If you search the web for website backup, you will find dozens of backup programs, tools, tips, and tutorials. But you won’t find many articles about WHY backup is important.

Perhaps there is a good reason for this:
There are very few reasons to backup your WordPress website. The fact is…

You really only need one reason to backup your WordPress website – and it could save you days of grief and hundreds of dollars!

A backup plan can help save your valuable data.

If your website crashes, is hacked, or if some files become corrupt, you need a reliable backup from which to restore your website. If you have a backup of your website, you will save days of headaches and hundreds of dollars on technical support to get your website back online.

Without a good backup plan, you risk permanently losing valuable content. Additionally, if you ever decide to switch web hosting, a recent backup will make the migration to the new server much easier. Seriously. Every month I save countless hours because I have reliable backups.

How often do you need to backup, and what needs to be backed up?

The amount of backups you need to perform depends on the activity on your site.

If you are posting (blogging) daily, if there are daily interactions with visitors to your website, or if purchases are made daily from your site, you should backup your WP database at least once a day. You can do a complete backup of all files once a week.

If your site does not see much activity or if you make few changes, you could do less frequent backups.

Here are some important considerations for backups—features that I include in every website I manage:

1. Schedule

Setup an automated backup schedule based on the amount of activity on your website. Busy websites need to backed up daily. Smaller, informational websites can be backed up weekly.

2. Off-site

Make sure your backup files are located off-site—ideally in “the cloud” (DropBox, Google Drive, MS OneDrive, etc). If something happens to your host server and your only backup is on that server, it won’t help much. It’s like backing up your computer to an internal hard drive only to have the computer and the hard drive crash or stolen.

3. Monitor

Keep an eye on your backup system regularly to make sure backup files are complete and stored properly. If you can, do a test installation of your backup file on another server to test the reliability of your backups. This will also help you prepare for a real website restoration.

WordPress backup plugins are worth the investment

There are many great plugins available to make it easier to schedule off-site backups. I recommend that you consider a premium plugin that has been around for a while and is well supported—like BackupBuddy, VaultPress or UpdraftPlus.

You will need to do your own comparison of these plugins based on your specific needs. They are all well-supported and recommended by many users.

A basic comparison of 3 popular WordPress backup plugins


  • Key benefit: highly recommended by WordPress experts for many years; easy setup and restore
  • Price: starts at $55/year for a single website
  • Ideal for: very busy website with a large database
  • Con: can get expensive if you manage many websites
  • Read more: UpdraftPlus Website


  • Key benefit: Scheduling, restoring, and migrating features are very easy to use
  • Price: starts at $80/year for 2 websites (includes 1GB of storage space)
  • Ideal for: most small business websites that do occasional posts and updates, and for people who manage many websites
  • Con: some users report incomplete backups on very large websites
  • Read more: BackupBuddy Website


  • Key benefit: I find it works better than BackupBuddy with GoDaddy hosting; free version available
  • Price: Free limited version for single websites; premium version starts at $70/year for 2 websites (includes 1GB of storage space)
  • Ideal for: most small business websites that do occasional posts and updates, and for people who manage many websites
  • Con: some users find it difficult to setup and manage
  • Read more: VaultPress Website

Your Input

What’s your experience with WordPress backup strategies and/or plugins? Please comment below.

About Steady Digital

We provide a WordPress maintenance plan to ease concerns like:

  • Is my website performing at peak performance so visitors get the best experience possible?
  • Do I have regular backups of my website in case something happens to my web server?
  • What if my website gets hacked?
  • How can I get up-to-date, professional training so I can use my website better?
  • Who can I trust to do the updates that are beyond my technical or creative abilities?

Tired of trying to maintain your own website? A WordPress maintenance plan might be the solution for you.

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