Defining a backup Strategy

Backup Schedule #

It is important to define a backup schedule for your business.

There are 3 basic backup schedules to consider

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly

Additional factors to consider include:

  • Frequency of change
  • Type of business you are running

Not every business requires frequent backups. If you’re a non-profit or running a blog site a daily backup may not be necessary. However, if you’re a business that frequently updates data or gets orders from customers daily it might be important.

When determining how often to backup is to consider the relationship between the schedules. For instance if you take a daily backup for 7 days the 7th day backup can be a weekly backup. the same applies for weekly backups. The 4th backup can be considered a monthly backup.

What to backup #

A WordPress backup can consist of data from two areas

  • database – All WordPress activities are written to the database. This is the area most changed
  • Files – Any plugins or themes you may have installed or customized

At minimum daily and weekly backups should consist of a database backup

A monthly backup should contain both database and files.

Retention #

Unless your business constrained by regulatory requirements a good baseline is 6 months. Recommendations are to use the following guidelines for each type of backup

  • Daily – 7 days
  • Weekly – 5 weeks
  • Monthly – 7 months

By increasing the monthly you can retain a longer period without effecting your other schedule

Location #

Available options to store backups include but are not limited to:

  • Local – Stored in the directory on the server
  • Remote – FTP or Cloud Store such as Dropbox or AWS
  • email – backups can be mailed to the administrator

To be effective it is strongly suggested that a backup be stored in at least two locations.