Our Guide to Website Backup Solutions

Our 10-Minute Guide to Website Backup Solutions

Let’s spin a little story.

Example Industries experienced an unexpected security breach.

It wasn’t a complete disaster, but it did cause days of downtime. This led to a loss of revenue, lost customers, and wasted time due to inefficient website backups.

Example Industries may be humorously fake – but this situation isn’t. 80% of businesses in 2021 experienced a ransomware-related security issue.

One of these businesses is LinkedIn, which experienced a massive data breach in Summer 2021.

Data loss is one of the nastiest side effects of a breach. Even a backup from 24 hours ago could cost you valuable customer data and blog comments.

Website backup solutions are a crucial component for your company, giving you peace of mind knowing that your business is safe and sound.

But what is the best way to backup a website? Manually? Plugins? Backup services?

An even better question:

What are we waiting for?

What Are Website Backup Solutions?

Website backup solutions are different methods and solutions for backing up your website files and data. From the simplest solution of a local backup, to automatic backup plugins, to backup services and software.

Website backup solutions are the various options you have to keep your data safe and secure.

What is the best way to backup a website? They’re all a little different.

They come in two broad types:

  1. Automatic backups – these can be set up to backup your data daily, or every 5 minutes if needed.
  2. Manual backups – these are generally done by professionals at specific, strategic times. Usually days and hours when your business isn’t its busiest, or right before a big update.

Any way you spin it, tight website maintenance security is your key to avoiding disaster and ensuring smooth sailing.

How do they work?

A website backup service is going to scan your website and store the data elsewhere, whether that’s on your local server or in the cloud. Usually somewhere like Google Drive or Dropbox.

The backup can then be brought in to restore your site.

Backups exist to ensure that you have a separate copy of all your data so you can easily get your website back up and running again.

Why Should You Invest in a Website Backup Solution?

Website backups are non-negotiable.

They can save your butt time after time, and there are many reasons to invest in one (or more).

Prevent data loss and avoid duplicated work

Creating your website once was tough. Creating it twice is a headache. Three times…

You get the point.

Losing website data and rebuilding it from scratch will cause a delay and could result in a loss of quality every time you have to remake the same page.

And imagine the expenses involved. Hiring all the right people again, go through the whole process again – we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars.

Even if you’re working with an agency, you could still be charged a fee as not all web design agencies will cover the cost of a crash.

97% of businesses say they backup their data at least once a year but 29% of those businesses have also experienced a data loss that led to significant downtime.

This translates to the need for tighter, more frequent backups.

At StateWP, we think once a year isn’t near enough. But daily backups are:

What about the complexity of the backups these companies make? Are they backing up the entire website – every ounce of data?

Having an experienced team doing your backup will ensure it’s frequent and complete.

And that means total, reliable data safety.

Keep your customers happy with quick site restoration

Customers that reach an error page aren’t happy customers.
A downed site will make most customers run straight to a competitor – and the remaining ones won’t have choice thoughts running through their minds.

Thoughts like:

  • Is this website secure? Am I secure being here?
  • Is this company still in business?
  • Should I find another similar company?
  • Is the website owner…okay?

So they’ll most likely leave for another site, too.

This can be absolutely devastating to companies trying to retain loyal, long-term customers. And it’s pretty common knowledge that your existing customers are your best customers.


Having professionals in charge of your site’s backup will ensure your backup is promptly restored, leading to minimal amounts of downtime. And 90% of customers believe that how a company reacts in a crisis demonstrates its trustworthiness.

Experts can also make sure that backups happen at times when there is the least traffic on your website, leading to better site performance.

Automatic backups could potentially happen at peak times – like an eCommerce company during a massive sale or a product launch.

One more way to keep customers happy during downtime is a fun and engaging error page. Like this one from KonMari – fun, lighthearted, and using their brand voice:

It’s a great way to use a blunder as an opportunity to connect with your customers and demonstrate transparency. And it buys you time as your team works to restore the site.

