear Design recommended being a two-fold backup strategy, in which my directories were backed up to GitHub and my database backup was store G Suite Drive. I also store a copy of my database files on Dropbox. This gives me peace of mind.
Not doing a full backup
A full backup of your WordPress includes much more – themes, plugins, the wp-content folder, important WordPress configuration files like wp-config.php, and .htaccess files.
On the recommendation of ThunderBear Design, I had a staging host setup for me, it sounds more than it is. In my case the staging host is on my local laptop, I running a MAMP installation. I keep the same setup, as, on my live site, my staging host syncs the directories from GitHub, and I restore the latest DB copy from my G Suite Drive backup location.
This allows me to test themes and plugins is particularly important if you’re using a custom version of any theme or plugin. I can tweak configurations on plugins and test outcomes, this way I do not break my site.
Not testing your backup
Unfortunately, backups do fail from time to time, for various reasons (corrupted data, missing files). You would need to test your backup, if you follow the advice to set up a staging host or you get in contact with ThunderBear Design, you are covered, as you would recover any production databases to the staging environment and that will you if the backup is Ok and working.
Relying on your host entirely for a backup solution
Most hosts provide backups as an add-on service. While this is a convenient option, you shouldn’t solely rely on this backup.
Additionally, you’ll also want to ask your host questions like:
- Does the restore function work smoothly?
- For how long does the host retain a backup version?
- Is it possible to restore files selectively?
- Can I get a copy of my backup files?
- What if a dispute, do I get a copy of my backups?
- What is backed up and how often?
- What happens if the site is hacked?
You may need to make adjustments in your backup practices accordingly.
Not updating the plugin you use for backups
Don’t forget to keep your backup plugins up to date, if they are not the unpredictable issue could occur, just keep them up to date. This is one plugin you always should update.
How long should you store your backups
You don’t need to store every single backup forever – but keep at least a few from various intervals over the past year.
Keeping your site safe isn’t just about backups
These tips will help ensure the backup integrity of your WordPress site data. You need to look at security, keeping your WordPress site safe and secure goes a long way from needing to use the backups you have not created.
Why you need a WordPress Maintenance Service Provider
Running a business takes a lot of time, and some tasks are more important than others. Client prospecting, strategizing, and analyzing your marketing channels will all grow your business and add to your bottom line, and driving revenue to your business.
Have you heard about the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule that states that 20% of your actions will drive 80% of your value? I think there is actually 70/20/10 rules – 20% of your actions will drive 70% of your value and 10% are actions just being ignored. Site maintenance is one of these tasks that often falls into the 10%. If you look at these rules you serve your business best by focusing on the 20% tasks.
All tasks matter, the 70% tasks are no less important than the 20 %, what concerns me is the 10% tasks that are completely ignored, and for me, these were tasks like security, maintenance, and backups.
If you want your business to operate like a well-oiled machine, the 10% tasks matters, and if you do not have time for them, then find yourself a WordPress Maintenance Service company.
I picked ThunderBear Design as my 10% partner, I could afford their Core Plan, at Euro 59/month for 12 months. The way I looked at it was how much time would I need to spend per month on website maintenance versus the opportunity cost in terms of writing content to drive ad revenue and increase my reader base.
The math worked for me, as I can spend the Euro 59/month with ThunderBear Design, who handles the important tasks like site backups, WordPress updates (core, theme, and plugins), if you go with the Professional Plan they even offer small amounts of developer time for quick fixes and secure your site with Cloudflare.
If you do your math, you might actually save far more from your time per month by signing up for one of ThunderBear Design service plans.
If you go down the path of hiring a WordPress Maintenance Service provider you get peace of mind that your website is in good health that what I got from signing up with ThunderBear Design. This frees up my time and focuses on the tasks that add real value to my website that only I can do.
What are your thoughts on WordPress support and maintenance services?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!