By David Hannes

WordPress Tips and Advice: Back Up Your WordPress Database OftenYesterday one of my clients had a near disaster with her WordPress website. She hosts her WordPress website on a shared server GoDaddy account, which does not offer any comprehensive technical support. After installing new plugins, modifying the PHP files under “Editor” and making changes to the database the site began to malfunction.

It was a WordPress disaster on their end. The site would no longer display in Internet Explorer, the layout was offset in Firefox, something was wrong and they called GoDaddy for help and support. The tech support agents at GoDaddy informed my client that although they do back-up the files on their account, they do not make back-ups of the WordPress database. My client was beside herself. She had made no backup copies of the database, the brains behind any WordPress website.  She had no idea that GoDaddy does not make a back-up copy along with her files as standard practice and policy.

The client requested that GoDaddy do a system restore of her account to the previous day but was denied her request as her account was on a shared server. She pleaded for someone to look at her database, only to be told that GoDaddy policy states that they do not offer WordPress technical support for the dashboard or database. They ended the conversation instructing her to refer to forum help boards, which was as helpful as telling her, and most non techies, to hit her laptop with a baseball bat. She was on her own.

My client then called me for assistance with the WordPress website.  I had seen variations of this disaster on multiple occasions. In the case of this client, she installed an incompatible plugin. She was fortunate that this was a resolvable problem without having to spend a small fortune hiring a database consultant to investigate and fix her DB error.

This problem was entirely avoidable. Be smart. Be preemptive and proactive. Be able to repair WordPress errors, glitches and bugs. Before you develop a WordPress website, host on a server that will offer some modicum of dashboard and database support and will offer back-up support of your database.

For new and existing accounts, install a WordPress plugin or two that automates a database backup procedure and backup your database often, at least once a week and before doing any major revisions to your website. You’ll be so happy you did so when a disaster arises.

Recommended WordPress database back-up plugins:

WordPress Database Backup: An automated and on-demand backup of your WordPress database. By Austin Matzko.

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