The Ultimate Guide to Creating Automated Website Backups (On the Cheap)

Backups often are one of the least important priority, until, that is, something goes wrong and you need a backup.

I’ve had several situations where my files have been corrupted on my server and I’ve had to restore from a backup. There are plenty of horror stories out there where companies lose weeks or months or years of work when something goes wrong and they  didn’t set up a backup solution.

Trust me, setting up a regular scheduled backup is one of the FIRST things you should do, not the last. Unfortunately, for most people, it’s the last thing they do, if they do it at all.

Setting up automated secure backups of your website data usually costs something, either in time to set up, in money, or both, which is why many website owners don’t want to invest in a good backup solution.

But, trust me, if something goes wrong — and it’s not a matter of if, but WHEN, you will want a backup handy — and a backup that you can easily restore, one that’s recent.

Introduction to Backup Types

Before you look at the backup solutions, you need to have a think about what type of backup you need and how often. This directly will impact how much money you will need to spend (more storage space = more money) and how many computer resources you’ll need to devote to backups (backups may cause a server performance hit).

You can backup an entire SERVER, which is basically a one to one copy of your entire server hard drive or you can back up the website accounts on your server. As most websites are stored as discrete ‘accounts’ on a server, you’ll likely be backing up ‘accounts’ and not the entire server which would include server config files and other files that you never uploaded to the server, but are important for the server management and running (especially if you have a dedicated server or VPS server rather than a shared hosting environment).

Backup Types

As for backup types, there are 4 fundamental types of backups (Full, Incremental, Differential, Mirror).  The other types are really just variations on how much out of the full set of files is backed up.

If you are just backing up through your regular web-host, you likely only have only FULL Backup, Partial Backup, and Database backup. The other backups are variations on the full backup and only offered by specific backup software, custom backup scripts, or services by specialized backup companies.

Full Backup: This is a backup of ALL your website files and is the base backup that all the other backup types utilize. In a full backup, everything is backed up — both database files, static files, and meta information (mail account settings, server config files, etc). This is a standard backup type and is both the most comprehensive type of backup but also the slowest since ALL the files are backed up. ALL web hosts will offer this .

Incremental Backup: backup of ALL changes made since last FULL backup, incremental backup, or differential backup. The advantages are that incremental backups take the least time to perform, but when restoring from an incremental backup, each incremental backup must be processed during the restore process which can be time consuming. However, if your original backup is corrupt, your incremental backup will be corrupt as well.

Differential Backup: a backup of all changes made since the last FULL backup. The advantage is differential backups require the shortest restore times compared to FULL or Incremental types. The disadvantage is the differential backup can grow larger than the original base backup if it’s run multiple times. There is also the risk that if the FULL backup has a corruption, then the incremental backups may contain errors too.

Mirror Backups: a backup that’s the SAME as a full backup, but the files are NOT zipped up. Think of it as just an exact copy of the files as they are. This means it’s faster to create and restore than FULL backups, but you don’t save any space since there is no compression and you can’t password protect the files.

Smart Backup: A type of backup that combines FULL, INCREMENTAL, and DIFFERENTIAL backups in such a way that there will always be enough space to perform a backup as older backups will be deleted to clear space and the best choice of backup type will automatically be chosen.

Partial Backup: This includes SOME of your website files, but not all. What’s covered by a partial backup depends on your server. It usually includes static websites files and database files but not any server config files such as mail accounts and such. This type of backup is usually offered by your web hosting and/or hosting control panels such as CPANEL.

Database Backups: A backup of ONLY your database files. It’s the least comprehensive but it’s also much faster because only the database files are backed up. It’s offered by pretty much every web hosting company.

Backups Storage Types

And we can categorize backups by where they are stored or how they are stored.

Local Backups: Backups kept in the same location as the source, be it same server, same building, or very close by.

Remote Backups: A form of Offsite backup where the backup can managed (backup started, backup restored, etc) directly from the backup source location.

