Making regular backups should be a no-brainer, but unfortunately many people don’t bother. It could be that they just don’t know how, or it could be that they are lazy and have better things to do with their time.
When it comes to website backups you have a number of options. If you use a specific CMS like WordPress you have access to freely available plugins that can help you with this task. You usually have a backup option available in your hosting control panel as well, and it is also possible to use a custom script along with a cron job to schedule when it would happen.
They are all similar though. What they usually do is compress and package your files into one large file similar to zipping them up. The same with database backups.
You can leave them where they are in your hosting web space, and hopefully nothing happens to the server they are stored on. You can download them assuming they are not too large because it may take a while if they are. Some plugins include the ability to transfer them to another location like to a DropBox account for example.
Creating frequent backups can land you in trouble with your host for excessive CPU/Memory use especially when they large in size. The bigger they are the longer it takes to complete the process (More CPU power).
For instance I have an account that consumes 1.7 GBs of space. It would be unwise for me to back this up on a daily basis because my host will surely complain eventually. Even on an occasional basis a backup this large can cause resource usage issues in a shared hosting environment.
What I tend to do is keep a full backup on hand, and either download any new files that get created or compress them into one file depending on how many there are.
Since my databases are much smaller I will back these up more often, but only if there is a need to do so. For instance I don’t see the point of performing one if I haven’t added new content, there are no new comments, plugin updates, etc.
So do you really need to make these on a daily basis? Can you get by with 2-3 times per week or less instead? If you have a very busy active site you may want to schedule them often, but if you have a smaller site once per week may be more than enough.
If you happen to be using shared hosting, then you also need to consider resource usage when it comes to how often you make them.
Thanks, but I already make backups.
Great, I am glad you have a plan. You are already ahead of most people then. But, have you tested them and are you confident that they will work?
More importantly do you know how to restore them should the unexpected happen?
It doesn’t help if you don’t know what to do with them now does it?
No matter which method you happen to use it would be wise to learn the entire process including how to restore them.
Also, I wouldn’t rely entirely on your host to make them. Years ago I had an account with an unnamed-company that couldn’t provide me with one that was less than 30 days old. Yikes!