If you manage your WordPress website for a long time, then you will realize the importance of regular backups. In the event of any unforeseen disaster, backup can save you a lot of trouble.
In addition to regular backups, it is also important to handle backups safely. Why? Because many things can go wrong, such as –
- Insufficient server storage space
- Backup may be inaccessible
- The backup may be corrupted and infected by malware
- Backup may be incomplete, etc.
All these problems make backups useless.
Imagine that your website goes down, and then the only backup you have is corrupted or incomplete. Sounds frustrating, right? After all, the whole point of backups is to be able to restore them when needed.
This is where the test backup comes in handy. Testing your backup before restoring can save you a lot of trouble in the future. It is recommended that you consider testing as an integral part of your overall backup strategy. You should back up and test your website from time to time, not in the event of a disaster. In this way, you are ready and can quickly restore working backups to keep your site up and running.
How does testing WordPress backup help?
WordPress is a complex ecosystem consisting of multi-core files, plugins and themes. When your website is up and running, life will be good. But when something goes wrong, finding the root cause can be a huge pain. All you have to do is get your website back to normal as soon as possible. A quick fix like a recovery site seems very tempting. However, if the backup is damaged or incomplete, restoring the backup without first testing can make the situation worse.
If you take the time to test your backup first, you will achieve the following goals:
- Diagnose the cause of your website downtime (use a backup copy of the website before it went down).
- If you find an error in the backup, you can skip the copy and look for a better copy.
- The backup also enables users to test modifications without affecting the live site.
- You can check for incompatibility issues, etc.
Although there are many advantages to test backups, the process can be time-consuming and difficult to implement. Let us evaluate the main challenges associated with performing backup tests.
Challenges of WordPress backup testing
You need to create a test environment first. This can be very technical, especially if you have multiple backup versions that need to be tested. You may need to create different test environments. Tools such as WampServer or DesktopServer can help you create a local environment on your system. Or, if you are using a good managed WordPress hosting plan, you can create a temporary site for testing.
But once you set up the test environment, you need to actually test your backups. You can do this manually or using a plugin. Let’s take a look at both!
How to manually test your backup
Your first option is to manually test the WordPress site backup yourself. You need to perform two main steps.
1. Create and download a backup of the site.
To back up your WordPress site, you basically need to make copies of all files. You can use the cPanel file manager to manually backup your site to download your WordPress folder or view and download your files via SFTP. This guide on how to back up WordPress covers all the steps and tools to get the job done.
2. Upload the backup to your local site.
Now on your local system, you need to create a temporary WordPress website to upload and test your backup.
Use Desktopserver or similar software to create a WordPress website locally. When you are ready, use the “Export or Import Website” option to upload the backup to your local site. (Please note that this feature is only available for DesktopServer Premium users.)
After uploading the backup and the website is ready, you can start testing the local website.
More about desktop servers
As you can see, manual testing is not easy and requires you to use tools. Most importantly, you need to have the technical knowledge to deal with any problems that arise during the test. It is much easier to use plugins.
How to use plugins to test your backup
Manually testing backups can be difficult. This is why many users prefer to use tools or plug-ins to test backups. Using the plug-in, you can create a test environment with the click of a button. If your WordPress backup plugin provides a better test environment, then you don’t have to download and upload your backups to your test environment over and over again.
In this section, we will show how to use BlogVault backup service.
Although there are many backup services to choose from, BlogVault is the only service that creates a test environment on its own server. The burden of running the process is borne by the BlogVault server instead of your server, which means that your live site is not affected.And with its Test restore Feature, BlogVault will automatically restore the backup in the test environment (usually called staging). The test environment will expire in a week, during which you can check the backup, and if you are satisfied, you can restore your chosen backup effortlessly.
So let’s start testing!
1. Create and set up your Blogvault account.
create an account And add your website to the dashboard.
After adding the website to the BlogVault dashboard, the plugin will back up your website. This may take a while, and you will be notified when it is completed.
2. Select the backup you want to test.
Next, select the website of your choice (if you have added more than one website) and click from the dashboard Backup part.
Then on the next page, click on an option that looks like a cloud.That is Test restore Button.
You also need to choose Backup version with PHP version You want to test. Don’t forget to click submit.
The test backup will be restored in a few minutes, now is the time to check if the backup is working properly.
3. Start testing!
Click on Access test recovery Button.
You will be asked to enter the credentials from the previous page.
After logging in, you should be able to see the restored backup on your website.
If you want to test a different backup, then just delete the test site and create a new site. Starting from the beginning, just choose a different backup version to test.
When you find the backup you need, click to activate and restore that specific version.
Automated tools such as BlogVault eliminate the hassles and risks associated with manually testing backups. It’s as easy as clicking a few buttons! And as mentioned earlier, your server is not stressed (because everything is done on the Blogvault side).
Learn more about BlogVault
Disasters happen when you least expect them. It’s better to be safe than regret, right!
It is strongly recommended to test the backup from time to time. When things really go south, you know you have a safety net to rely on. You can be sure that it is one without any holes.
Do you have any other techniques for testing site backups? Or other tools you recommend? Please leave your comments in the evaluation section!