You need to backup your blog today. Like right after you read this article. And I’m speaking from experience. A few days back one of my blogs completely went kaput. It was a crappy experience on an already crappy day. And it could have been prevented.
The reason this happened was simple. I installed a plugin to help me “clean up” my database and delete useless content and unlinked images. This is nothing new. Over the past decade, I have installed and used hundreds of plugins. And in that time, I never crashed my site.
Backup Your Blog
But this day was different. A few seconds after executing the plugin, my site crashed. I mean really crashed. The page I was on went grey. And I got a warning that my database was no longer connected. I tried to refresh the page, return to the dashboard and access a few blog posts. But nothing worked.
At this point, I reached out to my hosting company (I use WPEngine, which in full disclosure I also promote as an affiliate) and they confirmed my worst fear… The plugin had destroyed all essential databases. But the next part really made me panic. The technical support rep asked asked if I had a back up. I did not.
The reason I did not have a back up for my site is because I’m an experienced blogger. I know what I’m doing. So why would I ever need to back up my site? And isn’t it the job of my hosting company to keep back ups on file? This was really silly on my part.
Plan For The Unexpected
At this point I didn’t know if I should cry or laugh. The blog contains nearly one-thousand articles published over a decade. And more importantly, the blog generates a major source of income for our family. Even my wife (who doesn’t pay much attention to my nerd talk) turned off the TV and hugged our dog…
Three (very long) minutes later WPEngine came back with good news. They were able to restore the site to a backup from a few days ago. And this fixed the database too. Suffice it to say, I learned a big lesson… Always back up your site! At the very least, make sure you take time download your recent content.
And while I do pay over $100 a month for WPEngine hosting, the support is worth every penny. They have a 24/7 chat box. And I’ve always been impressed with the companies ability solve my major site issues. (Outside of this experience, I also run a secure monthly membership site. And they are great at helping me with that stuff too!)
The Lazy Blog Backup
If you’re busy, then exporting your content as an XML file is a small step you can take to at lease preserve your blog articles. Keep in mind that this method does not retain your images and media. But if your site completely fails, then you at least have something.
Step 1 – Go into your blog dashboard and click on Tools.
Step 2 – Click on the Export tab and save your file somewhere secure!
Additional Blog Backup Options
As I mentioned earlier, this export will give you an XML file. It will contain your basic articles. And if you have to resort to this method, you’ll spend the next month adding images and media to your site. It’s not the worst experience. But it’s not great.
If you really want to back up your blog like a pro, you might choose from any number of the awesome WordPress backup plugins available. If you’re using WPEngine, you’ll find they disallow some popular backup plugins, as they may conflict with the platform. In this regard, Vaultpress is a common secondary plugin that they recommend. And you want to get some awesome hosting (again, I get paid to promote – And I do so, because I LOVE the service) check out WPEngine.