Debunk 10 Myths About WordPress Backups

Backing up your WordPress installation is something you should not take lightly. However, not everyone pays enough attention to it. Unfortunately, some individuals have fallen for the common backup myths surrounding WordPress and have relied on false information, endangering their websites in the process.

Here we will try to dispel the most common myths surrounding WordPress backups.

It is critical for everyone to be able to backup and restore his/her website when the need arises. Do you remember how much time and effort you invested in developing your website? Why not try to protect it then? Let us attempt to debunk the myths around WordPress backups:

1. “WordPress creates an automatic backup of my website.”

That is quite not so. WordPress doesn’t has the functionality to automatically backup your site’s data. It doesn’t come out-of-the-box.

It does, however, has an export feature that allows you to export an XML file that has your pages, posts, custom fields, comments, tags and categories. However, it is not an automatic feature and you have to do the task yourself. Besides, it doesn’t come with any kind of restore for you and it doesn’t grant you everything you would require to completely backup and restore your website.

2. “A backup of the website’s database is good enough.”

No, it isn’t. A backup of the database, irrespective of whether it is a complete backup or a simple WordPress export from the dashboard, only contains the content of your website. You will have secured the posts and pages on your website, but nothing more.

The process will not backup your media, design, plugins, settings, themes, or the customizations of your website. It will simply preserve your content, but you will require a lot more to ensure you can safely “resurrect” your website. A complete backup of your WordPress website will include everything mentioned above.

3. “I’m sure my webhosting provider will restore my site for me.”

It could be the case. Many hosting providers will offer to backup your website, but you wouldn’t want to rely solely on them to bring your website back online. While it is helpful to rely on their support, they are not a backup solution on which you can count on 100%.

You are not really in control of how your hosting provider maintains your backups. How you access such backups is entirely up to them. Do you ask yourself in what way you can restore such a backup? What if it is the case that you need such a backup after having problems with your hosting provider? Such a problem could have affected the backup you were relying on. It could even be the case that they are quite too busy with problems of their own and have no time to examine your website. What would you do then?

A backup on your host is a good last ditch resort. However, you should not rely on it as the only backup your WordPress website needs.

4. “I will not need a backup ever!”

These are common words people say just before a disaster strikes them. You tend to believe you will never need a backup until your entire website goes down for a variety of reasons. Then you learn that you should always be prepared.

5. “I’m not as clumsy and stupid as I need to be to break my website.”

Such an arrogance can often be your downfall. Even if we assume you are a person with technical background who will not kill his only WordPress site, it does not matter. Someone else could bring your website down, an update could go wrong, or a problem could be the work of a hacker. You need to ensure that your website is protected not only from your own mistakes but also from the interference of others.

6. “Hackers care little about my website.”

It doesn’t really matter how unnoticeable your website is. Hackers will always try to tamper with it one way or another, and they may be trying even now.

If you still don’t believe me. Give the free iThemes Security plugin a try. Install it and begin to observe the logs. Hackers will try to log into your website by means of cracked and stolen passwords, and robots will hunt for malicious code.

The reality is much more sober than you might think.

7. “I already made a backup and I will be ok.”

An interesting claim. And how old is the backup in question? How much has the content on your website changed since you first made it? Since you are regularly updating your website, you need backups on regular basis.

You need to ensure your backups are automatic and consistently scheduled. It is not difficult for the last backup you made last month to become the backup of your last year. What would you do then?

8. “Backing up a website is a complex and hard task. I’m better off without it.”

Do you really believe so? You definitely haven’t given the WordPress backup plugins a try. Most of them are automatic and offer schedules for your backups. You can be safe and secure with your website in minutes.

You should check your backups periodically and ensure that everything is in order. After all, backing up with WordPress isn’t that hard.

9. “A single backup of my website locally is enough.”

Not quite so. Using a single location for backing up your website is never enough. When you put all your eggs into a single basket, you are only waiting for a disaster to strike.

If you use your computer for a storage location for your backup, it could get stolen, crash, or be affected by natural disasters.

Your best choice is to have a number of both local and off-site locations for backup. WordPress plugins often offer such an option.

10. “You only need a backup in case of catastrophic failures.”

It may be the case you believe you will never allow your website to experience such failures or that you’re lucky enough for such problems to concern you. Even if it is so, a complete WP backup could be very helpful in your everyday chores when:

  • You delete an image accidentally. Single files can be easily restored.
  • The restore feature of many WP plugins allows for an easy transfer of an entire website. Website developers often use such plugins to create websites in their local development environment before these are uploaded on a live host.
  • Certain plugins can scan for malware and even perform repairs to your database. Often it is more than backing up.

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