You can never prepare for the unexpected.

Ask yourself this:

If government websites have been hacked over 1,000 times in the last three years … than what’s the chances that it’ll happen to my small business?

Your business doesn’t have the benefit of operating with a large security budget as does the government; your data may be just as sensitive and valuable to would-be attackers.

Then there are other issues that could arise:

  • The Web hosting provider is breached and loses your data
  • You accidentally overwrite a database through improper tweaking
  • Natural disasters

The unexpected can do grand damage to your business if you’re unprepared to react.

Failing to respond to attacks or disasters could see your website down-and-out for days on end; each passing moment means you’re losing money … and that’s not to say even if you manage to get the database back online.

The following is a very simple way to create a backup of your WordPress database to avoid these kinds of problems.

Step 1: Install the WP Backup Plugin

There are dozens of WordPress backup plugins and tools freely available through the WordPress Codex but one that’s consistently high on the charts is BackWPup.

You can add this plugin through your WordPress dashboard under Plugins -> Add New options otherwise download the latest version through the WordPress Codex directory and install directly onto your Web server through FTP.

Step 2: Add a New Job

Expand the BackWPup sidebar menu and click through the Add New Job selection.

You will find yourself within the General tab of the plugin which will ask for the:

  • Name – I would recommend adding a date for easy visibility in your files
  • Job Tasks – It’s recommended you do a database, file, XML, and plugin backup
  • File Creation – Leave the name alone but select a format that you can use
  • Destination – If anything choose the folder and email options
  • Log Files – Leave these items as default

Here’s what it will look like:

In the Files tab you will be given a list of options for which files to backup (or what to exclude). To keep things simple just leave the base options on default (unless you really know what you’re doing).

The WordPress XML selection is not on by default so it will open a tab across the top to make tweaks.

The tabs are self-explanatory:

  • Folders – Choose what folder you’d like to create a backup
  • Email – Which email the backup is sent (may want to change the file size)
  • XML Export – Leave as default to copy all of your content and published work

Step 3: Run the Job

Now it’s just a matter of allowing the plugin to do its thing.

Optional: Set a Backup Schedule

The previous actions took you through a manual process of doing a WordPress backup but if you’re the forgetful type or don’t want to risk the unexpected than you can create and schedule times when the backup is created.

You may not want to continually create backups of your entire website so use a mixture jobs for basic items such as the XML on a daily basis whereas a full back up on the weekend – whatever you choose.

Conclusion

Hopefully this will give you ease of mind knowing that your data is safe in the event of an emergency.

Remember this, though: It’s vital to have multiple copies of your data on and off-site just in case of natural disasters, irate employees, or silly mistakes. You never know if you’ll need to put it to use but it’s good to have the option.