Day 12: Disaster Recovery In WordPress
Hi. Welcome to Beginners’ guide to WordPress Blogging: 12-day challenge. Today we will be reviewing “Disaster Recovery In WordPress”.
My name is Catherine M. Egwali and I will be your instructor for the next few days. I work at Switem Technology Solutions and I am one of the co-founders of the company.
Switems Technology Solutions is an ICT company that helps startups and SMEs grow their business, income, achieve set goals and solve problems by using technology solutions.
Some of the services we provide include domain registration, Hosting, WordPress Website Designs, E-commerce Website Designs, WordPress Hosting, Managed E-commerce Hosting, Payment Acceptance Solutions as well as other technology solution services.
Over the next few days, I will be taking you on a journey to understanding how to use WordPress to start a website or a blog.
Questions About WordPress Posts and Pages
If you have ever asked any of the following questions, after going through today’s lesson, you should be able to easily answer any of them.
1. What is a disaster recovery plan in WordPress?
2. Should I have a disaster recovery plan for WordPress?
3. How to Create a Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan for WordPress site?
4. How to Create a Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan for WordPress site on Switem?
What is disaster recovery?
Disaster recovery (DR) involves a set of policies, procedures and tools to enable the recovery or continuation of vital technology infrastructure and systems following a natural or human-induced disaster.Wikipedia
In layman terms, it is the ability to quickly recover from a disaster i.e. get back quickly on your feet/resume operations when you make a mistake/misfortune occurs.
How does this apply to using WordPress?
Imagine you have an online store that fetches you 6 figure digits in income daily.
Then your website gets hacked and infects other websites with viruses.
Your hosting provider gets upset about it and takes down your site by terminating your account.
You have been planning to do a backup of your site but just have not gone around to it due to procastination.
Now your entire online empire is gone.
Not good, right? What can you do about it now?
How easily can you bounce back from such a catastrophe? Or will you simply see it as the end of the world?
Well, thank God is just a figment of your imagination. You can do something today to ensure you don’t lose all your work when a catastrophe occurs.
How to go about disaster recovery in a WordPress site
First step is to create a disaster recovery plan.
Think of the possible disasters that could happen and how to quickly you can restore operations in the event any of the disasters occur.
It is usually being said that experience is the best teacher. That may be true, but you do not have experience a disaster before you learn how to prevent one.
Hence, think not only in terms of what to do when a disaster occurs but also what to do to prevent one from happening.
One of the easiest and quickest ways of creating a disaster recovery plan is to ensure you have a backup and restore plan. Learn how to backup your site, restore the backup, and test the backup to actually confirm that the restoration process works as it should.
You also need to determine the frequency of your backup i.e. how often you will backup your site.
Ensure you can identify the most recent backup when you need it and try your best to keep a copy offsite (i.e. outside your hosting environment).
Methods to backup your site
- Manually: You can compress the contents of your website into a zip file, export your database via PHPMyAdmin and download the files to your computer.
- Softaculous backups: Softaculous is an app software that is used for easy installation of several applications via your cPanel interface. When installing WordPress via Softaculous, you have the option of creating backups and determining the frequency of the backups. If you choose 2 as the backup frequency, the older copy will be deleted whenever a new backup is added. If you need to restore, you would need to access Softaculous for the restoration process. Do note that choosing a high backup frequency will cause your web storage to fill up pretty quickly.
- Backups by your hosting provider e.g. R1Soft Backups. Soft providers e.g Switem Technology Solutions, create backups of your files for disaster recovery purposes. The number of days for the backups may depend on the provider. Hence you might just have acess to 30-60 days worth of backups that you can restore from if an issue occur.
- Backup to third party sites by using backup plugins: You can install backup plugins from your WordPress admin interface. Good backup plugins include VaultPress, Updrafts, SnapShots etc. Ensure you read the plugin’s documentation to understand how to create a backup using the plugin and the restoration process required.
- Backup via WordPress admin panel when you do not have cpanel access: This method is simply to method 4 but very useful when you also do not have access to backup plugins. You can export your data from the WordPress admin interface via Tools > Export
Tools for disaster recovery
- Manual process: PHPMyAdmin for exporting the database and cpanel File Manager for the website contents.
- Softaculous: cPanel Softaculous interface
- Backups by your web hosting provider: Web hosting control panel or whatever admin interface is provided by your hosting provider
- Backups to third party sites: WordPress admin interface and the relevant backup plugin
- Backup when you can’t access cPanel: Products CSV exporter, WordPress Export Tool (Tools > Export) to create an XML file for your all your contents
Important tips for your disaster recovery plan
- Rehearse the backup and recovery process
Perform a backup and do a restore. Rehearse the steps needed to backup your site and restore it to a functional state. This will ensure you discover no surprises when you eventually need to do a restore.
- Document the process
As you test your backups, do not forget to document the process. The disaster recovery process can then be printed and placed in a visible location in your office, stored in your internal knowledgebase, sent to your technical support team via email or basically kept in an-easy-to-locate location to be used in times of emergency.
- Have contact details
Have an up-to-date copy of the contact details of key stakeholders (Web developer, Hosting provider, SysAdmin etc) that can be contacted in the event a disaster occurs. Keep it in an easily accessible location
As a beginner, ensure you use backup plugins that would enable you make backups offsite e.g. to locations like Google drive, your computer etc. Having a backup copy in a different location away from your hosting site helps you recover quickly especially if something happens to your hosting provider.
Are you excited about today’s lesson but looking for an affordable hosting plan to practice with?
Not to worry, we have a discounted baby hosting plan plus FREE domain name for you.
You can purchase this plan with a free domain name here for just N2500 only.
Do you have questions pertaining to TODAY’S lesson?
Join us in our Facebook Group where we will be answering questions to each lesson’s post. To ask and get your questions answered, ensure that you post your question as a comment under the Lesson Question Post Of The Day. Each day’s lesson questions must also be asked during the training period.
Thank you for participating. See you tomorrow.
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