Ever since I blew up one of my blogs, I've been looking for a foolproof backup solution.
The first solution I tried involved manually copying specific files from my site. This was fine, except I soon had half a dozen files, not to mention my clients' website files.
Then I discovered Backup Buddy, a plugin from iThemes. When I started using it, I thought it was manna from heaven. It was a completely automated process. All I had to do was set it up to backup either the entire site or just the database, and choose whatever frequency I wanted. I could literally set it and forget it.
That is, until it stopped working some months ago. I don't even know exactly when. I just noticed I wasn't getting email notifications about backups anymore.
Then when I attempted to install it in a new blog, I found out my license had expired (after one year) and I had to fork $100 to get another year's license to have the plugin in 10 sites. I'm not exactly willing to do spend this much for a plugin that could stop working anytime.
And so the latest solution I'm trying is another WordPress plugin called Backup Creator*. Backup Creator creates a copy of your site. When it's done you get two zipped files, one containing the backup files, and another with the plugin.
If you need to reinstall your site, all you have to do is set up WordPress, install the plugin file, and click on a restore button.
It isn't the set-it-and-forget-it solution I'd been looking for, but it's fast enough, simple enough, and reliable enough for me to set aside half an hour a week to make sure my sites are safe. This video shows how Backup Creator works.
But while I'm at it, I figure why not think of other ways I could maximize this plugin (which at the time of writing cost me $37).
1. Protect your WordPress sites
Of course, use Backup Creator to make back up files of your WordPress sites. If anything happened to them, you know you could easily restore them through this plugin.
2. Protect your client's sites
If you're a service provider who helps build websites for clients, you can add a recurring backup service. I know a VA who charges $25 per site per month for this service. You can do the same. It only takes a few minutes every week, or every few days (depending on how often the site has new content), and you could even outsource it to a VA. You will, however, need to get a developer's license to install Backup Creator in clients' sites.
3. Clone template sites
If you create many niche sites, or build sites for clients, you can make a template website, clone it with Backup Creator, and use it to easily and quickly set up a brand-new site. It will have all the plugins you like to use, saving you lots of time and effort to get each new site up and running.
4. Move a WordPress site from one host to another
Have you ever moved an existing site to another web host? I have. I hired two VAs to do it, and it took them about 3 days to get everything done. If I had Backup Creator then, I could have done everything myself and it would have taken me all of 20 minutes.
5. Create and sell niche sites using PLR content
If you sell PLR content, you can preload the content in a WordPress site and sell the entire package for a higher price. Clone the PLR site, sell it over and over, and easily install them in your customers' sites using Backup Creator.
As you can see you can get plenty of juice out of this $37 plugin.
Can you think of other ways to use Backup Creator?
Interested in trying it out for yourself? Get more information about Backup Creator here.
* Affiliate Links. If you purchase Backup Creator through the links on this page, I will receive a commission.
Lexi Rodrigo is a communication and marketing professional for multimillion-dollar businesses, co-author of Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye, and host of "Marketing Insights LIVE!." Connect with Lexi on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
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