8 Places For Website Backup Storage

Backing up your website before making changes and on a regular basis is important but you can not stop there. You also need reliable website backup storage.

Just leaving it on your server can leave you with out a backup when you need it. If your server crashes your backup is gone and you will have lost your entire site. If your site gets hacked a backup stored in the same location is not very useful.

My recommendations for website backup storage is based on you using BackupBuddy for your backup solution. But most of the place can be used even if you don't use Backup Buddy for your backup solution.

Places for website backup storage

  1. Amazon S3 is cloud based storage that allows you to store your backups regardless of the size. The cost is very low for the amount of storage you receive. The Amazon S3 interface is not very user friendly and it can be difficult to determine the cost using their calculators, but it is still a good place to store your website backups.
  2. Box.com will allow you to store up to 5GB free. More storage space can be purchased. You can download the backup to your Box folder on your local computer, which gives you a local storage and cloud based storage. A more automatic approach is to schedule your backup to be emailed to the correct Box folder.
    Email to Box.com

  3. Dropbox.com allows you to store from 2GB to 18GB free. More storage space can be purchased at a reasonable rate. The process of setting up your backups to be sent to Dropbox is rather simple since it is an option in the backup settings. But downloading the backup to the correct folder on your local computer is also an option.
  4. Storing your backup on an external hard drive is a manual option for storing your backup. You backup the website and download the backup to an external hard drive. This can be combined with Box or Dropbox just by having the folder on the external hard drive.
  5. Store your backups in a Google email account by emailing the backup to a Gmail account. Since Gmail attachments can not be larger than 25MB this option is best for database only backups. This option is highly recommended by Benjamin Bradley, over at Webdesign dot com.
  6. Google Drive is also a place where you can store your website backups. You can download the backup to your computer and add it to Google Drive. An easier option is to send the backup to your Gmail account and label it GoogleDrive. Then it can automatically be sent to your Google Drive account. If you want to use this option you have to add a script to your Google Drive Account. I am not going to get into the details of how to set it up because you can read the step by step instructions in a Life Hacker post.
  7. Rackspace Cloud Files storage allows you to store your backups at a low cost. You can continue to store your backups regardless of the file size. Just know that its similar to Amazon S3, so you are charged for the amount of storage space you use starting at the low cost of ten cents per gigabyte.
  8. Stash is the easiest place to store your backups created using backupbuddy. You get 256MB of free storage space just for being a licensed owner of BackupBuddy. iThemes created Stash to be an easier storage alternative for S3 and Dropbox.
    Stash option

I currently use Amazon S3, Stash, Dropbox.com, and an external hard drive. After reading about these 8 places I hope you have at least two locations where you can store your backups, because when you manage a website you must back it up and store the backups safely.

Top 3 Mistakes That Cause A WordPress Update Disaster

Did you know that updating WordPress incorrectly could take down your entire website?

I am not telling you this to scare you.

I am telling you this because since the latest version of WordPress has been released I have helped 3 people recover their website after updating to the latest version of WordPress. I just want to share the top 3 mistakes that people make that cause a WordPress update to go bad.

All plugins have not been updated.

Plugins should be updated first. Some may have to be updated manually if not showing as outdated. You can not always believe what the dashboard says. Why? Because it only checks once in a 24 hour period for updates. Not updating your plugins first can result in the unexpected White Screen Of Death (WSOD).

The theme has not been updated.

Yes themes have to be updated as well some times. Some themes will notify you in the updates but a lot will not notify you. Updating WordPress before updating your theme can cause unexpected issues such as disappearing content or even worse fatal errors.

The most costly mistake you can ever make when updating WordPress is

You did not back up your entire site

WordPress warns you to back up your site right on the update page. And I am warning you. Backup your site before you update. Don't expect your Hosting company to have a backup. Most hosting companies tell you in your terms of service that backing up your site is your responsibility. So do regular backups and make sure you backup before and after an update. That backup may just prevent you from loosing everything if your WordPress update goes wrong.

Updating WordPress can be a disaster if you make these three mistakes.

Sometimes for whatever reason the WordPress update is not successful and all you get is a string of errors. When you manage a website you need to be prepared to fix the problem or call a professional.

How To Create An Opt-In Page In WordPress

Recently I wrote a post that compared Optimize Press and Premise, so I'm not going to go over all the features in this post. I just want to show you how to set-up Premise and show you how to create an opt-in page in WordPress.

What's Required

The only thing you need other than your self hosted WordPress site and the Premise plugin is an email/autoresponder service. Premise offers easy integration with Aweber, Constant Contact, and my favorite Mail Chimp. If you use a different email provider you will need the opt-in form code.

Setting Up Premise

The video below shows you how to setup Premise.

Create an Opt-in Page In WordPress

The video below shows you how to create a simple opt-in page using the default style.

Creating Styles

In the video above you saw how to create an opt-in form using the default styles. But you can create your own style by going to Premise –>Add Style. When you add a new style you can change the colors, fonts, some of the backgrounds, and borders for the different parts of the landing page. There is an area for you to add your own css when you are creating a style. That will come in handy when you want to add your own divs, or classes. I found I needed to add my own css to adjust the optin box width, the input width, the label width, and the label positioning.

