If you’re running your site on WordPress, it pays to have a backup plan – literally.
For a variety of reasons, some of which could involve hackers, malicious software, or even an error on behalf of your Web host, backing up your site is a must. But like all things WordPress, extending the functionality of your site means installing a plugin – and there are lots of plugins out there claiming they’ll back up your site.
Which one should you choose? Is it better to use more than one? Here’s a run-down of two popular WordPress backup plugins. Consider how they’re different, and decide for yourself which best fits your situation:
1. Bei Fen
Unlike some backup plugins, Bei Fen makes a backup of your entire site.
That means it backs up more than just the database. It also backs up static pages, images, media items, and other minutiae you may have uploaded to your site at any point in time.
Needless to say, the size of this backup is enormous. That’s why Bei Fen doesn’t email you a copy of the backup every time it makes one (other plugins do), but instead stores the backup in its own directory within your site.
That means you’ll always have plenty of space for your backups, and it will always be easy to access them. Sounds good, right?
Maybe. Remember that one reason you’re performing periodic backups is to protect your data in the event of a malware attack. Bei Fen may be great at what it does, but it could also leave you high and dry in the event that everything on your site was either erased or corrupted by a malicious program.
You could lose everything, including your backups.
If you do decide to use Bei Fen, be sure you configure it to replace each backup with a new one. Otherwise, the size of your backup directory will become overwhelmingly huge.
2. WordPress Database Backup
This plugin is simpler than Bei Fen. It backs up your database and nothing else.
While most Web hosts already let you set automatic database backups in cPanel, remember that backups should protect you from any error or glitch on the part of your hosting service. The WordPress Database Backup plugin lets you do just that, and it emails you a backed up database via secure file transfer.
Your database is where everything is. It contains every post, page, and comment. It even contains your revisions. If you’re going to back up just one thing, the database is definitely it.
And if you don’t feel comfortable leaving all the backups in a directory within your site, this plugin may be a better option than Bei Fen. Even if your entire site was erased, you could still rebuild it using the copy of the database this plugin sends to your inbox.
You could even use both plugins – a solution that would almost guarantee you could restore your site in the event of a disaster. Wouldn’t that be a good backup plan?
Author: Adam Green is a freelance writer and long-time WordPress devotee.