Second posting in this series.
The beauty of WordPress is that it isn’t just an easy tool for setting up a site, it is also a platform that is designed for expansion. Some website builders are simple to use and others are powerful, but with WordPress you get the best of both worlds. One clear example of this is their vast Plugin directory. Each one of these third party tools can have a big impact on the way your site works and if you aren’t using some you are missing out.
We are going to look at one particular type of login that every WordPress user should look into, the backup tool. These programs are designed to save a backup copy of your website data for safe keeping. This is important because if your data is deleted accidently or damaged maliciously then you may lose out on everything you’ve built.
The large number of plugins available for WordPress means you’ll pretty much always have choices. That’s why this article will look at three of the most popular backup plugins, BackUpWordPress, Backup Buddy and BackWPup
We’ll start with a plugin that can do what everyone needs at a price everyone can afford, absolutely free. BackUpWordPress was designed for simplicity in mind, it’s easy to install and a breeze to use so you should be able to use it even if you’ve never touched a plugin before.
Even people who could easily backup their site on their own use plugins like BackUpWordPress for one main feature, it will backup your site on your schedule. You can set it to save a copy of your database or entire website anywhere from daily to monthly. When this plugin is set up correctly you can rest assured that your site is getting regularly backed up on your schedule, without you having to do a thing.
While the data is automatically saved on your server you can also have it sent other places, like another server or a data storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive. One nice extra offered by this tool is the ability to have your backups emailed to your inbox, which is very handy if your site isn’t too complex.
There are so many WordPress plugins that are completely free that you might never give premium plugins a second look. This is understandable but there are times when it’s worth paying for the right tool. That’s what many Backup Buddy users have found.
To start out with BackupBuddy offers many of the same things that other plugins do, simplified backup, a scheduling tool, and so on. They earn their money with their professional design and additional tools. They even give you 1 gigabyte of hosting to store your backups on, more than enough for the average site.
Another thing BackupBuddy has to offer is that it isn’t just for backing up your site, it’s also for moving your site. Changing your URL or server can be a complicated process but BackupBuddy has a range of tools to automate and simplify the process.
If you aren’t too serious about your site or if you like to work on the technical side of things than a tool like BackupBuddy might not be worth the price but if you care about your data and you can afford it then it’s a great investment.
The next plugin we’ll look at can be considered a compromise between free and premium plugins because there is a free version available but if you want more later you can pay for an upgraded version.
The other thing that sets BackWPup apart is the complexity of the options. It allows you to create and name different jobs so that you can schedule different types of backups. That way you can have certain files backed up daily or weekly while more comprehensive backups can be done on a monthly or yearly basis. This allows you to strike a nice balance between saving regularly and avoiding an overly large collection of files.
As you might notice there is a decent amount of overlap between the three options. They’re all designed to do roughly the same job but the difference is in the details. Check them out for yourself and see which are best suited for your needs. Some prefer more complex options while others are just looking for simplicity and ease of use.
Keeping Your Site Safe
While you don’t need to have a plugin to backup your website data, having the right tool makes the job much easier. As a platform WordPress is powerful enough that you can do just about anything manually but that isn’t always the best move. Free and low cost plugins can achieve things that would take you a serious commitment in terms of labor of money to achieve yourself.
Still, while plugins can simplify backing up your data and other tasks you can’t use them blindly. Take the time to make sure you choose the right tool for the job and check to make sure it’s working properly from time to time rather than just assuming.
Even with the time it takes to check up on your site from time to time an automated backup process can mean big savings in terms of time and money. You’ve worked hard to build up your site, don’t let it all disappear because you forgot to save a copy somewhere.
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