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when's the last time you backed up your website?

if you aren't using WordPress, check with your host or your CMS to see what your backup options are + run with it, please. if you are on WordPress, i have 3 backup options for you — one is completely free!

option #1 - free plugin backup

if you are looking for a free option to get your site backed up, look no further than BackWPUp. i've been using this plugin more often because it's what my hosting company likes for site migrations AND because it's free for clients that didn't budget for another plugin.

once you've installed the plugin, click “add new job” to set it up. there numerous settings to choose from, but here are the basics to create a backup that you can use to clone your site, if you need to. (or check out this screenshot if that's easier.)

  • database backup
  • file backup
  • backup to folder

once you run your backup + download it, you'll only need to migrate the wp-content folder + any webfont folders you may have. you'll also get a .sql file that you can use to upload to an existing or new database. (this video tutorial covers those steps.) but again, that's only if you need to use your backup to restore. otherwise simply download the file for safe keeping + move on to your next task.

if you want to be more secure, set this plugin to run on a schedule by clicking the “schedule” tab + adjusting your settings. i always recommend backing up a site as often as you make changes to the blog posts or pages, so that might be daily, weekly or monthly.

this plugin is great, but it does require some nerd powers to use because you'll need to upload the sql file + overwrite the wp-content folder on any WordPress install that you set up. but it is free, so there's a bit of give + take.

option #2 - paid plugin backup

if the notes above felt too nerdy for you, this option is perfect! i've been using BackupBuddy for years + love how user-friendly it is for clients to take over once we launch a site. after you purchase a copy (aff link) + install it on your site, head to BackupBuddy > Settings first.

  • enter your email address for the error notification recipients 
  • limit the total number of local backups to 12 or so
  • check the “all tables” radio button to ensure you backup your entire database
  • click “Save General Settings"

then you're all set to backup your site. start by going to BackupBuddy > Backup + click “Database Only”. Let it run + then go to the same area to click “Complete Backup” after the database backup is complete.

to set up schedules, go to BackupBuddy > Schedules + create at least a database backup to run as often as you blog. you could set up a full backup too + would be safe setting that to weekly or monthly.

bonus points if you want to have your backups sent to a remote destination! if you purchase your own copy of BackupBuddy, you'll automatically get 1GB of storage from iThemes that you can connect to. otherwise you can use an AmazonS3 account or similar to send your backups away from your server for safe keeping. (this article covers remote destination setup.)

option #3 - daily hosting account backups

if the thought of one more plugin has you going cross-eyed, i get it. you can most likely turn to your hosting company for help with backups. some will charge you an additional fee + others have it built into the monthly price.

for example, WP Engine + Flywheel (aff link) offer daily site backups automatically. you do not have to do a thing for this to be running behind the scenes — which is awesome! otherwise check your hosting company's site or call their support team to find out what your backup options are.

now go back that shit up!


you're getting this email because you signed up to receive an email or two a month to help step up your WordPress security, nerdiness + skills from me, Alison Monday. i've been developing WordPress websites since late 2007 + am the site designer, developer + support system behind tiny blue orange.

i love working with entrepreneurs who love a little zest in their online brand!
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