Losing Your Work Isn’t Fun

Install WordPress Backup Plugins

Some of the plugins I consider essential for anyone running a website on WordPress include those for backing up the site. You never want to lose your articles, and you also don’t want to lose all the work you’ve done tweaking the WordPress installation.

Get The WP Files AND The Database

Sometimes, people backup the site files (perhaps using their FTP client), but miss backing up the SQL database. The database is where all the articles and comments are stored. Or the reverse happens – their host backs up the database, but they fail to back up their WordPress configuration, and they lose hours of tweaking and configuration.

My Preferred Plugin For Backing Up the Database

For the database, I use WordPress Database Backup by Austin Matzko. I like that I can backup to my computer or to an email account. Sending backups to a Gmail account works well for many of my clients. You can backup at any time you choose, or schedule backups hourly, daily or weekly. You can choose optional tables to include in the backup – in general, if you’re unsure, include them.

Wordpress Database Backup Plugin

Go to Tools, Backup in your administration panel to find the customization settings. While it depends on your frequency of posting, weekly backups work well for many sites.

My Preferred Plugin For Backing Up the WordPress Files

WordPress Backup (by BTE) will backup the upload directory (images), current theme directory, and plugins directory to a zip file, which can be mailed to an email account. Sometimes this file can get rather large, particularly if you have a lot of images, but for smaller sites it can be a very useful plugin. Again, you can choose hourly, daily, or weekly backups. Weekly is usually good for most sites unless you’re tweaking your theme a lot, or posting very frequently. The configuration for the plugin will be found under Settings, WordPress Backup.

WordPress Backup by BTE

When Something Goes Wrong

I’ve learned that the first thing to try when something goes wrong, before restoring backups, is to try disabling all plugins. If you can’t log into your site administration, you can do this through FTP. I’ll put something up soon about how to do that. If you know how to FTP into your site, just rename all your plugin folders. That will cause them to be “not found” and automatically disabled by WordPress. Often that’s enough to get you back into your site administration.

Automatic Backups Take Away Stress

It’s a good feeling to know that you have recent copies of everything when something goes wrong. Particularly before you do anything major, like upgrading WordPress, make sure you have fresh backups.  You don’t want to be reduced to using the Wayback Machine to try to recover your articles, particularly since it usually only lists site pages more than six months old. Install these free WordPress plugins, and you’ll always have recent backups.

Who Are Your Favorite Bloggers?

I bumped into a post about listing your 10 favorite blogs today, and thought that it would be useful to post mine here, particularly since many of them are about blogging for business. Of course, I threw in a few extras, so here are my current favorites.

This list is pretty dynamic, as we say in geek speak – it can change rapidly. These aren’t in order, except for the first few. After that it so much depends on my mood at the time, but they all provide great information and often food for thought.

My Favorite Blogs

1. Ittybiz, Naomi Dunford’s blog
2. Pete Michaud’s Blog
3. Remarkablogger, Michael Martine’s blog
4. Heart of Business, Mark Silver’s blog
5. Problogger, Darren Rowse’s blog
6. Copyblogger, Brian Clark’s blog
7. The Art of Non-Conformity, Chris Guillebeau’s blog
8. Website in a Weekend, Dave Doolin’s blog
9. Awake at the Wheel, Jonathan Field’s blog
10. Extreme John
11. Men With Pens
12. Chris Brogan
13. Johnny B. Truant
14. Seth Godin’s Blog
15. Steve Pavlina

What Are Yours?

Please share your favorites in the comments.

3 Reasons to Build Your WordPress Blog Today

Reason 1: Smart People Say So

Michael Martine of Remarkablogger was just interviewed on Patrick Allmond’s blog, StopDoingNothing (and that blog name is great advice!)

He was asked:

What is the best “do it” tip you have for a blogger that is starting today?

Michael replied:

Get your blog on self-hosted WordPress as fast as you can. Start an email list as fast as you can.

This is a man who knows his stuff when it comes to blogging – he’s done it for a decade. He’s also one of the folks behind Headway, the premium WordPress theme I use on this site. I heard about it through him, and I’m very happy with it. Oh, and he writes much better blog headlines than I do.

The advice above is really the best advice anyone considering creating a website or blog could possibly get. If you have a business, or are writing a book, or need a ‘personal image’ site to make sure you show up looking sharp when you get searched on Google, just do it.

Reason 2: A WordPress Blog is Good For Your Business

When you set up WordPress, you get a whole website, not just a blog. Many business sites, like this one, are entirely created with WordPress.

You’ll reach more prospective clients. It’s becoming increasing important to have a web presence, so your clients can find you, and so they find you credible.

You’ll make more money – IF you sell good products or services and keep learning how to communicate that well.

Reason 3: It’s Easier Than You Think

C’mon, everything you need to know to build your WordPress blog is here on this site. Free. It’s going to take you somewhere between 10 minutes and three hours, depending on your level of technical knowledge (plus a few breaks while the hosting catches up to you).

Bonus Reasons:

You’ll impress your friends.

You’ll meet and make new friends. There are some great people out here on the interwebz.

Your new site will start getting noticed by search engines. WordPress is designed well for that. You don’t want to be sitting there a year from now, wishing you’d started sooner. The sooner your site is up, the better.

You don’t have to do it all “right”. It’s okay to make some mistakes. They won’t hurt anything much. You can always delete the site and start over, or change the look, or decide to change your site’s focus. Just get started – the very process of taking action will help you get closer to your goals, even if you’re not quite sure what they are.

If you’re not sure what the site should be about, make it about you. Not a resume, but an introduction that will support you in your business and social life. When someone searches for your name on Google, have them read what you want them to read.

It’s Sunday. You’ve got the time. I’m starting to feel like a Nike ad, but … just do it. Go create your WordPress blog. I’ll help if you get stuck. Just post in the comments.

Have a blog already? Send your friends here!

And yes, Mike K., you inspired this post. Now go write your own!

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