We wrote in our previous article about the popularity of WordPress as a foundation for websites around the world and resultant attempts by hackers to exploit vulnerabilities in the code of not only WordPress itself, but also the plugins that extend its functionality.
We explained that it was possible to secure your WordPress site way beyond the standard level offered by a default installation, but even a reasonably secure website could be exploited and malicious code injected into it and unfortunately once infected, it's pretty much curtains for your website, unless you want to spend around £150 having it cleaned.
A much better option is to back up your website files and database on a regular basis! Our web hosting has the facility to back up files and databases but it means logging into your hosting control panel to manually run the backups and let's face it, no small business owner wants to be messing around like that!
Our preferred WordPress security package, iThemes Security, has the option to backup files and databases, but we have found it to be a bit "glitchy"; not backing up for certain reasons and requiring manual adjustments to parts of the website that everyday users won't want to do.
We decided to turn off the backup feature of iThemes and use a dedicated backup tool instead, namely UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration. This is the highest ranking backup plugin on WordPress.org and allows you to backup in a variety of ways and restore with a single click. The best thing is that it's a completely FREE tool and allows backup via Amazon S3 (or compatible), Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud, DreamObjects, FTP, Microsoft OneDrive, SFTP, SCP, WebDAV, OpenStack Swift and email, although certain of the offered cloud backup services (Microsoft One Drive for example) require paid-for add-ins to be purchased.
However, we configured our sites to utilise our free Dropbox account and backups to this are included with the standard plugin. Backups of files and database can have separate schedules, with every 4, 8, 12 hours; daily; weekly; fortnightly; monthly on offer and the ability to customised further. You can also specify the number of backups that should be kept, which is useful because it might be a few days before you realise your website has been compromised and you will want to have clean historical backups to restore from!
We can't emphasise enough that you need to be backing up your WordPress (or any other) website on a regular basis. It's one of those things that you really won't know how important it is until it happens to you!