Offsite Backups: Backups stored in a different geographical location than your server. This could include manually backup up data and storing it in a different location, or it could be having a cloud storage and putting your backup files on that, or it could be having a remote backup solution.

FTP Backup: a form of backup where the backup is made using FTP protocol. If the backup made using FTP is made to a location not in the same location, it would be considered Offsite backup. Many Remote Backup solutions offer you the option to use FTP to initial the backup transfer.

Cloud Backup: a backup solution that utilizes cloud storage. The storage is often accessed via login credentials through a website and or FTP protocol.

Remote Backups Solutions You Need

Before we actually get into the nitty gritty of HOW to Setup a remote backup of your server and sites, we first need some remote backup solutions.

For best results, you should have a couple to mix and match. Some of the wordpress backup plugins allow you to use the more popular free cloud storage solutions to automatically back your wordpress sites to.

Google Drive (FREE): You get 20 Gigs free with each gmail account you sign up for. 20 Gigs is enough to do database backups for a number of wordpress sites, and if you don’t have too many pictures and videos on your server, complete backups once in a while. If you are really penny pinching, you can sign up for 4 or 5 different gmail addresses to get 5 or so different Google Drive accounts for a total of 80 or 100 gigs of storage space. It’s a pain to micromanage so many different accounts though.

DropBox (FREE): You get 2 Gigs free which you can extend to around 10 or 15 gigs for free (if you share the link on facebook and such).

One Drive (PAY): This is microsoft’s cloud service. However, I have not seen any of the wordpress plugins supporting it for automated backups. MS sometimes offers promotions where you buy their Office 360 software and you get 1 Terabyte of cloud storage free for 4 years + the office  subscription.

Amazon Storage (PAY): This is very popular pay solution that offers high speed storage solutions. But, you have to pay per month for it.

Cheap VPS/Server Storage (PAY) For best results, I really recommend you look at a dedicated backup server solution in addition to the free cloud storage services mentioned above. There are a ton of these out there you can get. They are basically just online storage that you can access with FTP. You will use this to basically FTP backup files to from your wordpress and or server. I recommend Backupsy (affiliate link), which is the cheapest option I’ve found (you get 250 Gigs of cheap VSP server storage for 6 bucks a month). You can also look at Vultr which specializes in VPS’s which you can also use to store your data for only 3-5 bucks a month. Another VPS solution that you can use as a backup (but also as a webserver as well) is Digital Ocean.

What Easy Backup Solutions For Your Websites Are There?

There are some excellent backup solutions out there that can backup your websites automatically without you having to manually back things up — a requirement if you want a reliable backup solution.

These solutions will backup your website accounts on the server level or if you have wordpress, will backup your wordpress installation and files.

It usually comes down to this: pay for convenience and automation of your backups, or do it yourself for free (or less money).

To save money though, I highly recommend YOU invest the time in setting up a backup solution. Why pay 20 or 30 dollars a month to your hosting or some company to do it for y0u when you can do it for a few dollars a month or for free if you spend a couple hours setting it all up.

Being someone who does research and someone who likes to get the maximum value for the dollar, I did a lot of research on how exactly to implement the cheapest hands-free backup solution over the long term that’s also really secure.

I’ve come up with 3 solutions:

1) Remote Server Backup: You can set up a general server wide backup solution that costs you $6 USD a month. This will cover your server backing up your website accounts to a backup folder on Backupsy.com.

2) Automated WordPress Backups: If you only have wordpress blogs, you can get an automated backup solution for all your wordpress sites that costs $0 (for free solution) to $12 USD (premium solution) a month.

3) Server + WordPress Backup: If you want a double backup solution, you can combine both solutions for $6 to $18 USD a month (recommended)

So this post, I’m going to tell you exactly how I backup all my sites and my server, combining security and affordability.