Don’t lose out on sales and revenue due to downtime

Loyal customers and new leads alike will have a similar reaction when faced with a “404 not found”…

Every moment your website is down, you’re missing out on revenue, new potential leads, and sales opportunities.

48% of consumers have bought from a competitor purely because a website wasn’t easy to navigate – what if it wasn’t there at all?

Amazon’s website went down for 13 minutes. It cost the company approximately 2.5 million in lost revenue.

And you can imagine Amazon has an army of dedicated developers on hand.

Most web hosting companies offer a website backup and restore service – but they typically take up to 36 hours.

An experienced team can provide a thorough backup and restore it quickly to minimize any loss of revenue and customers.

It’s trite but true – time is money.

Avoid any issues after site updates

Updates are intended to make everything run better and make processes more efficient.

But that isn’t always how it goes.

Themes, plugins, and security updates can sometimes clash and conflict with each other and your WordPress core. This sort of thing happens all the time, but when you don’t have an earlier version to default to quickly, chaos can ensue.

Especially with bigger updates. You know when your update reminder says, “Update 2.8.24 is ready!”? The last update was most likely Update 2.8.23.

The big updates are when it ticks over to 3.0.

These updates are usually a major change, increasing the odds of a glitch.

Bigger updates will also be a sizable undertaking for your site and could cause performance issues.

Best to prepare for these with a thorough backup, then schedule them for a low-traffic day and time.

And it’s always worth the effort. For more info, check out our blog on Why You Need to Update Your Website.

Protect against malware and hacking

Malware attacks and hacking attempts increase each year, with cybercriminals and automated bots trying to find vulnerable spots in your security.

Security breaches increased by 13% last year, which is more than the last five years combined.

Having frequent, complete backups of your website will give you a cushion of data protection if your site ever gets compromised.

A breach could be targeting:

  • Your visitor’s personal information
  • Your business’ data
  • A ransom from your business in exchange for stolen data

You’ll be handling enough – you don’t need to be worrying about your website’s content, too.

For more information on how to bolster your web defenses, read our post on the Steps You Can Take to Improve Website Security.

4 Top Website Backup Solutions

What is the best data backup solution?

Solutions are broad, ranging from small local backups to cloud backup solutions for small business websites.

Here are our top four:

Website backup solutionsDescription
1. Local backupsA locally stored and managed backup
2. Automated backup pluginsWordPress plugins that create backups automatically on a schedule
3. Built-in solutions from your hosting providerMost website hosting providers offer website backup and restore features
4. Cloud backup servicesIntegrated security platforms and backup-as-a-service providers that are located in the cloud

Let’s discuss them.

1. Local backups

A local backup is a website backup present on your local servers or an external hard drive.

Local backups are up to your company to manage and create. You’ll need to ensure it’s exhaustive, backing up the entire site to avoid any data loss.

Knowing how to do this can be a bit complex. It will also take a bit of tech know-how to restore a backup when it’s needed properly.

You’ll also need to schedule these to be done frequently, as you’re doing the online backup, not a separate service or company.

This means you’ll either need to use automatic backups, which aren’t always done at the most convenient times, or you’ll need to put a specific employee in charge of them.

Local backups are the riskiest solution, as they’re going to be kept by you. And if your website was hacked, it’s also likely that your backup will be hacked.

Not the most secure option, but always good to have at least one local copy and another solution.

Remember this ol’ website backup adage:

One is none.

Two is one.

2. Automatic backup plugins

If you Googled “website backup plugin WordPress” today – this section’s for you.

Plugins are little bits of software you download to your WordPress site to improve your experience.

Automatic backup plugins allow you to complete extensive backups of your website’s files, databases, plugins, and themes with a quick click.

These can be manual or performed on an automatic schedule, from every couple of hours to weekly or monthly.

Here are a few of the most popular backup plugins:

Since it’s a fully-integrated plugin, restoration can be quickly done from your dashboard with little to no tech knowledge.

These plugins also allow incremental backups. It takes less time and effort to simply backup whatever’s new – say a new product page – than the entire website.

Plugin backups won’t be the most thorough, complete solution – but they’re better than local ones and pretty quick and easy.

