Do You Need to Backup Your Website? Here are the Pros & Cons!
What are the Pros & Cons of Taking Website Backups?
WordPress Website Backups – Advantages & Limitations
Your website is the face of your business and you should have your game face on at all times! Unfortunately, in today’s online environment, it has become an absolute necessity. With data threats, malicious hackers, and the latest malware lurking at every corner, it doesn’t take much to bring down your site.
While WordPress is the most preferred CMS across the world, it also is the most hacked one. In a popular analysis of 8,000 hacked sites, WordPress accounted for more than 70% of them.
What Could Go Wrong on My WordPress Website?
Images like this one can be pretty devastating for any website owner and can cause panic. Website failure is very common and can be caused by a wide variety of reasons, including:
Most websites are managed by web developers and designers who are afterall, human, and can make mistakes.
For example, improper page configuration can lead to the dreaded “404 Error” on the home page. When this happens, your first reaction is to restore your website in quick time rather than investigate the root cause of the problem.
Similarly, a small error in the website code written by a website developer can cause a major malfunction of the whole website.
Improper WordPress Updates
Hosting a WordPress website necessitates regularly updating its components, including the core, themes and plugins to their latest version. Sometimes, an improper manual update of your WordPress components can cause compatibility issues resulting in the breaking of your website.
A Hacked Website
Today, no website – small or big, is safe from computer hackers or malware threats. Hackers are constantly coming up with innovative ways to hack and steal your website data or damage it. A successful hack can seriously compromise your website and make it non-functional for days, even weeks! Moreover, it can modify and even cut off access to the site for visitors. This could ruin your reputation and also increase your bounce rate.
Now that we’ve seen how vulnerable every website on the internet is, what can we do to stay prepared? The simplest solution to all these troubles is to have a reliable website backup.
Simply put, backing up is the process of creating and maintaining an extra copy of your valuable data in a safe and secure location. Why? So that in the event of any website crash or data loss, you can quickly restore your latest backup copy and bring your website back to “business as usual.”
How do You Implement a Complete Website Backup?
Now the question arises, how can you take a backup? And where can you store all the backup files?
Website backups can either be a manual or an automated process. Manual backups are often problematic due to lengthy processes which need technical knowledge to execute. On the other hand, automated backups using WordPress backup plugins are a far better option because of its ease of convenience.
Backups are undoubtedly a great safety net for your website, but comes with its own challenges. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons that you must be aware of.
WordPress Backups – The Pros
Here are some of the major advantages of employing website backups:
It can keep your website safe from human errors.
With the availability of website backups, you don’t have to worry about making common mistakes that could cause your website to crash. Even in case of a crash, you can always restore the latest backup version. You can also safely update or make changes in your website code without worrying about the consequences of any errors. At any stage, you are protected by the available backups.
You can reverse or roll back to an older WordPress plugin/theme version.
All WordPress users are recommended to update to the latest WordPress version (example, version 5.2) along with keeping all installed plugins/themes updated as well.
Regular updates can improve the overall functionality of your WordPress website. All updates released by WordPress include security patches that treat vulnerabilities or software bugs found in the previous versions.
However, updates, if not done correctly, can also potentially harm your website functioning which could result in data loss. To avoid this, WordPress experts recommend taking a backup of your website data before making any updates. In case any issue arises after applying the updates, you can quickly reverse or roll back to a previous version, thus preventing any major inconvenience.
You can restore a Compromised Website.
Due to the prevalence of malware and other online threats, WordPress users are often recommended to periodically run scans on their websites which check for malware infections. However, even after such security measures, any website can still be hacked, and you could end up losing all your website data.
A compromised or non-functional website can seriously damage your online reputation, reduce your website traffic, and even get your site blacklisted by Google. These repercussions can be avoided by quickly restoring your website from the available backup data.
Avoid any Website Migration-related issues.
As a WordPress website owner, you may decide to migrate your entire website to a different web host provider or web domain. During this process, you can face a variety of problems such as long downtime of your website, or missing website files. However, taking a website backup before the migration process can mitigate many of these issues. Further, taking a website backup even allows you to restore your website data if you happen to lose them.
You can Test any Website Changes on a Staging Site
As a website owner, you are often tempted to try out new things or make changes on your website. But, don’t do so as you don’t want it to impact your live website nor your website data. As website backups are a copy or a duplicate of your live website, you can now safely test out any changes/ updates on the backup data without causing any impact on your live website. To do this, you can use a staging environment that is a duplicate copy of your live website.
- Backup plugins like BlogVault come with an in-built website staging feature that lets you perform a variety of such changes without any adverse impact on your live website.
Now that we’ve looked at the advantages of backups, let’s look at why people still hesitate to take backups, or their perceived disadvantages. We’ll also look at our recommended solutions to overcome these challenges.
Website Backups – Cons or Disadvantages
Here are some of the common cons or disadvantages of website backups:
It can be a long and complicated process.
This is especially true if you opt for manual backups of your website data. Each of the steps require technical knowledge along with troubleshooting skills (particularly if there is any failure). Additionally, if you are running an E-commerce website that goes through daily modifications, backups can be a very cumbersome process to execute regularly.
Our solution: Instead of manual backups, choose to automate the process using backup plugins. These are easy to install and use, and do not require much technical knowledge.
Additional manpower and effort
Users with “admin” rights perform most of the website management tasks such as applying updates, managing users and even taking a backup. Taking regular backups can add to the long list of tasks that they have to perform.
Our solution: Backups tools are designed to automate this entire process. Your backups can be scheduled to be executed automatically at fixed intervals (for example, daily, weekly, or even hourly). This does not require the intervention of any WordPress admin user or any other technical expert.
It can overload your local server.
As regular backups are a very server-intensive, it can over-utilize your limited web server resources. Especially if you have a large website with loads of generated data, this can in turn, slow down your web server and reduce its available bandwidth for other website-related tasks.
Our solution: Use a backup tool like BlogVault that executes website backups on its dedicated servers. This eliminates any backup-related load on the client’s web server, thus keeping it optimized for other tasks.
It can utilize your available storage space.
Storing a backup of all your website data on the available storage of your web server can consume your free space, especially if you have a website with over 300GB of data.
Our solution: Opt for backups tools that store backup data on independent or cloud-based storage spaces that do not impact your local storage.
With that, we’ve seen why regular website backups are so critical for the smooth functioning of WordPress websites. Despite many limitations, the worst possible mistake that any WordPress website owner can make is to not take a backup at all.
The availability and increasing popularity of backup tools for WordPress is a clear indication of online businesses taking website backups seriously. It has become an integral part of managing a website and ensuring no loss of data.