Imagine you’re a business owner with a WordPress site you’ve had for over a dozen years.
You’re slowly winding down your business, with plans to close it in the near future.
But you want to keep your site up and running for a while longer.
You’ve moved to managed WordPress hosting so you don’t have to worry about WordPress updates.
You haven’t changed your custom theme in over five years. And you haven’t added any new content to your site in the past four years.
But you have hundreds of useful posts you’ve published on your site, along with dozens of pages.
And you haven’t visited your website in several months.
An email notification from your web host, about an upcoming SSL certificate renewal, has you concerned.
You’re not sure what to do.
So you contact the web developer who helped you two years ago to move your site to managed WordPress hosting and set your site up with SSL.
You ask them for their help.
They accept the project.
Within one day, the developer contacts you to tell you your site and all its custom pages and posts aren’t displaying.
Your home page displays the default Twenty Seventeen theme.
The developer asks you when the last time you visited your site and it displayed correctly.
You don’t remember, it’s been months.
Your developer’s research revealed changes to your site files and folders from over 30 days ago. But you know you haven’t made any changes to your site.
The web host backups on your site will help you restore your site, right?
Not this time.
Your managed WordPress hosting plan only provides backups for the past 30 days.
And the plan doesn’t provide any option to download the backups.
Wait, you’ve set up VaultPress for backup on your site as well.
You ask the web developer to use the VaultPress backups to restore your website.
No, that won’t work.
Your VaultPress plan only provides backups for the past 30 days.
Think this is a made-up story?
No, it’s true.
I’m the developer who tried to restore my former client’s site.
Read on to learn what steps you can take to avoid it happening to your website.
Why Site Backups Are Important
When I wrote about WordPress backup services and plugins, I explained the importance of site backups.
As well as the different backup options available to you as a site owner to keep your site secure.
When your site crashes, you want the insurance of a site backup to allow you to restore your site.
There’s nothing worse than trying to recover a site from an incomplete site backup when it’s critical for your site to be available.
Read the Fine Print of Your Backup Service or Plugin
It’s common for managed WordPress hosts to provide site backups.
What site owners miss is the fine print about how long site backups are maintained and whether you can download a backup.
If you’re considering a managed WordPress hosting plan because you don’t want to be responsible for WordPress version updates:
- Check with your web host whether they offer backups with their hosting plan
- Confirm how long backups are stored
- Find out if you have the option to download a backup
- Learn what the steps are to restore a site (one-step restores are useful!)
For example, GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress hosting provides 30 days of backups, which you can use to restore files, database, or both files and database.
However, there’s no option to download the backups.
VaultPress offers different backup plans that offer a one-click restore.
Their plans provide a 30-day backup archive or for more money, an unlimited backup archive.
What I like about VaultPress plans: I can always download the backup for safekeeping.
As a website owner, get peace of mind by knowing your website is backed up on a regular basis. Read the fine print about your site backups so you’re aware how long backups are kept.
And what your options are for restoring your site from backup.
If you want the assurance of knowing your site backups are always available, use a backup service or plugin that keeps unlimited backups. Or create your own schedule of downloading backups.