3. Built-in solutions from your hosting provider

Your web hosting provider likely has a built-in backup solution that comes with your package.

These backup packages can include automatic daily backups, scheduled backups, one-click restore, and cloud storage. Hosting backup solutions also tend to include security measures like malware scanning.

Hosting providers like GoDaddy and Bluehost offer solutions like this.

Letting your hosting provider handle backups will take it out of your hands, so you won’t have to worry about the tech know-how needed to properly backup and restore.

The main caveat to host-provided backups is the time. It can take anywhere from 24 to 36 hours to retrieve and restore a backup from a hosting provider.

This extra time could derail your processes and cost you a great deal of money in lost revenue and lost leads.

Speaking of money – some hosting providers will charge you an extra chunk of change for this service.

Definitely something to consider.

4. Cloud backup services

Website backup solutions based in the cloud keep your backup off a local server, which is always a great idea.

But this goes beyond Dropbox and Drive.

More and more companies are trusting their backups with cloud services.

There are two main types of cloud backup service:

  1. Integrated security platforms
  2. BaaS (backup-as-a-service) providers

Number 1 refers to applications such as Sucuri, which specializes in total website security with a focus on backups. Applications like these make quick backups, easily restore backups, and schedule routine backups.

They keep a log of backups for up to 90 days, and it’s a simple click from your software dashboard to restore it.

The second is a form of SaaS (software-as-a-service), where you receive a backup solution as a subscription service. These are usually aimed at backing up key applications, such as critical information in your SaaS programs.

One example of a BaaS provider is Rewind

Off-site, cloud-based storage adds a layer of security by ensuring that a copy of your website is nowhere near the site of the attack – your servers.

Website Backup FAQs

“Why do I need a website backup?”

A website backup is your main assurance that your site can be restored after crashes, security breaches, and other major issues.

Whether it’s a large problem like hacker attacks, or something as small as an accidentally deleted file, website backups give you peace of mind.

“How do I backup and restore a website?”

The general process in WordPress will go like this:

  1. Find and select the appropriate backup from your list of backups. This will usually be the most recent by date.
  2. Click the “restore” button.
  3. You may be asked what you want to be restored, such as themes, plugins, and databases. Choose what you need to be restored.
  4. Select confirm.
“How often should I backup my website?”

All websites should be backed up at least daily. You never know when updates could go awry, or a hosting failure could occur.

Some backups can happen every five minutes, or even instantaneously – but more isn’t always better.

Balancing your backups with your storage space is key. It could have an impact on your site performance.

“What is the best way to backup a website?”

To ensure the most complete, thorough backup, it’s best to bring in an experienced team to help manage the process.

It can be tough to determine what to backup and how to do it. And sometimes, the restoration requires even more of a delicate touch than the backup.

It’s the safety of your site that’s on the line – and a very unique skill set required to do it, so getting professionals to aid in the process is ideal.

“How much does it cost to back up a website?”

The exact price of data backup differs depending on individual needs. As an average ballpark, it could be about $1 – $4 per gigabyte of data per month.

StateWP offers website maintenance security bundles that include backups, updates, monitoring, and reporting. That way, you aren’t paying for a single service.

“How do I backup a website offline?”

You can save any website as an HTML file by clicking the three-dot icon in the right corner of your browser, selecting “More tools…”, then clicking “Save page as”.

It’s not an extensive backup by any means, but it’s a quick fix.

We’re Here to Back You Up

Taking action and investing in website backup solutions are essential for your business and your sanity.

It’ll prevent loss of data, revenue, and customers. And when, according to a 2021 study, cybercriminals can penetrate 93% of company networks – it’ll give you peace of mind, too.

Trusting your backup plan to an expert provider will cost you less and assure a more complete, exhaustive backup of your data.

Even more peace of mind.

Contact StateWP to learn more and dive deeper into our affordable, trustworthy maintenance and support packages.

Ready to bolster your cyber defenses? Read more on security by checking out our blog posts on why your employees are the biggest threat to data security and steps you can take to improve website security.