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3 WordPress Backup Plugins You Need To Make Sure (And Doubly Sure) You Don’t Lose Your Blog Database

3 WordPress Backup Plugins You Need To Make Sure (And Doubly Sure) You Don’t Lose Your Blog Database

One thing I have never been particularly good about here is reliably backing up everything on this site, and then making backups of the backups to ensure against catastrophe. I mean, sure — I have my webhost run backups every once in a while, but they are not done regularly enough to ensure that I would not lose any information in the event of some kind of malfunction. And even though I’ve always had one method of internal backup in place, a recent post I read reminded me that this might not be enough, given the multitude of unforeseen things that can go wrong with a website. Below I’ve copied the backup and security protocol recommended in Johnny B. Truant’s post, based on his recent experience of nearly losing his entire blog to some kind of malicious file. Remember that these plugins need to be installed for every copy of WordPress that you are using (if you’re using WordPress MU/WordPress 3.0 multi-platform, I’m guessing it only needs to be installed once).

1. The Bei Fen WordPress Backup Plugin — Schedule This To Backup Once Per Week

The Bei Fen WordPress Plugin makes a complete backup of the entire WordPress site, including static pages and images, and uploads it to your site instead of emailing it to you. This is better than having it emailed to you, if only because you don’t want to deal with that kind of file size. The only problem you may run into with this is if you are already close to your disk capacity limits with your webhost: making a backup the size of your entire site, including images, is likely to push you over the limit.

The recommended protocol is to run this plugin once a week, and replace the old backup with the new one on your webhost each time you do it. Another thing pointed out by Johnny in his post was that he had noticed the regular backups he requested from his webhost were being run on Sundays; by running the Bei Fen WordPress Plugin on Wednesdays, he was getting a full backup of his site pretty much every three to four days.

2. The WordPress Database Plugin — Schedule This To Backup Every Day

The WordPress Database Plugin makes a backup of the WordPress database only. This means: it will copy the text of your posts, the addresses of your images, your links, all of your comments, etc., but not the stuff that takes up a ton of space like images or videos. This is the one that you want to have run daily and email updates every single day. The recommended protocol is to set up another email account for this purpose through Gmail and have the updates mailed to that account — that way, you don’t have to deal with looking at it every single day.

3. The WP-Optimize Plugin — Run This Weekly

OK, this plugin does not actually deal with security directly, but what it does is make your site database more efficient so that the other plugins can make backup files that aren’t inordinately large. You have to remember to run this plugin on your own, though, because there aren’t any scheduled options. I scheduled a weekly reminder in Google Reader with a link to where the plugin is on my blog to remind myself about this.

Of course, the above three are not going to keep your site from crashing. There’s really nothing you can do to keep that from happening forever. But if you have all of those protocols in place, you should be in pretty good shape if it ever happens.

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Comments (3)

  1. God, thank you.
    Having been hacked FOUR times in the past 2-3 months, these backups would have been very helpful had I been using them. As it was, I was running database backups manually through my cPanel. When I remembered. Which was maybe monthly. I KNOW.
    Seriously. Thanks.

  2. Sep 6, 2010

    I didn’t realize it was necessary to do backup. I thought my hosting was doing it. Thanks for the warning and the plugin tips.

  3. Dec 9, 2010

    Hey, I tried the Bei Fen plugin on the newest wordpress v. but it gave a php error. The 2nd one I was already using. I didn’t know about the WP-Optimize Plugin. It’s great, thanks for the suggestion! Too bad it can’t schedule the optimisation.

    Another nice backup plugin is WP-DBManager. It requires more configuration but has alot of functionality.

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