What makes a good backup system?
The 5 musts of any backup strategy.
Different people will have different ideas here, but There may be others you could include, but I’ve tried to make these broad enough so that everyone will agree.
1. A good backup is complete.
Believe it or not, there are quite a few backup plugins out there that only back up the WordPress database. That means, basically, just the words of your web site are backed up and nothing else. That’s like getting homeowners insurance that covers what’s inside your house, but not the house itself. A good backup solution should save my database, files, uploads, settings, widgets, and themes. Everything should be backed up.
2. A good backup is automatic.
A good backup needs to happen like clockwork. It needs to be like a heartbeat. It happens without me telling it to. If my backup strategy relies on me to log in and press a button, or if I have to stop my work to make it happen, that backup is never going to be made. Once it’s set up, a good backup happens automatically without me having to think about it again.
3. A good backup is reliable.
The backup I want is like a friendly old neighborhood dog. It’s always around with a wagging tale and always gets along with everybody. This is important because server compatibility is a real issue with WordPress backup plugins. A good solution needs to be compatible with a wide variety of hosts. It needs to be regularly updated so it stays compatible with the newest versions of WordPress and the newest trends in web hosting. And if you have a problem, there should be a responsive support mechanism that puts you in contact with the developers. Whichever backup solution you select, you should be able to rely on it to work not only today, but down the road as well. With no worries.
4. A good backup is portable.
Zipping up all your files and storing them on your server is great… as long as the server stays up. But what happens if the entire server is lost? It’s a rare but possible scenario. A good backup should have as part of its routine the ability to push backed up data offsite. It should do this automatically and offer lots of options on where the archives should be stored.
5. A good backup is simple.
A backup is no good that’s too complicated to set up, or so confusing that you’re not sure if you’ve set it up correctly. A good backup will be easy to set up. It shouldn’t require fiddling with cron jobs on the server or FTPing something somewhere, or chmodding anything at all. And when the day finally comes when you have to restore a broken site, the restore process should be easy and wizard driven. If the restore process involves phpMyAdmin, I’m not interested. Make it easy, please.