Keeping an up-to-date blog backup copy, is one of those things that every one would like to do but are either too lazy to actually do it or have no clear idea of how it can be done. I have read at least a dozen of articles about it, but have never really found anything that would provide an all in one guide. So, I decided to share my method, in other words ‘how do I keep a fresh backup copy of MakeUseOf.com’.
The way I see it, an ideal backup procedure should be simple, heavily automated and provide quick recovery option for almost any problem. Whether you want to restore your blog to an earlier state (eg. undo wordpress update), transfer it to another hosting server, get it back online after it’s been hacked/deleted, or just restore couple of recent posts. So, let’s see what tools we use for MakeUseOf.com
(1) BackUp Posts and Comments
BlogBackUpOnline: Fully automated online service that offers an easy way to store and schedule article backups on a daily basis. Please note, BlogBackUpOnline backups only your blog posts and comments, it doesn’t and can’t back up all plugin-related database data (ex. article views, user ratings etc.). It comes in really handy when you need to quickly export your posts and comments from one blog to another or restore mistakenly deleted article. In a way it’s similar to wordpress export function, but runs automatically. It takes around a minute to set-up and can run without your intervention. More on Blog Backup Online
(2) Backup Blog Database (WordPress Plugins)
There are two excellent wordpress plugins that can perform automatic daily backup of your wordpress database. Depending on your understanding of the database and administration skills you may choose one over the other. Although, I highly recommend using both. The reason behind this is that, if you use both you can have 2 backups for each version, one only with core database tables and one including all extra tables brought by installed plugins.
WordPress Database Backup – simple no-brainer plugin to schedule daily, weekly or monthly database backups. Backups can be emailed to your email or stored on your server.
WP-DB Manager – provides complete database management right from the admin interface. Automatic backups, database restore, optimization, repair, table add/drop options, SQL command line and more. ‘WP-DB Manager’ is more complicated than ‘WordPress Database Backup’ however it provides a much-needed ‘restore from backup’ feature. So if you need an easy restore functionality and have no idea about the tool called phpMyAdmin than definitely stick with WP-DB Manager.
(3) BackUp Blog Files
Next step would be to backup all of your blog files. Sometimes servers crash and data gets lost. Most of the hosting providers maintain an emergency copy but you never know. I already had an incident when couple of my sites were deleted due to a server crash and the hosting company had no backup copy to restore them. Additionally, the whole process of asking your hosting provider to restore data maybe annoying and take up to several days. So, it’s really important that you always keep a fresh copy of your website on a local drive.
I personally use Filezilla for that, it’s not an automated FTP backup tool, but there is no difficulty in copying files manually once per week.
(4) Auto-store copy of your backup files
Finally, as the last line of defense, you may consider keeping a complete copy of all your local backup files (blog files and database backups) on some secure third party servers. This is just in case something terrible happens to your PC. Good news, this can be automated as well, and takes about a couple of minutes. Simply sign-up with one of the remote backup services, i.e. Mozy and download provided “set-it-and-forget-it” desktop client. Install it on your system and point it to the folder with all your backups. Once that’s done, you can relax and forget about it. As long as it runs on the background, it will keep online version up-to-date. Btw, you can also use Mozy to backup your local files, it’s an excellent and highly automated backup tool.
Suggestions? Let us know in comments …
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