Today itâ€™s time for another edition of this small series of mine. I know that WordPress plugins are a topic widely discussed around the internet, and that there are myriads of posts on â€œtop 10 plugins for thisâ€ and â€œtop 10 themes for that.â€
However, this series is not about showing you the next fancy thing â€¦ itâ€™s about showing you something truly worth installing. The fact is, you canâ€™t install every plugin out there, and hope that your blog will still be working just fine. Unfortunately, plugins slow things down. The more you have the slower your site gets. Thatâ€™s why I always advise to use ONLY the essential ones.
What does it all have to do with online business? â€“ Asks you. Well, if your site is running on WordPress, like Iâ€™ve been advising since forever, then this series is surely something you should keep an eye on. The plugins Iâ€™m presenting might come handy to all kinds of blogs, but they are especially handy to online business designers.
To be honest, today weâ€™re going to discuss a very important matter for ANYONE who has a website. Yes, itâ€™s that important.
The topic is backing up your site.
Thereâ€™s nothing more angering than sitting in front of your computer knowing that you have just lost all of your data due to a hard disk malfunction. Trust me, I know.
Same thing goes for our websites. If, for whatever reason, we lose the data (posts, pages, all information) published on our sites then in some extreme cases it can even mean the end of our business. Think about it like if you were a bakery owner and the building you were renting would burn downâ€¦
Of course, we canâ€™t truly protect ourselves against those kinds of things. But we can get some insurance. Such an insurance â€“ in the online world â€“ is a good backup policy.
WordPress users have it easy. They can download a plugin called Online Backup for WordPress free of charge.
This is a plugin Iâ€™ve been using for a while, and it works like a charm.
What itâ€™s for
This plugin allows you to create a full backup of your WordPress site, and then have it sent to an email address or made downloadable.
By full backup I mean both the database and the filesystem.
Where you can get it
First of all, feel free to check out the site of the company that has created this plugin â€“ Backup Technology â€“ here you can find some basic facts about the plugin.
Of course, thereâ€™s also the plugin site at WordPress.org â€“ http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wponlinebackup/
However, the easiest way of getting the plugin is to simply go to your WP admin panel (log in as the admin), and navigate to Plugins > Add New. Input â€œOnline Backup for WordPressâ€ into the field and the first result that appears is what you want.
You donâ€™t have to do anything more than simply installing the plugin like you would install every other WordPress plugin, then activate it, and youâ€™re good to go.
How to use it
When you have the plugin installed just go to Tools > Online Backup.
Once youâ€™re there you can simply navigate to the â€œBackupâ€ tab, and perform an initial backup.
There are 3 backup types available (image below).
The first one sends the backup to the shared storage at Backup Technology which you can sign up for. I didnâ€™t because Iâ€™m using the plugin to create a backup, and then download it to my computer.
Choosing the third option might not be the best idea because backups can be rather large. Sending a 60MB file via email takes time. Itâ€™s much faster to simply download it.
The â€œBackupâ€ tab you already know, so letâ€™s start from the first tab on the right â€“ â€œOnline Backup Settings.â€
This is where you can input your username and password for the storage space at Backup Technology. Again, you donâ€™t have to register an account if you donâ€™t want to. The plugin is fully functional without an account.
The â€œGeneral Settingsâ€ tab is worth looking into because it enables you to encrypt all your backups. The plugin works with some popular encryption mechanisms. The only thing you have to do is input an encryption key.
Encryption is a safety mechanism. It ensures that only someone who knows the key can access the backups.
There are also other setting in this tab, make sure to read through them, but you donâ€™t need to change anything. The plugin is set up optimally right from the get go.
The â€œScheduleâ€ tab enables you to create a schedule for your backups (duh!). The backups can be run in the background automatically and then made available for download or sent to an email.
The â€œDecrypt Backupâ€ tab is where you can decrypt your encrypted backups. All you have to do is select the backup file and input your encryption key.
The â€œActivity Logâ€ tab shows the summary of your previous activity. Itâ€™s where you can access all previous backups if you havenâ€™t deleted them.
What I like about Online Backup for WordPress
The simple fact that it works. It sounds obvious, but hear me out. Iâ€™ve been searching for a quality backup plugin in the past, and even though there were many possibilities there was always something not exactly right about them.
Some plugins were creating corrupted archive files, others didnâ€™t include everything, or couldnâ€™t create an exact image of the database. I mean, these are things you donâ€™t even notice until you have to actually use the backups.
Thatâ€™s why I decided to do all my backups by hand because that way I was sure that I had everything I needed to have. However, this has changed when I stumbled upon Online Backup for WordPress. It. Simply. Works.
What do you think about this plugin? Did you experience any problems with it? Feel free to let me know.