Landing page with default style and landing page with custom style
The opt-in page on the left is using the default style and the opt-in page on the right is using a custom style.

The more I use Premise the more I appreciate its easy to use admin pages. It's educational resources are great when you are trying to create a website with WordPress.

WordPress Landing Pages – Optimize Press VS Premise

I have been reviewing the different options for creating WordPress Landing Pages in my attempt to find a viable alternative to Optimize Press.

The first alternative that I have spent some time exploring is Premise. Premise is a WordPress plugin created by Copyblogger Media. The plugin allows you to create WordPress landing pages and membership sites. Unlike Optimize Press which just works with membership site plugins, such as Wishlist and Digital Access Pass. Since I use Wishlist Member for my membership site that is not a problem.

The biggest differences between Optimize Press and Premise once you get past the fact that Premise is a plugin and Optimize Press is a theme are as follows:

Organization

Landing pages are separated from regular WordPress pages. This is a plus for me because with Optimize Press landing pages can easily get lost in the sea of other pages.
Premise Landing Pages Menu

Guidance

Premise guides you through the process of creating different types of WordPress landing pages. When you click on Add New you are forced to choose a type of landing page. Some people may find this to be a pain because you can not modify the type after you choose a type of landing page.

Add New Landing Page Type Option

I like this feature.

It saves you the frustration of thinking you are changing the options for a sales page but you are really changing the options for a squeeze page. I have been there done that and got the t-shirt using Optimize Press. With Optimize Press all the options are on the same page.

WordPress Landing Pages Sample Copy

Premise comes with sample copy that varies based on the type of landing page you are creating. The sample copy comes with useful advice and tips to help you focus on your message and create compelling copy. And if you need even more assistance with your copy there is the Landing Page Assistant to help you find answers to your questions.

If you use the Instant Pages Option in Optimize Press you are provided with limited sample copy like what's shown below.

Optimize Press Sample Copy
Optimize Press Squeeze Page Sample Copy

Organization, guidance, and sample copy are just a few of the things that make Premise a viable alternative to Optimize Press.

Note: Since Premise is not longer for sell Optimize Press is your best option to create a website with WordPress that has easy to style landing pages.

How to Migrate To WordPress

Over the past few years, a number of website owners have looked at the advantages of using WordPress to power their websites, and have decided to switch to that website framework. But sometimes that process of migrating over from whatever you’re currently using for your website can be a little overwhelming. Here is a break down showing you how to migrate to WordPress:

Set Up A Development Environment

The first step before you migrate to WordPress is to setup your WordPress Testing Environment. This can be setup on another server or a local computer, but not on the same server as your live site. To setup your testing environment you need to install the latest version of WordPress.

Install WordPress into a Subfolder

If you choose to ignore my advice to set up a WordPress Testing Environment your first step in migrating your current website is to get WordPress installed on your current domain. Don’t worry – you can leave your existing site up and running during the switch. The way to do this is by installing WordPress in a subdirectory of your current website.

For example, if your current website is at www.thisismybusiness.com, then you’ll create a new folder on your server at www.thisismybusiness.com/subfolder. The name “subfolder” can be whatever you want, but it won’t matter much what name you choose – when the process is complete none of your users will see it.

Migrate Your Structure

Once you have an instance of WordPress up and running on your testing environment or your domain, it’s time to migrate your website structure. Don’t worry about any of the actual website content yet; before you move over your articles, pictures, links and pages you want to make sure you have an organized place to accept them.

One of the best ways to do this is to first generate a sitemap of your current site. You might be able to automate the process for doing this, depending on whether you currently use a website framework, or you may have to build one by hand. In essence you want to have a chart that shows all the pages of your site, their hierarchical arrangement and how they link to one another. Use the sitemap to help guide you in setting up the various static pages, tags, categories and other infrastructure within WordPress to match your current structure.

As you’re creating the structure for your new website, you can also begin the process of making the new site look the way you want. You can look for a WordPress theme that best approximates your current website, or use the migration as an opportunity to cultivate a new image for your business.

Migrate Your Content

After you have a structure in place, it’s time to start moving over all of your content. Depending on what you’re currently using for your website, you might need to “cut and paste” each page by hand, or you might be able to use one of the WordPress Import tools to help you with the process.

Move To Your Live Server

If you choose to ignore my advice to set up a WordPress Testing Environment before you migrate to WordPress you can skip this section. Once you have your site setup in the testing environment it is time to move it to your hosting account. Use Backup Buddy to make a full backup of the WordPress site you setup. Use the Backup Buddy import script to move the WordPress version of your site into a subfolder on your server. If you need help with this part I created a video that shows how to migrate a WordPress site to a new Server.

Make it Live

The last step in the migration process is to configure your website so that visitors will come to the WordPress installation rather than the files you are migrating away from. Once you are ready to switch over, navigate directly to the WordPress installation and log in. In the general settings area, change the “WordPress address” to be the full path to WordPress, including the WordPress subfolder you created. In the “Site address” box, simply put your existing website URL (without the subfolder).

By following the general guidelines above, you should be able to complete the migration process on your own, to successfully create a website with WordPress. But if you would like me to migrate your site to WordPress you can request a quote.

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