Despite the challenges of running an eCommerce store, it makes the most business sense in today’s environment. If you’re running an eCommerce business on your WordPress website, the WooCommerce plugin is the way to go. However, WooCommerce sites come with an additional layer of risk and maintenance.
Why is that? Hackers can break into your online store, your customer data could be stolen, your site may crash for a while and you may lose active orders. No, we are not trying to scare you – these are just some of the real concerns that WooCommerce site owners have reported in recent times.
Your best protection against any of these risks is having a reliable backup strategy for your complete website. That way, you can always restore your website – without losing any time or inconveniencing your customers or losing data.
Speaking of backups, can any backup solution work for WooCommerce stores, or do you need anything specific and customized for these sites? Read on to find out.
The Ideal Backup Solution for a WooCommerce Site
How does a WooCommerce site differ from any regular website? Firstly, any eCommerce business is entirely dependent on the continuous availability of its website – hence such a site cannot afford to go down even for half a day. This would result in thousands of lost orders or loss of valuable customer data.
Here are three other ways a WooCommerce site is different from any regular WP site:
- Functionality – As compared to any other website, a WooCommerce store has more functionalities inbuilt – more customer interactions, browsing for products, creating new customer accounts, posting or viewing review comments, purchasing products, and making online payments.
This means that a WooCommerce site goes through more changes each day or hour compared to any other website.
- Customized tables to store product and customer records – With new customer registrations and new products being launched, every WooCommerce store needs to create customized database tables to save this information. The availability of customer and product records is critical for the WooCommerce site to function smoothly.
Other important database records include order status, shipping details, product prices, and discounts. In short, your WooCommerce database is as important to your business as your website.
- Sensitive customer information – Finally, a WooCommerce site needs to secure its website data – including customer records or details – without which no online purchase can be completed. However, customer records include sensitive data such as account credentials, credit card details, or banking details. Loss of this sensitive data due to any data breach can seriously put your customer at risk from online fraud and damage your brand reputation.
Be it a global eCommerce retailer or a small-time online business, WooCommerce sites require a backup solution that can handle each of these listed requirements. The most important, from a revenue perspective, of course, is real-time backups that ensure you don’t miss any orders. What are real-time backups, and what features should they have? Let us discuss that in the next section.
Why are Real-time backups Ideal for WooCommerce stores?
Take any regular backup tool, and you are assured of periodic backups of your website and database. What is the frequency of these backups? Depending on your website needs, it could be monthly, weekly, daily, or even hourly.
Now imagine a popular eCommerce store where there are hundreds of online purchases every hour. In this case, even an hourly backup won’t be sufficient – as you could lose all this transaction data if you took a backup an hour ago and your website goes down now.
On the other hand, real-time backups are performed each time any transaction is completed in your WooCommerce site. In other words, each time any website change is recorded, real-time backups spring into action and take a backup of the modified file or database table. This ensures that you do not lose any transaction, and all the data is stored securely in your backup file.
Now that you know the importance of real-time backups, let us see some essential features that your real-time backup solution should have and the types of real-time backup solutions.
Real-time Backups – 3 Essential Features
There are many backup tools that offer real-time backups. Here are three essential features that every real-time backup tool must have:
1. Incremental backups
As you would have guessed, taking a real-time backup – every few minutes – can put a lot of load on your web server, thus impacting its speed and performance. This, in turn, can slow down your website speed – thus impacting your user’s online experience.
With incremental backups, you only take a backup of the modified website file or database record – instead of the entire website or database. This is an essential feature that can make the backup process efficient and less server intensive.
2. Backup of customized tables
As you might know, WooCommerce sites include many custom database tables, including ordered items, shipping zones, and tax rates – that are configured when you install the WooCommerce plugin.
Your real-time backup solution must include taking backups of these custom tables – in addition to other standard database tables that contain customer records, offered products, and payment modes.
3. Smooth restore
No backup tool – real-time or otherwise – is effective unless it offers high-quality restore functionality. This critical feature is necessary to quickly restore your site with the backup file after a hack or crash.
Check if your selected backup solution has an easy restore functionality – along with the ability to first test your backup file before restoring to the site.
How to Take a Backup of Your WooCommerce Site
Now that we know the importance of creating backups for your WooCommerce store, let us see the various methods of taking a website backup.
1. Using backup services from your website hosting company
Standard web hosting companies like Bluehost, GoDaddy, and Cloudways also include backup services in their hosting package. Some web hosts offer backup services as an additional paid service.
Do these web hosting companies offer real-time backups? Not in the real sense. Plus, you need to depend on your hosting company’s efficiency to regularly take backups of both your WooCommerce site and database records.
2. Using manual backups
Alternatively, you can perform manual backups of your entire website and database. However, on the flip side, manual backups are not easy to perform without the technical knowledge of WP backend files and other technology tools. Plus, manual backups can be exceptionally long and time-consuming to execute – making them unsuited for taking real-time backups.
3. Using automated backups with WP backup plugins
The third and most convenient way to take WP backups is through backup plugins or tools that offer automated backups. Like other WP plugins, backup plugins are easy to install and execute even for users with basic WP knowledge. You can choose from many popular backup plugins such as BlogVault, Backupbuddy, or UpdraftPlus used by many users.
While many of these backup plugins also support real-time backups for WooCommerce sites, our vote, from our experience, goes to BlogVault. Why? We tell you in the next section.
Why BlogVault For Real-time Backups?
When it comes to real-time WooCommerce backups, why should you opt for BlogVault? Here are the leading reasons:
- Trigger-based backups that are initiated each time any event or change occurs on your WooCommerce site
- Incremental backups that simply adds the website modification to existing backup copies
- Dedicated BlogVault servers are used for all backup and restore-related activities – thus putting a minimal load on your web server and its resources
- WordPress database backups that include backups of custom WooCommerce tables
- One-click restore functionality that can quickly restore your backup files to your website and a Test Restore functionality that can test your backup files for safety before the restore
- 365 days of backup archives that can be easily accessed and restored to your WooCommerce site.
How easy is it to configure real-time backups using BlogVault?
Enabling Real-time Backups Using BlogVault
Here are the steps you need to implement to enable real-time backups using the BlogVault backup plugin:
- First, you need to sign up with BlogVault and create your BlogVault account. Then, you can access your BlogVault dashboard and install the BlogVault plugin for your website. Once the plugin is installed and activated, it automatically takes a complete backup of your website.
- From your dashboard, navigate to the “Backups” section that shows the total number of website files and database tables backed up.
- This section enables the “Real-Time Updates” switch (as shown in the figure above).
That is all you need to do. Real-time updates are now configured for your WooCommerce site – and will be implemented from immediate effect. Using the BlogVault dashboard, you can also quickly restore the latest backup copy to your configured site using the 1-click Auto Restore functionality.
Reliable backups are an absolute must in this age of website hacks and crashes. Even more so for a WooCommerce website since your entire business is dependent on the 24/7 availability of your WooCommerce store.
We hope this article has helped you understand the backup needs of your WooCommerce site and how you can make backups a part of your website management plan. While there are multiple ways of taking WP backups, the easiest and most convenient way is using a backup plugin like BlogVault. This approach saves you additional time and effort that you can then invest in improving your website and its user experience using customized and responsive themes and templates.
How do you take care of your backup needs on your WooCommerce site? Share your experiences and views in the comments section below.