Newbies - Don't Make This Mistake!

28 replies
So a hacker got into one of my WordPress websites recently and absolutely destroyed it. Unfortunately, I hadn't been backing up that particular website. I had to rebuild the whole thing from scratch. Arghh!

This got me thinking. My websites are my livelihood just as any "brick and mortar" physical business is to other professionals. My websites provide for my family just as any other physical business does. And most importantly, my websites are vulnerable to theft and vandalism just as any physical business is.

So why don't I protect my websites as I would a physical business? Physical businesses have fire insurance, fire extinguishers, flood insurance, physical alarms, etc. My websites should have the equivalent protections in place.

And the best protection is a good backup system.

Anyway, I did some research and found a great (free) wordpress plugin that I wanted to share with everyone. This plugin backs up databases as well as everything in your wp-content folders. It can create a local folder in your hosting account for the backup files, but it can also backup to dropbox or Amazon S3 (this is what I do). Here's the best part. You can schedule the plugin to do automatic backups.

It's 100% free, and I now use this solution on all my websites.

You can download it from

Now, the backing up part is pretty user-friendly, but the re-installing from the backup part requires some technical proficiency. If you know how to manually migrate a WordPress website, then you'll have no problems with this plugin. But if you don't know how to manually migrate a WordPress website, then you may want to consider a more user -friendly commercial solution. In any case, this is the best free solution I could find.

By the way, a few weeks after I installed this plugin on all my websites, I had another catastrophe. I installed a new theme on a blog, and the theme corrupted the website to the point where none of the pages would load. I couldn't even get into the WordPress dashboard to deactivate the theme. It was a disaster! Thankfully, the site was backed up this time...

Oh, and that original website that I had to rebuild... well I had been wanting to rebuild the website anyway with a contextual advertising model rather than CPA. So I took the opportunity to do just that, and the website became much more profitable than it had been. There was a silver lining to that whole incident!

Anyway, for the veterans out there... I'm wondering if there are any other solutions out there, free or paid, that you would recommend. What do you guys use?

Take care!

Tim Culpepper
#backup #backup or recover #backups #backupsoftware #make #mistake #newbies
  • Profile picture of the author Jim Hughes
    I use wp twin. It's easy to backup, reinstall and move websites. They have a new add-on now that will backup automatically, which i need to get. It's a great product.

    Never Give Up!

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  • Profile picture of the author waterburn
    Good post. I have automated backups of my Wordpress sites too. It's certainly worth taking the time to set this up! Unfortunately, I had one site destroyed recently and it was the only one I had forgotten to back up automatically...
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  • Profile picture of the author WebRank1
    Aaaah sorry for your loss buddy. I am trying that plugin right now!
    I usually only backup my database but why not the whole thing at once? Great post.
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  • Profile picture of the author alexdigital
    Thanks for this. I need to sort out a proper backup system and this has prompted me to take action!
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    It's very easy to back up a website without any plugins. Just go to cpanel File Manager and go to the domain and Select All file and then choose Compress. Choose Zip on the popup and give it a name and voila ... all the files are backed up. Just choose the zip file and choose Extract it if you need a fresh copy. For the database, go to phpMyAdmin and export the database. If it gets hacked, you have a copy. Just go to your database, delete all the tables and import your backup. Your site is brand new.
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    • Profile picture of the author Moogie
      Thanks for the tips, certainly an eye opener

      SG's is coming!!!

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      • Profile picture of the author lilphilupt
        awww man sorry to hear that man. This is definitely a good heads up for the newbies to see.
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  • Profile picture of the author MollyGleeson
    Wow scary! Thanks for the advice!
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  • Profile picture of the author Racquel_McFarlane07
    Sorry to hear about that, thanks for the info on the plugin!
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    • Profile picture of the author thriftgirl62
      Why do what your Host provider is already doing? They back up the whole server, sometimes twice a day. That works for me.

