Majority of WordPress users not backing up, survey indicates

More than three-quarters of organizations and bloggers operating WordPress websites are not using a backup plugin, thus leaving themselves open to data and customer loss should something go wrong, according to a recent survey by CodeGuard.

To compile the findings, CodeGuard surveyed 503 WordPress users in the U.S., some that are businesses and others who are bloggers, David Moeller, CEO of CodeGuard, told in a Monday email correspondence.

In the study, 76 percent of WordPress users reported not taking advantage of a backup plugin, and 47 percent stated that backing up their website is something they do every few months. Should an issue arise, businesses stand to be financially exposed, Moeller said.

“Most hosting providers do not guarantee any type of backup in their terms of service,” Moeller said. “Disaster recovery server backup taken by hosting providers is only for catastrophic server failure, not for individual customer website failure. All too often, businesses have to learn this the hard way.”

For smaller websites, free or cheap backup plugins are available and can help, but the level of performance is not guaranteed, Moeller said, adding that many store the backup on the same server as the live website.

“There are also paid services that work over FTP/SFTP and store websites in the cloud,” Moeller said. “For businesses, this is the best solution, as it is easy-to-use, secure, and reliable.”

Also in the survey, 54 percent of respondents indicated that they update WordPress between once a week and every few weeks. This is likely enough, Moeller said, indicating that major WordPress updates are released every few months. He added that the average WordPress website probably has between 10 and 20 plugins, and that those are updated a lot more frequently.

Other findings include: 22 percent of respondents indicated that a backup plugin is “unimportant” to them, 63 percent have had deleted files that were not backed up, 25 percent have received “very little training” in WordPress, and 22 percent have not been trained in WordPress backup and have “no idea” how to do it.

When it comes to training employees, Moeller suggests picking one aspect of WordPress and helping staffers grow in that specific area, rather than trying to make them all-around experts – a challenging task, he said, considering WordPress is a complete framework.

“Attending WordCamps, which are multi-day WordPress user gatherings featuring lectures from leading WordPress experts, and Meetups, which are shorter but more frequent, are two low or no cost ways to get training,” Moeller said. “Utilizing local WordPress consultants to provide in-person training is another way companies can make sure their employees are aware of and implementing the best known practices.”

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