The Right Way to Backup

A Good backup solution should have the following qualities

  • Backups should be stored in a separate location from your source files
  • Backups should be made regularly and frequently
  • Backups should be retrievable and accessible from anywhere or at any time
  • Backups should be easy to restore
  • Critical data such as databases and crucial web files should be backed up more regularly than non-critical data
  • You should be notified about each backup that’s scheduled, when it’s started and completed

When you do a backup, it should ALWAYS be done on a different server / computer than your web hosting server.

You can easily schedule automatic backups to be done by your server, but these backups are stored on your server. These are called Local Backups. While Local Backups may be convenient and fast (because the backup happens on the server and the data does not need to be transferred via the web to another server), this type of backup is not safe.

You ALWAYS need an Offsite Backup solution to reduce the risk of something going wrong.

If something goes wrong with your server (such as corrupt hard drive or a virus infestation, etc) those local backups will be lost or corrupted and worthless to you.

Hence, you need to backup regularly and put those backups on a different server than the one your website/s are hosted on.

Now, if you have a good hosting company like BlueHost or HostGator, they will often do courtesy LOCAL backups each week of your server or server accounts (I’m assuming you are using reseller hosting in which each website you have is broken up into a discrete ‘account’ where that account itself can be backed up and restored separately to all the other accounts and sites you have on that server). But those backups are (usually) placed on your server as a local backup, which means if your server is corrupted in some way, you lose those backups.

Most good web hosts offer EXTRA paid backup solutions where they will back up your accounts and store it as an Off Site Backup (this is often called a managed backup service).

The costs are quite high though, especially if you have a dedicated server.

For example, my host offers me (I have a dedicated server) a managed backup solution, but this is $40 USD a month for this extra service.

You can do it much cheaper if you set up an automated backup solution yourself. Which is what I’m going to show you guys how to do here, or at least outline some options for you to consider.

How to Plan Your Backup

Before you initiate a backup scheme, you need to think about how safe you want to be, how many different backups you want to take, the available space you have to store your backups on.

How Many Backup Copies Should You Keep Stored?

Short answer: enough that you feel safe.

It’s a good idea to keep older copies of your website files archived just in case you need to restore from an older copy at some point. You do NOT just want to keep one and only one recent backup — what if you need to restore from an earlier point then then your most recent backup?

This has happened to me where I had one website that was hacked with malware installed on my server. I had at various points done both manual and local backups of this site, but these backups were only six months old and the malware infesting my website files were still on the backup files.

Had I had a regular backup process set up where I kept copies of my website, I could have restored from a good copy, but I didn’t and I had to spend over $500 USD to an expert to fix my server and website to remove the infection.

I recommend you keep a FULL copy of your website each month at least website storage space allowing. This means you’ll have 12 full backup copies each year. You want to keep 6 to 12 recent backups at hand to restore from, with each of those backups going back an extended period of time should you need to restore from an older restore point.

Again, my rule of thumb is a full backup each month. After one year, if you need to save space (backing up all your websites each month can really add up space wise), you could for archival purposes just keep 1 or 2 backups each year. However, this is mostly for archival purposes, likely not recovery purposes.

If you don’t have enough space resources to keep a backup each month, you should keep 5-6 recent backups (perhaps every 2 months).

Whatever the case, you don’t want to only keep 1 recent backup copy — this could spell disaster if that backup copy has problems.

How Many Times a Month to Backup?

You’ll have to answer this question at some point.

And the correct answer, as you suspect, is ‘it depends.’

It depends on how safe you want to be, how much storage you have, how fast your server is, how many files you need to back up, how many websites you have, and how much information changes on your websites from day to day.

I suggest you look at backups on a website by website case, rather than as a whole server sort of thing. If you have MORe than one website, it’s likely some websites are updated more often then others and some websites make more money than others. The more productive websites should be, obviously, be backed up more often.

 My Backup Frequency Guide

In general, you should have a FULL backup of each website (database + files) done at least once a month. You should back up your website database at least once a week — MORE if your website has new information each day. As a rule of thumb, back up what you don’t want to lose. For a large website with huge amounts of new information being posted each day, a database backup every hour may be the best solution. For a website that gets a few posts every day, a once a day database backup may suffice. If you have a website that’s not updated very often — once every couple days or more, then once a week should suffice.

