Word Press is a dynamic software application that calls your page information from the database as needed in order to load a page. As such it has inherent security vulnerabilities that must be protected against. Databases should be backed-up at regular intervals (depending on the rate at which you post new content to the site) in case the worst should happen such as a server hard drive crash or an aggressive hacker intrusion.
The Word Press software itself is a free open source project with a large community of developers working to improve functionality, find and fix bugs, and increase security. Therefore the software updates as new functions added, bugs are fixed, and security holes found and closed. Your admin panel will notify you of new updates to the software.
There are so many good wordpress back up plugins that make performing normally time consuming backups as simple as clicking a few links in the admin panel. Even simpler, it can be set to automatically perform back-ups at set time intervals and email the zipped files to you.
To manually do back ups you would need to access phpMyAdmin on your server and select the database and individually select each table, select the correct set of options, export the tables, etc., etc…
Using the Backup Plugin
In your WP admin panel click on the Manage tab and then on the Backup tab. Here you can conduct backups in two ways. Manually, as in simply clicking the the Backup!button, or set a schedule for automated backups. Which form of backup you do will depend on how often you are updating content on your site.
One Click Backups
If your site does not change very often then you can simply elect to click the Backup!button as you feel a backup is needed. Choose between sending the compressed back-up file to your server, to your computer, or to your email.
When doing this form of backup it might be wise to both copy the files to your server and send a copy to either your computer or your email. If your email address is tied to your domain name then you should realize that a catastrophic server failure or simply failing to pay your hosting bill could possibly cause you to loose your emails saved on the server.
Scheduled Automatic Backups
If you post regularly then you should use the scheduled option. It can be set to hourly, daily and weekly. A highly trafficked site with a large number of comments being posted to the site might elect for hourly backups. A site that posts new content every few days to a week or so, and does not receive lots of new comments each day may opt for weekly.
Importance of WordPress Updates and How To Automate Updates
WordPress tends to have irregular significant version updates with more frequent minor version updates in between. For example, at the time of this publication we are using WP version 2.3.2 (two updates since the release of 2.3), version 2.4 would be considered the next significant update. Version 2.3.3 will be the next update to fix bugs or patch security holes in the current version. Version 3.0, whenever that may occur, would be a major update with many new features and functions.
It is not always necessary to update to the latest version as soon as it is released as it may contain problems. When 2.4 is released you may want to wait a while for 2.4.1 so you get the more stable version.
Your admin panel will notify you when a new version is available. Always perform a full backup before updating to a new version. Need more WordPress Help?? There are plenty more WordPress Help Articles Now Available on our website.