Back it up!
When choosing a hosting provider, there are lots of things to consider: Server uptime, hardware and reliability — just to name a few. But one of the most important things to consider is how or if your data is backed up. Sometimes it’s provided out of the box, sometimes it’s not. Taking the proper steps to make sure your data is regularly backed up is vital in the case of a website hack or server malfunction. And as much as we try to secure our websites from attacks, those pesky hackers will ALWAYS find a way in.
Here are some things we do at Fluid to backup our websites and data.
Backing up our codebase is done in two parts. The first part is using a version control system. We use Git to manage code deployments and updates/improvements to our code. Git tracks each change as a commit and allows you to rollback to a previous commit if something goes wrong. However, this isn’t ‘technically’ a back up solution, but it can be used in rare cases.
Another option is using a dedicated ‘snapshot’ plugin. We utilize a plugin called Duplicator for this. Duplicator is the preferred solution to transfer a WordPress site from one server to another, but it can also be used to perform regular backups on your site. You can schedule these ‘snapshots’ to occur daily, weekly, etc. The only caveat is that you’ll want to make sure you have enough disk space, or storage, on your server to handle it, since each snapshot is essentially duplicating ~80% of your sites code and data (it skips a few things that would be unnecessary in the event of a restoration).
Backing up databases is a little trickier than the codebase. We use a service called Ottomatik to facilitate our database backups. Ottomatik requires some technical knowledge to get setup, but after the initial phase, it’s a breeze to download previous database versions or Ottomatik’ly (*wink*) restore your database, from the dashboard of your account. Ottomatik is a premium service, but if you’re in the market for an awesome database backup solution, sign up for an account here!
Going back to the Duplicator plugin: This can also be used to backup your database, however the restoration process isn’t nearly as easy as with Ottomatik. That’s easily what makes the premium price for Ottomatik 100% worth it.
I hope you’ve found some useful information here. Keeping data safe and secure is something we, at Fluid, take super seriously. These are all just suggestions based on things we use, but there are lots of other solutions out there that work in similar ways. At the very least, consider what would happen if your server decided to kick the bucket, right now. Would you be prepared to handle that? If so, I applaud your foresight. If not… well you’d better get on top of it!