The First Level: Automatic Local Server Backups

If you have decent hosting, you should be able to tell your hosting support staff to enable automatic backups of your server/websites. This should be FREE and it should be available. It’s not an ideal backup solution since the backups will be stored to the server hosting your sites, but if you need a quick restore of a site or database of a site, you have a backup or backups available.

For added security, you should manually store backups to external sources such as your own computer hard drive, USB storage keys, cloud storage, etc. We’ll talk about how to do this automatically later in this automatically. But you can and should once in a while make back copies and store them yourself and scatter these backups around different places.

How to Set Up an Automatic Local Backup

If you have reliable hosting from a good company like bluehost or hostgator, you should be able to contact the support staff to set this up for you. Likely, the backups will be put in the root directory of your server or in the directory of your website installations.

Keep in mind, if your server disk drive fails or you have a malware infestation of some sort, you lose your backups. SO you will need to look at an external backup solution for added redundancy.

The Second Level: External WordPress Backups via Backup Plugins

For most of you, this level may be all you need to do if you only have wordpress websites. Though if you have a lot of websites or you are making some decent money, you should have one more layer of redundancy just in case this level fails.

If you only have a few small wordpress sites, you can get by on some free plugins and free cloud storage to setup automated backups.

If you have some larger websites that really burn through bandwidth and require lots of space or a LOT of wordpress sites, then you’ll want to invest in a pay for premium wordpress plugin WITH an external storage solution or some pay cloudstorage.

How to Set Up an Automatic WordPress Backup to External Storage

The easiest way to automatically backup and manage wordpress backups is to use a dedicated wordpress backup plugin that does it for you.

There are a number of these out there such as BackupBuddy and VaultPress.

I’ve tried a few of the major ones and finally just bought what I consider the best one of the bunch because it was so damn easy to use. It’s the solution I recommend for those of you who just want to cut out the hassle and not worry about backing up your wordpress. Restoring a backup takes a couple minutes as well, so recover (something that’s also JUST as important if your site fails and you need to restore) is a couple clicks of the mouse.

Option 1: The Premium Pay Solution (BackupBuddy)

If you are willing to pay for a backup solution for your wordpress sites, I personally recommend you use BackupBuddy which backs up your entire wordpress site and stores on your server or to some remote destination (Google Drive, Dropbox, some remote FTP address your specify, Rackspace, BackupBuddy’s own cloud space, and more).

I highly recommend you just go with BackupBuddy. It may be expensive, but man you get a lot of bang for you buck. I use and abuse BackupBuddy all the time.

BackupBuddy also allows you to choose whether you want to just backup the database or do a full backup. And once you do a backup, you can actually go into your backups and choose to restore specific files rather than just the whole backup. This feature has been useful for me as there have been a few times I’ve messed with the CSS stylesheet and fucked it up. To fix this, I didn’t have to restore an older backup — just go into one of the recent backups (backup buddy has a file manager that opens your old backup files), pick out the individual style sheet from a previous backup it made, and restore just that. There are more features to BackupBuddy, but I won’t cover those there.

BackupBuddy also allows you to clone your site and migrate it to another domain with a couple clicks. And you can also use it to set up a test staging site and link that test site to your live site then push and pull any changes between the two sites. This is powerful!

You can use BackupBuddy on unlimited sites if you get the right subscription. The cheapest plan is $80 USD a year (under $7 USD a year), but it only covers 2 sites. Most of you will likely want the unlimited sites for $150 USD (about $12 USD a month). They do have a lifetime membership for about $300 if you don’t want to keep paying every month (I opted for this as it’s the cheapest in the long run)

If you have wordpress sites and can spring the costs, just go with BackupBuddy and be done with it. It’s painless to backup your wordpress blogs, and you can backup to many different storage locations at the same time for more redundancy.

