Backing up your website is a crucial task, and one which is mostly left to the nebulous “web hosting company” in most web owners minds. It’s one of those things that you assume is done, and expect will be handled for you – and for the most part, you would be right. Except when you’re wrong.
Servers crash. We’ve experienced our own set of unprecedented series of events and that’s meant that we look at how we back our systems up from both a web host perspective – but also from the website owner’s perspective. What we’ve learned is that while we do a good job of backup to the Amazon Storage Service on a weekly basis for email and the larger files, from a web owner’s perspective we need to have our own set of files for our sites.
Since we use WordPress for all our sites, this is actually (now) pretty easy. We’ve used a plugin to backup each WordPress site to Amazon Storage, which is really cheap – less than $2 per month for most sites, but requires a bit of configuration and manipulation. It’s fine, but not for the non-geek, in my opinion.
Here’s an even easier option: WordPress Backup to Dropbox – a simple plugin that makes use of the Dropbox storage system, which we use for all our backups and syncs between computers anyway. You get up to 2GB free, which is generally more than enough for the average WordPress website.