by Robert Rickover

imagesFor anybody who has a Word Press site, please take a moment to consider how (and if!) you have your site backed up – and specifically if is backed up at separate locations.  Losing your website data can be extremely costly.

Word Press is definitely a great way to go these days – a robust infrastructure, ease of editing, and perhaps most important of all, automatic creation of mobile versions of your site.  (About 30-40 percent of all my visitors now use mobile devices and that number is increasing monthly.  Trying to navigate an ordinary desktop version of a website on a mobile device can be extremely frustrating.)

There are, however, two very important performance and security issues anyone with a Word Press site needs to take into account: backing up your Word Press site and updating your Word Press site (and the specific plug-ins you’re using) as new versions become available.

First, backing up your site: Word Press sites are a lot trickier to back up than conventional sites.  Some – but not all – web hosts provide automatic back-ups for a few days or so, although re-installing can be a little complicated for someone not used to doing it.

There are free Word Press plug-ins that will create back-ups, but I’ve found 2 basic problems with these:  First, the back-ups are stored with your web host and if something happens with their servers, you are totally out of luck.  Second, some of those back-up plug-ins have had problems that rendered them useless and could even cause parts of your site to go down.

I’ve found an excellent solution to this problem with a company called MyRepono.  MyRepono backs up your sites as frequently as you want and stores the backups on a server located in Florida.

MyRepono also allows you to restore a compromised site with just one click – a feature that normally costs quite a bit per month.

The Word Press sites I host with Alexander Technique Website Hosting are all regularly backed up by the site’s server, InMotion Hosting, in California and, additionally, I back them up with MyRepono at no additional cost.  I also have basic versions securely saved on my computer and my back-up hard-drive in Nebraska. These versions are then also backed up with Carbonite using servers in Massachusetts.  This provides a far greater level of security than most web hosts can provide.

(You can also easily download a back-up of your Word Press site to your own computer using MyRepono.)

Second, keeping up with the regular updates to all Word Press sites and to the plug-ins you’re using for your site. It is crucial that you do not let the current version of your site (and plug-ins) fall too far behind the latest update.  All Word Press sites hosted by me are updated, including plug-ins, by me three times a year.