Storing WordPress backups on your PC can quickly become laborious and the risks outweigh the convenience or economic benefits. Find out why.
Locally storing your WordPress backups means storing them on your PC or desktop. The other option is maybe to store them in an external storage device like a USB drive or or an external HDD/SSD.
In this article let us look at how you can do it, why you may be looking at this option and also answer the question which matters the most– should you do it?
How To Make WordPress Backups Locally
There are 3 ways through which you can download backups to your computer:
- Manual WordPress Backup Download
- WordPress Backup Download via cPanel
Manual WordPress Backup Downloads
You can download WordPress files by using an FTP client— eg: FileZilla, CyberDuck. Making a full backup includes backing up files as well as your WordPress site database. To make WordPress database backups you can use phpMyAdmin.
However, once you download your backup files, labeling and organizing them is important. Otherwise it may be impossible to find the desired version when you want to make a restore.
Usually web hosts provide a cPanel account to users. Using the tools in cPanel– Create Backup or Backup Wizard, you can download backups. Again these backups are usually .zip files with filenames containing date names. However, that is not enough information when you make regular backups. You may have to spend more time organizing your backups with descriptions to ensure restores are easy.
Most WordPress backup plugins; at least all the popular ones, offer the option to download WordPress backups to your computer. However, regardless of the WordPress backup plugin you use, downloadable backup files; especially of the full site, are available in .zip format when you download a full WordPress site backup. On top of that not all plugins give you the option to download individual files. This means we are back to our recurring theme of how downloading and storing backups also means maintaining them.
Storing WordPress Backups Locally
There are some key concerns when thinking of destinations for WordPress backups.
- Storage space
- Restoration Issues
- Ease of use
An ideal WordPress backup solution addresses all of these concerns.
Pros and Cons of Storing WordPress Backups Locally
Backups must be made regularly; daily if possible. If you are making regular backups then storage space will become a concern for you. Your PC’s internal HDD will eventually run out. You can solve the problem by investing in an external HDD/SSD, or USB drives dedicated for storing your backups; especially if you have large sites and you make regular backups. If you use USB drives for example you may be forced to make backups once in awhile and and overwrite previous copies. This is not a good solution.
Security of WordPress Backups
Making a backup is a security measure. Which means your backups must be secure. However, storing them on your PC or on a storage device is not the best idea when considering the security of backups.
Backups stored on a PC may be infected with malware from a few sources. They may either already be on your computer, or your browser may have been infected by a malware from an unsafe site, or your backup files may be corrupted by malware in external storage devices like USB drives or HDD/SSD.
Apart from malware issues, there is the concern of where your backups are stored. Even if you have a dedicated external storage device– HDD/SSD, it may not be enough as they are not reliable. They do have failure rates, and may crash or be infected with malware as they have to connect to your computer at some point. HDDs/SSDs may also stop working due to heat or natural wear and tear. Along with all of these points, if you choose to store backups locally on a hard drive, then your backups are in a single location, this raises the risk of losing them significantly. As a result, they may not serve as the most secure environment for storing your backups.
Downloaded backups have to be organized if they have to be useful when you have to restore your WordPress site. Consider that your site is down and you have to restore it. If you are left going through all your backup versions one by one trying to make the right decision, then you might spend a lot of time and effort which you could have invested in developing your business ideas.
Manual downloads or locally stored backups usually mean manual restores too. This may suit some developers or those who have spent time working on WordPress but for the majority who are business owners, or bloggers who are utilizing the CMS, this may not be a viable option.
Restorations usually have to be done via your cPanel account or via an FTP Client and phpMyAdmin. There are often limits to the size of files that can be uploaded via cPanel or PHPMyAdmin. These restrictions can cause restores to fail. Again, the lack of backup descriptions, and easy options to make restores, together make extra demands of your time and energy. Expending this extra effort may be unnecessary if you utilize a complete WordPress backup service.
Ease of Use
First of all since this is a manual process. If you are following best practices than you have to make backups daily. This can get tiring, and worse, you may forget to make backups at all.
After taking all of the above points into consideration, the answer to this one seems to be clear. Storing WordPress backups locally doesn’t seem to be a great idea. However, there may be a couple of benefits. It is an economical option, and you can be sure that backups are done as making manual backups or downloading them from plugins allows you to keep track of your backups.
However, even in these cases, you may end up spending on storage devices, or professional help when you need to restore. Along with those issues, if you account for the time spent doing the work— making, downloading, organizing, and maintaining backups; and the time spent worrying about their safety, then the economical benefits and surety about backups being done seem to be nullified.
Instead choose a professional WordPress backup service like BlogVault, for worry free backups so you can do what you do best. A premium WordPress backup service would allow you to easily track backups, makes one-click WordPress restores, and even one-click WordPress migrations; leaving you worry free.