Well, yes, but you shouldn’t have to.
If you’re using a hosting company that does automatic backups then you don’t have to worry about doing a manual backup yourself.
There are more and more companies out there who will automatic backups. Great for us! But what are they actually backing up and what do you care about? You really care about:
- Database: the actual content of your site, your text, links, posts, pages, and how it’s all organized.
- Media: images, file uploads, anything you’ve uploaded. Ever.
- Updates: did you make a change yesterday? How often is the backup working?
Yes, there are some great plugins that I also recommend (e.g. BackupBuddy) but it’s a plugin and you have to then manually do something (e.g. restore). It can work, absolutely. But how much is the convenience of restoring with a single click worth to you? It’s also just a peace of mind cost. Especially if I’m doing some changes for a client site, I want to know that if I break something and it really goes downhill, I know I can get it back to where it was. How much is that worth to me? Well, it’s not my money, it’s the client’s money, but let me put it this way, if you have automatic backups on your site and I’m doing some changes, it’s going to take me less time (and cost you less money) for me to make those changes as I don’t have to back up the content first.
The crazy thing is that we’re talking about $6.99/month these days with Managed WordPress hosting from GoDaddy. Yes, WP Engine is out there too and probably has better service or faster servers, but if you’re just getting started and you’re looking for some fast, secure, and automatic back up and restore, GoDaddy is working well for clients of mine already.