Option 2: The Free Solution (UpDraft)

Now, if you don’t want to pay money, there are some free solutions. One of the best free wordpress backup plugins is UpDraft, which has a free version and premium version. I’ve used this before I switched over to BackupBuddy.

Now I don’t like the interface because it’s confusing as fuck, but it is free. The premium version has more backup options available, but the interface is clunky for both versions. Still, you can use the free version which will do a basic wordpress database and or file backup whenever you want. If you don’t have the money to get BackupBuddy, go with this option.

With either the free or paid solutions, you will have to install the plugin on the wordpress site you want to backup, and configure it to send the backup to a REMOTE location — either your own remote storage server OR a cloudstorage offering. You don’t just want to back up and save to the server you are hosting your site on — this is a dangerous backup solution and should be avoided. You will need to set up your backup plugin on ALL your wordpress sites you want to create automatic backups for.

Again, you’ll also need to set up a remote backup solution to backup to, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or another server that allows FTP (like Backupsy, explained below).

How to Use BackupBuddy to Automate Your WordPress Backups to External Locations

Ok, let’s get to the part where you actually back your shit up OFF SITE (i.e. a non local backup).

This is the ‘Second Level’ of backup and it’s something you need to do.

DO NOT rely on the First Level (local backups) to save your sites from catastrohpe.

At the very least, you need to store backups of your wordpress (or non-wordpress) sites to some location that’s NOT your local server. This could be on another different server somewhere or some cloud storage location.

I’m going to tell you how to do this with BackupBuddy, which is the easiest solution.

I recommend this as your BackupBuddy workflow.

  1. Do a daily database backup for your most active sites or for your sites that don’t get updated daily, once a week database backup.
  2. Additionally, do a FULL wordpress backup for a minimum of every two weeks. You want to keep a number of both database and full wordpress backups available so you can restore from should recent backups be corrupted or have an issue (say a hack in your files). I recommend you keep 6 or 7 recent full backups that are a month or more between each of them — this allows you to reach back six months to a year if needed. The MORE full backups (and the more websites you have to backup), the more you may find the free cloud storage solutions are not enough space. BackupBuddy allows you to store your backups to Google Drive, Dropbox, Rackspace, Stash (BackupBuddy gives you 1 free gigabyte of their own remote storage) and an remote FTP location. You can store the database backups to their Stash, Google Drive, Dropbox or your own remote backup server via FTP.
  3. For FULL wordpress backups, you’ll probably want to use Google Drive since you have 15 or so gigs of that for free. This may sound like a lot, but a decent sized wordpress full backup can be anywhere from a gig to several gigs if you have videos and a lot of pictures. IF you have more than one website, you can see how you will run out of space. This is WHY I recommend you have a cheap remote storage server to stash backups, such as my recommended Backupsy which gives you at least 250 gigs. This way, you can easily store your full backups to both a cloud storage and your remote storage without worry of running out of space and for additional redundancy.

Recommended BackupBuddy Backup Workflow

For every single one of your wordpress sites, I recommend the following backup workflow. This basically saves you daily database backups and full backups once or twice a month to your FREE cloud storage and optionally your remote VPS

  • Daily WordPress Database backup stored to Google Drive (or Dropbox) (Done 2 AM everyday)
  • Weekly WordPress Database backup stored to Remote FTP server (in my case, a folder on my Backupsy server) (Done Saturday 2 am)
  • Once a Month Full WordPress Backup stored to Google Drive or Dropbox (Done end of month Saturday 4 AM)
  • Once a Month Full WordPress Backup stored to Remote FTP server (Done end of month at Saturday 2 AM)

The Third Level: Server Backup to Remote Storage

If you do First Level and Second level of backups, you are doing more than most people and should you have a problem, you’ll be good to go if something bad happens.

But, if you are making money online or your online stuff  is critical (not some casual hobby), it’s best to back things up even further.