      I retired in 2005 at 43 and now I give away websites like these for FREE [hosting excluded]

      When you make at least $100+ per month, we split the profit 80/20 and YOU get the 80% Until then, you keep 100% and I'll help you drive traffic, get backlinks and put the domain in your name too!
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      • Thanks for the heads up. I will backup my blogs. I don't think my WP sites are big enough to get noticed,or worth getting hacked, lol. But I guess you never know.
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        • Profile picture of the author mikeroosa
          Been there, done that. It absolutely sucks when things like that happen.
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          • Profile picture of the author thedog
            Sorry to hear that dude... probably due to an insecure password.

            I done a site for my brother, picked a really easy password... and it was hacked in a day... luckly, there was hardly anything on the site.

            I recommend using lastpass.... generates very strong passwords, and you can save em all with 1 main password.
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            • Profile picture of the author evelyng
              I use a backup plugin, but the last time I had a horrifying incident and wrecked my site I couldn't get it to work so I emailed my service provider and begged them to restore me to their last backup. They were very nice about it. I lost a day's work, but it was way better than losing the entire thing. It's definitely something to find out before you put too many sites on one service - how often do they back up their entire server.

              I've been through what you mention - sooooo sorry!

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        • Profile picture of the author WindowGang
          Originally Posted by unlimitedmarketing View Post

          Thanks for the heads up. I will backup my blogs. I don't think my WP sites are big enough to get noticed,or worth getting hacked, lol. But I guess you never know.
          The problem here is once a vulnerability is discovered, hackers devise a robot that will scour the Internet at lighting speed seeking any wordpress installation that is vulnerable.

          Window Gang is a nationally recognized window cleaning, gutter cleaning, dryer vent cleaning, and pressure cleaning corporation serving 18 US States.

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      • Profile picture of the author erichammer
        Originally Posted by thriftgirl62 View Post

        Why do what your Host provider is already doing? They back up the whole server, sometimes twice a day. That works for me.
        While that may or may not be true, I can think of lots of reasons why you may want to back up your site independently. What if their server farm goes down? What if you have a billing dispute and they hold your site for ransom until you pay them more money? I back up to S3 as well. For the few minutes it cost me to set it up one time and the few pennies I pay each month for storage, it's worth every penny and then some as far as I'm concerned. Better safe than sorry.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad789
    Culpetm - Brad here

    Got to tell you - that information is very helpful to a newbie. I often do invest a lot of work in a project - just to realize I failed to ensure a backup.

    I used to do the same thing with MS Word when it first came out. Learned a lot of hard lessons!

    The plug in looks great. Is there any chance that we can use several different back up plug ins on one site?

    If I can provide any help to you in the future, don't hesitate to contact me. I would like the opportunity to return the favor.

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  • Profile picture of the author autumn0106
    thank you so much for that info. great help for a newbie like me

    Earning Money Online through Affiliate Marketing

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  • Profile picture of the author WAWarrior
    Very helpful post. I need to do my backup more frequently.
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  • Thanks for that, Incredibly helpful.

    I think it's worth people who use normal HTML based sites to do the same as well. Email yourself a zip with the entire website in and store it on your computer so you have 2 backups.
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  • Profile picture of the author seokohli
    Your post is really eye opening. Here are the different ways to take the backup:
    1. Use plugins like: wp twin & there are lots of plugins in the market already.
    2. You can backup manually by downloading & extract the files & database.
    3. Your hosting provider is already doing it so ask them for more details.

    Choose any way, it's up to you but take backup regularly!
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  • Profile picture of the author sam770
    backup by wp plugin is ok, but not the best solution
    it is highly recommended to back up your entire site using the cpannel of your hosting provider or to make a total backup via ftp
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  • Profile picture of the author samonly
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  • Profile picture of the author Moneyerr
    So sorry for your loss. I will also try that plugin for sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sweely99
    Sorry for your loss, and thanks for the heads up! You're totally right.
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  • Profile picture of the author royljestr
    I use WP Database Backup which is cool because it will actually email me the backup on a regular basis:

    WordPress Database Backup – Austin Matzko's Blog
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    • Profile picture of the author culpetm
      Lots of great comments and some really good advice! Thanks, everyone!
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