Websites and hosting servers are prone to various technical problems as well as hacking attempts, which can bring your online business to a grinding halt. Scams and frauds are equally prevalent. Thus, many things can go wrong with your WooCommerce store or websites, which includes anything from page loading error to an insecure checkout. A single bug in the coding can lead to huge financial losses that can run into millions of dollars, forget about the loss in terms of customers.
You can easily prevent these losses if you opt for appropriate security tools and have the right backup policy in place. Regular backups of your online store are probably the most cost-effective and efficient method of ensuring your store’s security. In the event of something going wrong, you can choose to roll back to the last known stable version of your website or WooCommerce store.
In this blog post, we shall be looking at the three basic ways of backing up your WooCommerce store. Online store owners prefer automated over manual backups but it’s important to have a manual backup so that you at least have a copy of your WooCommerce store on your local machine.
The Need to Back up your WooCommerce store
Irrespective of whether you have a website or an online store, it’s important for every online entity to have a backup policy. Backups work as a key for your WooCommerce store so that when it’s down, you can simply enter the key and the store will be up and running.
You need to backup your WooCommerce store to negate the following threats or manage the following eventualities:
Hacking: WordPress-powered online stores are hacked more than any other eCommerce stores because of the immense popularity of this platform. Thus, your WooCommerce store is prone to hacking attempts, which can result in theft of critical customer and business data.
Human Error: A small mistake from your end can erase your WooCommerce store’s database that includes critical information ranging from your customer’s financial information to their order, payment etc.
Technical Faults: Faulty server configuration or unwanted updates can prevent your WooCommerce store from functioning properly.
To prevent these issues from hampering your business operations, it’s imperative that you backup your WooCommerce store. Your WooCommerce store backup will essentially comprise of the web files and the database. Frequent backups of your WooCommerce store are important because the database is updated almost every minute i.e. whenever someone places an order or whenever a new customer signs up. Thus, you must have a backup of the most recent files so that in case of a breakdown, you don’t end up losing any critical data.
Let’s look at the three different ways to backup a WooCommerce store:
1st Method: Installing plugins for Automated Backups
Several free as well as premium WordPress backup plugins are available that can provide automated backups for your WooCommerce store. Here’s a list of some of the popular automated backup plugins that you can choose from:
BlogVault – You can easily start with their 7-day free trial to get a first-hand feel of the backup plugin. You can test the system’s reliability without paying up anything. Customized WooCommerce backups offered by BlogVault guarantees zero-order loss and even offer a 365-Day Backup History.
BackupBuddy: iThemes’ premium plugin for automated backup and migration is a license-based service. There’s no restriction on the websites on which you use the plugin after getting the license.
UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin: When it comes to popularity, nothing can beat UpdraftPlus as this freemium plugin makes automatic backups a breeze.
Install any of the above plugins by going to your WooCommerce Dashboard→ Plugins → Add New, search for the chose plugin, install it and activate it.
The backup options will now appear under the Settings Tab and go-ahead to set up your backup policy. Choose the automatic backups with a low frequency. Under the File Backup Schedule option, you can set the WooCommerce backup schedule for hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
For the Database Backup Schedule, you need to be very careful as all your website settings and other critical data is stored in it. Setting the same frequency for files as well as databases helps maintain consistency.
Once you’ve scheduled the backups, it’s now time to choose the remote storage. Different plugins offer different remote storage options, which includes sto(Generic), Microsoft Azure, Amazon S3, Rackspace, OpenStack (Swift), SFTP / SCP, Google Drive, DreamObjects, Google Cloud, Email, and services such as Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, WebDAV, and S3-compatible. However, you will need to authenticate a service before you can start using it.
You can choose to receive a backup download link on your Email as well but you’ll have to check those options under the backup/restore option. You can even view existing backups available on your dashboard, which you can download or restore at the click of your mouse.
2nd Method: Support from Hosting Provider
Several WooCommerce hosting providers offer backup or restore as an Add-on service and you will need to pay extra for availing it. However, some hosting providers offer backup of the entire server and it isn’t WooCommerce specific. You simply need to contact your hosting service provider and they’ll provide you the exact steps for activating the backup service.
3rd Method: Manual Backup of WooCommerce Store
A manual backup of your WooCommerce files and database is one of the most effective and inexpensive methods. Before taking a backup of the database, you must take a backup of the files first. You must connect to a web server via an FTP client such as FileZilla and download all the files on your local computer.
For backing up the WooCommerce Database, you need to go to the database management panel of the control panel and then navigate to the PHPMyAdmin. Select the database that you created while developing your websites and in case you’re unsure about the exact database in use then you can check the wp-config.php file and find the database’s name. On selecting the database, you will be able to see the tables. The next step is to select all the tables and click on the Export button to download the database.