Find out how to backup unlimited WordPress sites easily and securely.
Website backups are one of the most effective forms of insurance against data disasters, catastrophic errors, and cyberattacks.
When websites fall victim to a major event like that, it can have long-term consequences. More than half of all small businesses close six months after being hacked. Protecting your web agency is of paramount importance.
But securing a WordPress agency is somewhat different than securing most other types of businesses. Your products are WordPress sites. Your services include installing themes and plugins, but also uploading media files, writing scripts, and designing site layouts.
Every web development contractor should have all of those things securely backed up. But this is easier said than done.
How to Backup WordPress Websites
There are multiple ways to back up your WordPress site. Your WordPress development agency will probably choose from one of these main options:
- Manual Backups
Nothing stops you from manually entering your hosting service, downloading all of your files, and saving them somewhere. You could download your websites to a local device, or keep your files on a secure cloud storage service. This would ensure you have access to all of your files, but it comes with significant downsides.
Manual backups take a lot of time to complete. Restoring from manually downloaded backups also takes a great deal of time. You cannot simply recover all of your websites from a local storage disk at once – you will have to painstakingly restore each website individually. As a result, this method is not recommended.
- Plugin Backups
As with many other things on WordPress, there is a plugin you can use for creating and restoring backups. In fact, there are many, but we use UpDraft Plus. It allows users to backup WordPress sites directly to all of the most popular cloud storage services – DropBox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, and more.
The benefit of this approach is that it works consistently across a huge range of WordPress deployments. It’s great for agencies with portfolios that contain multiple sites with dozens of different plugins and themes. It also includes an automatic scheduler, which means you don’t need to remember to perform backups regularly.
- Backups Through WP Hosting
Many WP-focused hosting services offer built-in disaster recovery and backup solutions to their users. If your agency relies on a host that offers unlimited WordPress support, there is a good chance that it also offers backup and restoration services.
For example, hostings like WP Engine and hosting management platforms like GridPane allow users to revert their websites to a cloud-hosted backup with a single click. The great thing about this approach is that it uses your hosting storage space for backups, rather than forcing you to find and pay for an additional hosting service.
- Online Remote Backups
Platforms like BlogVault and MainWP also include backups as a valuable feature. This option is popular with agencies because it allows them to add all of their websites to a single service and they manage them from that interface.
The useful thing about services like BlogVault is that there is no need to configure other parts of your WordPress development agency processes to accommodate backups. You can do everything as you would normally do, and let the backup service do its job in the background. There is no need to purchase or configure cloud storage space, making it a truly set-and-forget operation.
Which Backup Method is Best?
With four different ways to backup your WordPress website, it’s no surprise every agency has their own preferred method. At UnlimitedWP, we use UpDraft Plus because it allows us to quickly save and restore backups without being an obstacle. We also use BlogVault’s service WP Remote to take backups of 100’s of sites we managed with our WP Care Plans. However, many of the WP Hosting and remote online backup options are just as effective.
In general, we can recommend the following use cases for choosing the right backup method for a WordPress agency:
- If you use a WordPress-oriented host that offers backups, that should be your first choice. You’re already paying for hosting, and backups are part of the feature set that you’re paying for. Making the most of the features they provide you simply makes sense.
- If your host does not provide automatic backups, then you can use online remote backup management platforms. These are easy to implement, but not everyone uses them, and some agencies may not like having their backups separated from the rest of their work.
- If you want to keep all of your WordPress website backups on WordPress, then plugins are your best bet. This means installing the plugin on every website you want to backup, but it also gives you a great deal of control over technical backup configurations for individual websites.