Blog Backup Strategy

When was the last time you backed your blog up?

If you couldn’t say “less than a week ago” in response, then you need to rethink your backup strategy. How much time have you spent writing posts, and tweaking your template, over your blog’s lifetime? Isn’t it worth spending a few minutes a week to back it up?

If you don’t backup, you will have data loss. There’s no doubt about it. Plenty of bad things can happen. The server your site is on could fail, the datacenter could catch fire, or more likely, some moron could vandalize (or “hack,” if you insist on appropriating the word). I admit that I don’t backup my websites as often as I should. My PC, however, is well protected. Every week, all of my important folders are copied to an external hard drive automatically. No work involved. Unfortunately, you can’t really do that with your blog (unless it’s hosted on a server located in your closet…).

Here is my recommended backup strategy:

  • Create a new folder (or directory as I prefer to say) on your local computer. Call it “Backups.” Inside it, create a new dated folder every time you create a new backup (e.g. “2008-02-07″).
  • Once a week, backup your database. To do this, log-in to your database admin (e.g. phpMyAdmin), and use the “Export” tool. Copy and paste the resulting text into a text editor and save it to a dated backup folder.
  • Don’t forget to backup your template! FTP a copy of the files to your backup directory every week or two. Depending on how often you edit your template, you may not have to do this as frequently. Heck, download the entire WordPress folder. That way you have all of the plugins,core files, and anything else you have.
  • Keep several past iterations of your blog handy in your backup folder. Every few months, transfer some of the old backups to a CD-R or DVD+/-R. You just throw them a way. After all, you may need them sometime in the future.

Remember, something bad will happen eventually. Be prepared.