Keeping a regular backup for your website will help you to restore lost data if something goes wrong. Incremental backups take it a step farther, backing up only the changes since the last backup, the perfect mix of safety and efficiency.
You must have heard people narrating their data loss horror stories, in which they were unable to recover their data because they were not keeping backups. Backups are no less than website insurance. It is like you have placed copies of your data in some safe locker, and in a case of emergency, you retrieve it and use it to rebuild your site. WordPress plugins have been very helpful in this respect, and you find many good choices to opt from to create backups easily. When a backup is created, you will want it to contain everything from the website at that very moment (files, database, etc).
Backups Secure a WordPress Website
WordPress security has been a discussion for quite a long time, and you find ample content regarding it. Backups are a permanent solution which should be in your arsenal of tools used to secure a site. However, WordPress backups can consist of different types, such as:
- Manual: Here all your web files (like plugins, themes, uploads directory) and database are downloaded manually via PhpMyAdmin, the terminal, FTP, etc. Manual backups are not so handy if you are making regular changing on your WP site. They require more time and more work. If you’re determined to perform manual backups, though, you can learn more about it on SitePoint Premium
- Automatic: You’ll use a WordPress plugin or some service to automatically take a backup. Plugins can be configured for the time interval (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly, hourly) at which the backup is to be made.
- Real-Time: These backups are synchronized live as you make any changes in your site content.
- Full-Site Backups: Here, the backups are taken for the entire site and not just the database or an XML export of the content.
- Incremental Backups: It is a type of backup that only copies files and data that have changed since the previous backup.
The primary purpose of this post is not, however, to highlight the importance of backups. I’m sure most of you are already aware that you need backups. Instead, I’m going to specifically discuss incremental backups, which not only offer site security, but also save web resources. But I get into further details let’s take a look at the few of the basics about incremental backups.
For example, consider that a full-site backup was made on Day 1. An incremental backup taken later will save all of the files which have been changed since Day 1’s backup. However, the next incremental backup will only backup files that have changed since the most recent incremental backup, and so on. The process is repeated until another full-site backup is performed.
The main advantage of incremental backups is that fewer files are backed up daily, allowing for shorter backup windows (backing up full sites can sometimes cause performance issues and require longer backup windows). In this way, you can preserve web resources like server memory and storage space usage.
Hopefully, by now, you recognize the usefulness of taking incremental backups for your websites. There are a couple of go-to backup plugins for it, but the WP Time Capsule plugin replaces the need for nearly all backup solutions out there.
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