You’ve launched your blog and things couldn’t be going better. You and your team are creating great content. Everyday, new subscribers are signing on, and it’s becoming clear that blogging is having a positive impact on business growth. You’ve even started to tinker with site analytics and exploring new plugins. Things just keep getting better every day.
So, what if something goes wrong? What if you lose important data or cannot access your account information? Well, the good news is that WordPress developers are on top of things. There are many options available to you when it comes to preventing disaster and getting yourself back up and running should something bad happen. Keep reading to learn the steps you can take to create a backup plan for your WordPress Blog.
First a Word of Warning
No matter how strong your blog platform is, and WordPress is amazing, any type of data loss or corruption should be taken very seriously. This is especially true if it involves your company information or customer data. Whatever tools and methodologies you pick for your disaster recovery plan, you should have steps in place that involve notifying authorities and customers if personal or financial data is at risk.
Defining The Disaster And Backup Recovery Plan
This is simply the steps and strategies that you put into place should there be any issues with your blog’s security and account information, stored data, or your ability to remain live. It should cover every imaginable contingency. It should also be a living document that is updated as your situation changes. Mostly, your DR plan should be about prevention. Because the best plan is one that you never have to implement.
Things to Consider Before You Get Started
What would be your biggest concerns in the face of a disaster? If you take orders through your site or operate your 24 hour customer service center via your WordPress, then downtime would likely be a big concern. Data loss is obviously a big consideration no matter what. However, if your blog is separate from your website, downtime will be less of a concern (but still a concern) than data protection. If you read website reviews you have probably noticed that the best websites ratings are for sites with little to no downtime.
Elements of Your Backup And Data Recovery Plan
To put it simply, you’re going to need some tools. You will need security tools in place to create backups, protect the integrity of the data on those backups, and then restore them to production if need be. In addition to this, you’ll want to make decisions about where you will store the data that you backup, and how long you are going to keep it. Length of time usually depends on the transactional nature of your data along with any regulations. Sometimes you’ll need to recreate a snapshot in time.
Many bloggers opt for a cloud storage option. However, there are some who do not trust the security of cloud solutions, and use their own servers.
Using a Checklist to Keep Things Simple
One important first step in having a reliable backup and recovery strategy is simply knowing everything that there is to know about your site. For one thing, you should have some sort of a table or document listing all of the plugins that you are using.
Then, as part of the monthly tasks on your checklist, you should make it a point to verify each plugin that you have. You’ll want to check to see if you:
- Still use the plugin
- Have had any issues with the plugin
- Need to download any updates
- Should get rid of the plugin due to known issues
If you do eliminate a plugin, you should document the date is was deleted and why.
In addition to this, WordPress generates a lot of log information. Keep track of these weekly and make note of any oddities. Most things turn out to be nothing, but the more information you have the better off you will be if something goes wrong.
Remember that your customers are your first line of site. If a follower reports some weird behavior, check it out, and document it. In fact rereading customer feedback should be a regularly scheduled activity.
Finally, you will want to create regular backups of your images, blog posts, videos, and other intellectual property. Don’t risk losing this data if your WordPress site crashes and burns.
Ultimately, you will wind up with a document that you can use as a checklist.
Keeping Out The Hackers
If you’ve selected WordPress as your blogging or website platform, you are aware of all of its great features. Now it’s time to look at the downside. WordPress is the single most popular CMS. It is free. Because of its open source nature, anybody can create plugins and otherwise customize it.
In other words, there’s a lot of data stored on WordPress sites and a lot of potential vulnerabilities. This means there are hackers working 24/7 to get into WordPress sites. You cannot stop the effort, but you can protect your site.
This starts with a truly strong password that you change regularly. You will also want to monitor for potential breaches, and use access control. This multi-layered security should serve to stymie the efforts of most hackers.
Creating a backup and recovery plan is no easy feat. However, if you rely on your blog to help keep your business afloat and your customers engaged, failing to plan for disaster can have major consequences.