I’m a stickler for backups. I have multiple backups of every backup stored in multiple places. For at least a dozen years, I’ve gone on the occasional backup rampage, where I remind everyone I know to backup their sites, computers, etc. Over time, I’ve taken on the responsibility of client site maintenance, plus I have my own sites to maintain. I’ve tried pretty much every backup solution available, free and pro, in that time. And while there are some decent options out there, most of them ended up having one of the two following problems.
- Server resources were chewed up and spit out like last week’s old lunch, leaving the sites sluggish or unresponsive.
- Backups seemed to be fine, but restoring proved you can have a beautiful exterior, but if there’s nothing on the inside, it’s all worthless.
The number one goal of a backup is to ensure you can reliably restore it at a later time. Too often, I’ve seen that reliability end up leading to a sad, false sense of security.
If you like your current WordPress backup plugin, then by all means, stick with it. I’m not going to try to convince you to abandon anything that works for you. But if you are still searching for something that works, here’s what did the trick for me.
cPanel Backup Works Well – Why Not Just Use That?
If your sites use cPanel, you’ll probably agree that manually downloading the Home directory and database is a simple 2-click process. And it solves both problems above. It isn’t a resource hog, and it’s as reliable as it gets.
But the problem with cPanel backup is that it is a MANUAL process and I have to remember to do it! If I’m lucky enough to remember, I then have to navigate to cPanel, log in, make my way to the backup area, and finally, I can make those two very simple clicks. That would all be okay if I only had one or two sites to maintain. But this is completely unworkable for multiple sites*.
So Let’s Automate cPanel Backups Then!
So, I began the quest to see if I could automate the process of making cPanel backups. I found a few scripts, but I couldn’t seem to get them to work very well. That may be my own failing, I don’t know, but in my frustration, I kept looking.
And then I found something that made me kick myself, because a few years ago, I already went through this process, found the solution, and then somehow, forgot about it again! DOH!!!
What Is It??
Ok, so, the miracle cPanel backup automation software app that I’d forgotten I owned is called Backup Smart. It’s an extremely inexpensive, one-time purchase that you can use to backup all your cPanel accounts. (Well, it worked for all of mine, anyway).
How inexpensive is inexpensive? $37
There are no monthly or annual subscriptions to worry about. Just a single, one-time payment of less than forty bucks, just like the good old days, right? (I just had a conversation on Facebook about how I’m starting to hate the monthly or annual subscription model that is so popular right now for WordPress services and tools).
Oh, and you can try it for free for a week, so it’s definitely worth checking out.
Does It Work On Your OS?
It runs on Windows, Linux and Mac, so it works pretty much everywhere, and it is a set-it-and-forget-it kind of tool. Once you give it your cPanel credentials, tell it when and how often to backup, and where to save the backups, you’re done. Every day, or week, or month, as you prefer, you’ll automatically have your sites’ files and databases downloaded. How you duplicate them and where else you store them is up to you. You’ll be able to relax, knowing that you’ll be able to easily restore a site if it goes belly-up, or gets hacked, and you won’t bog your server down in the process.
Be Safe. Backup Reliably.
Backups via cPanel are simple and reliable, but it’s normally a manual process. It doesn’t have to be. I can’t believe I haven’t been using Backup Smart all this time, even though I’d already purchased it years ago. I’m shaking my head at myself right now, trust me.
I hope this solves your backup problems, and I also hope that if it does, you don’t do what I did and forget you solved this problem already!
* In case you’re wondering, I do use a nice site management tool to maintain all of my sites and my clients’ sites. I could choose to use one of the many backup plugins that is supported by it. I don’t do that, however, because I haven’t yet found a plugin (free or paid) that doesn’t come with one of the problems mentioned above. I also know that another nice management tool comes with its own backup plugin that works well, but the monthly cost keeps me from using that solution. But again, I know some of you use plugins you love, and I am happy if they work for you.
Note: Yes, like most links on this blog, that’s an affiliate link. Feel free to Google the product on your own if you’d rather not click the link. It won’t hurt my feelings, I promise. 🙂