Monday, December 28, 2009...7:40 pm

The importance of scheduled backups

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The Online Journalism Blog seems to have gone into meltdown. Publisher Paul Bradshaw says it’s up, but that all content seems to have vanished. “Could be bad.”
It’s a timely reminder that online is not permanent. In fact, online content is particularly vulnerable to simply vanishing into the ether if you fail to pay your ISP, or there’s some technical snafu.
Luckily there are plenty of handy tools to use to back up your WordPress blog. I use the WordPress Database Backup plug-in, which emails a backup file to me every day. There’s also extensive documentation on the WordPress site about backups which is well worth reading…
[UPDATE: Paul Bradshaw notes that he had to turn off the OJB’s auto backup plugin – and others – after a software problem. Just goes to show that WordPress’s seemingly seamless implementation can hide problems.]


  • Trouble is, you also have to back up all your content files with each db backup… And as your archive expands, that becomes a tiresome business

  • Actually the plug-in does back up the WP content as well. Restoring it is another matter – I’m still running tests to make sure this will work when my own personal meltdown occurs…

  • When I do a monthly full back-up, I stick it on MAMP (WAMP if you’re PC) on my local machine to check that a) it is actually restorable, and b) the back-up hasn’t corrupted. Recommend it.
    When you put your site on another server (eg MAMP or other host) you have to make a few small changes to the config file so it know where to find the database etc. It’s not difficult.
    There is no substitute – repeat, NO shortcut substitute – for exporting the db file yourself from phpMyAdmin and personally downloading the site files via ftp (or whatever).
    I know it’s extra work, but I couldn’t trust a plugin to do this. Too important to get it right, IMHO.

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