Note that for the Second Level (wordpress backup plugin storing your wordpress site to remote storage), you are going to probably need a decent amount of space — more space than is offered from free sources, especially if you’ve got lot of websites, a very big website, or you want to maintain a full backup each month + weekly and daily backups. You may find the 2 Gigs of free dropbox space lacking, or the 15 gigs of Google Drive space not enough. In this case, you will need some sort of extra server storage NOT in the same location as your own server. You can get another web host or remote storage server that has at least 250 gigs of storage (recommended). I recommend Backupsy, which you can get for $6 bucks a month for 250 gigs and back all your stuff up here in addition to the free cloud storage. IF you want to pay 2 bucks more, you can even use it as a VPS server and host a website on it (not recommended though if you want it just as a secure backup solution).

However, for maximum safety, I recommend one more layer which is to rent a remote backup storage server and automatically stash all your scheduled backup files there, especially the FULL Backups each month for each website you have.

It’s not that much effort and in case shit really hits the fan, you will have your ass covered. If you are making a full time income from one website or multiple websites, you should invest the time doing this backup. And with the cost of a few bucks a month for the storage solution, why the hell not?

How to Automated Server Backups to External Storage

If you want an additional layer of redundancy on top of your wordpress backups, consider backing up your server (or your website accounts on your server) to an external backup server. That backup server could be be any sort of remote storage solution, such as a cheap VPS server where you can (automatically) transfer your server backups to once they are made on a regular basis.

Save Time, Get Backupsy

You can find on your own backup server solution or you can just save the time and go with my recommendation: Backupsy.com.

I’ve done a lot of research on a cheap, reliable and EASY backup solution. Backupsy is all three. And it’s cheap.

I keep recommending this (the links are affiliate ones as a disclaimer) because I use this myself — I’m not just recommending a service here out of the blue. I do it and it’s cheap and effective.

The cheapest plan is 6 USD for 250 gigabytes a month (there’s a 40 percent off coupon on their site). If you have only wordpress sites, 250 gigabytes is enough for a full backup once or twice a month for dozens of small to medium wordpress sites. I use this to backup my wordpress sites AND my static, non-wordpress sites. Since I have some static websites, I can’t just use BackupBuddy so Backupsy allows me to backup my static custom websites AND my wordpress, which adds more redundancy.

How to Setup a Backup to Your Remote Storage Server

However, to set up Backupsy to backup your site/s, you will need to set things up with your server so backups are made at the server level and then transferred via FTP to your backup server to be stored. You can pay the guys a $25 fee and the Backupsy guys will set it all up for you if you don’t want to fiddle with the details. But I recommend you do so you learn how to do it — it’s a good thing to know.

This may be a bit scary if you are not tech savy, but it’s really pretty easy to do.

Most web hosting services have built-in backup solutions where you can schedule an automatic backup of your website accounts (once a week, bi weekly, bi monthly, one a month etc).

The default backup usually goes onto your server, however, you should be able to change it so the backup is also FTP’ed to a remote server somewhere else, which is what you will be doing in this case.

That ‘other remote server’ will be your Backupsy ftp address (or the ftp address of whatever other external server you have available).

SO you are essentially doing a backup of each of your hosting accounts (I’m assuming you are using something like a Cpanel Reseller account  where you have multiple websites you can add as an account. Most good web hosting solutions such as hostgator offer this type of hosting setup) to your server, then when the backup is completed, the server will automatically FTP that account backup file to your remote FTP.

If you have a MANAGED hosting account (meaning, the support staff at your hosting company can set things up for you), you will need to configure your server to automatically do a backup of each of your accounts (CPANEL accounts, if you use CPANEL) and FTP it into a remote directly.

If you sign up for Backupsy, you are given what’s essentially your own VPS with an FTP login information. You will use this ftp login info with your hosting backup.

You may have to contact your hosting support staff to set this up, but if you do, this is the CHEAPEST backup solution out there, once that backs up your stuff to a dedicated remote server.

