Backing Up

Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are

Meat Loaf and Jim Steinmen

Happy World Backup Day everyone! 

Do yourself a favor and make sure your data is backed up. Just because it is “on the cloud” does not mean it is backed up. Your files, contacts, photos, and videos sync to the cloud and as I learned in the past, if it is accidentally removed from one device it is removed from them all.  

Quick question to ask yourself, something you deleted weeks or months ago, can you easily recover or restore it? If not, then how can you recover something you accidentally deleted weeks ago and just realized? 

Rest assured it is easier now to back up your computer or phone than it was in the past. Mac and Windows computers have their own built-in backup programs called “Time Machine” and “File History” respectively. Just search your System Preferences and Settings for “backup.” iPhone, iPad, and Android users you too can back up your important files easily. On your iPhone and iPad go to your Settings app (gray colored gears icon), tap your name at the top, tap “iCloud,” then tap “iCloud Backup,” and ensure that is switched on. You will may need to subscribe and pay for additional iCloud storage to fully backup your device. The free 5GB plan from Apple is purposefully insufficient for backing up any device sold after 2017. Android users, check out the Google One app in your Play Store.  

Website owners, how long will it take you to rebuild your website if something happens to it, your host loses your content due to human error, your website is hijacked and used for malicious purposes, or you simply lose track of the bill and find it just after your host deletes your account or servers? How many hours did you invest in your website? When it comes to backing up your website you have two general options, you can pay and rely on your host to do it, then you will be at their mercy and schedule when restoring your website. Or you can take control of your backups and do it yourself. If you have a WordPress website, you have many options for backup plugins and my top two backup plugins are “All-in-One WP Migration” and “ManageWP.” 

Both plugins offer free and paid versions. All-in-One WP Migration” offers you unlimited on-demand backups of your website which you can either save on your server or download to your computer. It comes in handy if you are building your website offline on your computer and want to move it online and vice versa. The paid version offers more backup options, for a price. The biggest drawback is that backups are saved to your website account and there is no automatic scheduling.  

The best automatic and cost-effective backup plugin is GoDaddy’s ManageWP. The free version offers automatic monthly backups of your WordPress website to GoDaddy and for $2 (USD) per month — the same price as a WaWa coffee — you can schedule daily or weekly backups. Another benefit of the premium version is a feature called “Safe Updates” which performs a backup of your website before you perform any updates and gives you a visual before/after check of your website. If something looks off, you can “undo” the update. It comes in handy during those major WordPress updates.  

For more details on other backup plugins, check out the slide deck that I made for a JerseyPress Lightning event last summer.