Backup Series: How Often Should You Backup Your Website?

Clock on a white background

Welcome back. In part one of this series, we talked about why you should backup your WordPress site, and explored a few of the plugins that are available to make backing up your site easy and painless.

In this post, we’ll explore how to find a backup schedule that works for your site, content, and posting schedule.

It’s important to come up with a schedule for your backups. Start with thinking about how often you’re updating content on your site.If you aren’t generating content daily, it doesn’t make sense to use resources (such as storage, which can cost money) to keep backing up the same data if nothing’s changed.

  • If you post a few times a month, weekly backups may suffice.
  • If you are posting several times a week and adding media to those posts, you may want to backup nightly. The same goes if your site has a large community with lots of comments.
  • If you are posting new content several times a day, or have a very busy site, you can schedule backups to run as quickly as every two hours. If this is true of your site, I’d recommend looking into incremental backups, which will back up the data that’s changed since the last full backup was done. This functionality will vary by plugin and plan, but it can be an option.

Most backup plugins will allow you to specify how many backups you want to save. I’d recommend keeping one week’s worth of backups (if done daily), and then keeping one full backup set per month. This may sound like overkill, but there may be a time you need to back and find an image or other piece of content you deleted months ago.

Finally, remember, as your site grows over time, so will the size of your backups. These size increases may lead to additional storage space being needed and sometimes additional costs. I backup dozens of sites to Amazon S3 and my cost averages out to about a dollar per month.

I hope this helps get you thinking about how often you should backup your site. In the next installment, we’ll explore where you can store those backups for safe and secure keeping.

Clock photo by Ocean Ng on Unsplash.

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