If you need to restore from an old backup, you simply go to the folder you created on your Backupsy account (you can access this directly from the FTP information they send you when you sign up), retrieve your backup file and copy that back over to your web hosting and restore from that.

Basic Steps to Make Website Backups to Your Remote Backup Server

  1. Have a remote backup server ready with FTP login information ready. You can sign up with Backupsy right away for 6 bucks a month and get that FTP info right away. Or you can find your own solution. The main thing is you NEED a backup storage solution with FTP access that’s large (I recommend 250 or more gigs since this will be hosting all your backup stuff for years to come).
  2. Set up an automated FULL Backup on your web host to be done once a month (or however many times you want per month or week. I suggest minimum once a month). If you use something like Cpanel, there’s should be an option where you can set up regular FULL backups to be stored on your root directory. Note, if you have managed hosting, you should be able to open a support ticket with your hosting tech support and tell them to set up regular monthly full backups.
  3. Set your server backups to ALSO transfer to your remote backup server with the FTP credentials. Cpanel should have an option where you can put in a REMOTE FTP to store your backups to. If you can’t find it, you will have to contact your tech support and give them the remote ftp you want to store your local full backups to and tell them to set it up so the backups are sent to that address. Note, I highly recommend you test this to make sure it’s all working properly.

You will need to consider the best time to schedule your server website backups. I recommend early saturday morning as the best time (1 or 2 am), since your server will need to create the backups of your website then transfer it over FTP. This is both resource intensive and bandwidth intensive and you don’t want this to affect your server performance. SO it’s best to choose the time that’s least active for your server and websites.

What to Backup On Your Remote Storage?

And finally, a word about what sort of backup you should store on your remote storage server.

I recommend you store a once a month FULL BACKUP for each website you own on your Backupsy (or other remote storage server that you have). On my server, I have each website account set up on the server (I have Nodeworx as my hosting software, but many of you will have Cpanel which does this too) to automatically do a FULL backup once a month. The created backup is then automatically transferred via FTP to my Backupsy server.

This takes care of my FULL backups for each site, which is as I stated, something you want to do each month.

I set up my hosting server to only keep a couple local full backup copies and to delete the rest since they are also being stored on my remote Backupsy server.

At the wordpress backup level via my BackupBuddy plugin for each site, I do a database backups twice a week (for my more active sites, once a day). These are also stored on my Backupsy remote server IN addition to the free cloud storage solutions like Google Drive and Dropbox via my backup buddy plugin.

This way, I have my Full Backup stored to my Backupsy once a month and my daily or bi weekly database backups with the Backup Buddy plugin also stored to my remote server too.

The Final Word

I’ve walked you through exactly the best backup process for ensuring your websites remain fully functional, even should a catastrophe occur.

Trust me, there are some real horror stories out there when it comes to not having a backup. Dont just trust your web host not to accidently delete your files, or have some sort of drive failure. It can and it does happen.

In my own case, I had a hack on one of my sites that costed me 500 USD to fix. This would not have been the issue if I had a backup workflow, which I did not at the time.

These steps, should you do them, should protect you from server hard drive fails, hacking, malware infestations, or just you accidently deleting a file on your website directory.

If you can’t afford the cheap VPS storage solution, then at the very least go with my Level 1 (automatic local; server backups) and Level 2 backup solutions, using your server local backups and using the free wordpress Updraft to back your wordpress sites onto free cloud storage like Google Drive and Dropbox. Or if you don’t mind spending some money for an even better plugin, then buy BackupBuddy — it’s s worth it for a lot of reasons (see my review).

Finally, if you don’t mind throwing down the cash every month, you can look at a completely automated backup solution where the service will take full backups of your WordPress (or non-wordpress site) at the server level, for a completely hands off, non technical solution, with CodeGuard.

However, as long as you have a cheap VPS with an automated server backup FTP’ing your site backups to the VPS storage AND an automated wordpress backup plugin solution, you should be fine.

There’s really no excuse why you shouldn’t create a backup workflow — it can save your business.

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