As a site owner, one of the best ways to protect your investment is to install a good backup solution that is automated and allows you to set the interval. It’s important to match the frequency of the backups to how often you make changes to your site. But, you also have to consider how much space those backups take because you don’t want to overpay for storage. Here are a few tips to help you optimize your backup settings.
Two Interval Settings
A good backup strategy will include the option to set the fequency of how often your site is backed up. That’s one interval setting.
The other interval you will need to set concerns how many backups are stored before being overwritten. More is better, but storage space becomes a factor at that point to consider too.
Setting Backup Frequency
The optimal frequency setting for your site backups depends entirely on how often you make changes to your site.
There are backup solutions that auto-update everytime you make a change. That’s a little much for most site owners, but you’re always asured that you will never loose any info.
If you blog two or three times per week, set your backup to weekly. If you blog two or three times a month, set it to monthly. The point is, don’t let too many changes happen before you backup your site.
Setting Overwrite Interval
With this setting, more is better. But, you’ll need to take two things into consideration before deciding on a number. The first is how big your site is in terms of file size. The second consideration is how much storage space you have available.
There are several free storage solutions that max out between 2GB and 5GB. Most small business and solopreneur sites are between 1GB and 2GB in size. So, if you plan to have at least two backups on hand, that will take all of the free 5GB space.
The reason why you want multiple backups is because it may be a while before you realize there is problem on your site and you’ll want to restore it to a time before that problem occurred. If you only have one backup, that may be impossible to do. So, try to have at least two.
Check and Reduce Site Size
Most hosts give you a way to check how much disk storage space you are using. Each host is different, so you’ll want to check with them to find out how to monitor your site file size.
If you have a small site, say under 20 pages, and don’t host your own videos or such, your site file size should be under 2GB. (That’s about 2,000 MB, which is the way most hosts list file size.)
If your site is well over that you need to find out why and reduce it if you can. One of the main causes of large file size is using a backup plugin that stores the backup on the site. This isn’t a good idea anyway, so find a solution that stores it off-site.
Clean Your Revisions Out
Another cause of wasted file space comes from the automatic post and page revisions that WordPress saves for you as you create them. There are two plugins that I use in conjunction to help with this problem. One is WP-Cleanup, which will allow you to clean out all of those revisions. The second is Revision Control that will keep them from building up in the first place. So, run WP-Cleanup first, and then activate Revision Control. (Read Keep Your Database Clean and Backups Small with Two WordPress Plugins)
Most hosts also keep a daily backup of your site. (This is not a substitute for installing your own backup solution because it is not guaranteed to be valid.) You’ll want to find out if that is being stored in your hosting space and counting toward your reported file size. Most aren’t, but some hosts do it that way. If so, there’s nothing you can do about it and you’ll have to consider that when choosing your overwrite interval and storage option.
You’ll also want to decide whether you will auto-back up just your database or your full site. The database is only your content, meaning text. It does not include images, theme, or plugins. Of course, a database backup is smaller.
And, if you add or update any of your plugins, theme, or WordPress files, you’ll want to do a manual backup before and after. That won’t affect the automatic intervals.
What I Use on BlogAid
I use the BackupBuddy plugin because it integrates nicely with multiple cloud storage options and it includes a malware scanner and a site repair tool. Because I post at least two-three times a week, I set my backup interval to weekly. I use AS3 storage, which gives me plenty of room, so I set the overwrite interval to four.
Choosing the Best Backup for You
If you need help choosing the best back up and storage option for your site, download my free report How to Backup Your WordPress Site.
Help Reducing File Size
If you need help finding out why your file size is so big, schedule a 20-point Site Evaluation and Review session with me. You’ll gain valuable information about all the factors that contribute to a healthy site.