Two important things today: setting up a WordPress backup plugin and some free web stuff I found from Google. I really can’t think of better topics for a web entrepreneur. Maybe free ice-cream. That’s probably better.
A backup was on my list
for a long time. So far, in the behind-the-scenes world, I have configured most of the plugins that I want to have for the site along with completing the general layout and page architecture. The big thing I was lacking, to preserve that hard word, was a backup tool. WordPress.org, if you’ll recall, does not back up anything for you. Supposedly you can backup through your web host, an idea which doesn’t seem smart. Backing up to the same place where the original files are stored seems like a way to ask for trouble. I started looking for answers.
I was really planning on doing manual backups straight to my laptop or external hard drive. My gut said not to do that when I recalled a few horror stories of those non-redundant devices failing. The “cloud” seemed like the next logical choice and already having a few account scattered around the web sealed the deal. Google Drive, Amazon cloud, DropBox – there are lots of services that will let a small site get by with their free 5 GB plans.
That led me to looking again at JetPack, a plugin created by WordPress. I had always thought it was a paid service because they tried to get me to pay for a year of it when I switched to WordPress.org, known as my first huge web blunder. I had read on almost every beginning blog website that JetPack was a must have. I knew it did backups, and that’s all I thought it did. I was wrong.
JetPack has more uses than the M4 at Alexanderplatz. There is typography stuff, sitemap controls and even the backup (not free) feature. Installing that plugin allowed me to get rid of two others that I had gotten as I’ve been working on SEO and social media stuff. Shameless plug: check out my available, yet blank, social media accounts. I’ll definitely be talking about both of those topics in the future once I understand them better.
I didn’t use JetPack for my backup
I eventually settled (happily) on a plugin called UpdraftPlus. It has all of the free features that I need for the moment. UpDraft connects to several cloud storage services that you probably already have. I chose Google Drive because I was familiar with the interface and figured more storage would be cheap. I think extra space was $1.99/month for 100 GB. I’ve got 4 GB left of my 15 freebie gigs. (I’ve had gMail since God’s dog was a puppy). My last backup showed to be around 100 MB meaning I should be good until my hosting services runs out in three years. Or I’ll go bankrupt first and it won’t matter.
Using this tutorial, I was able to sync UpdraftPlus with Google Drive using a fancy thing called APIs. APIs, as explained by the smart folks at ProgrammableWeb, are how pieces of software interface intelligently across the web. They are like the two prong, Class B Nema 5-15 electrical socket found in North America.
Having a standard protocol, or API, allows your blender to be moved to anywhere while still receiving the same expected input. This makes sense, but I think this is a bad metaphor because there are about 15 different socket types in the world – a source of much aggravation for global travelers. Maybe APIs don’t always line up either. I’ll probably never know because I know enough to be dangerous.
Setting up the Google Drive API seemed intimidating until I found this article:
You just make a project, click a few buttons, go back to your Admin panel and paste in some info and click backup. Easy as that. Furthermore, I set mine to run once a week and keep two revisions. I went over to my Drive account and sure enough, there was a backup file. In my mind, that covers the three website cornerstones: hosting, backups and an editor. The other stuff is just about making sales and driving users into your clutches.
While working on the SEO and social aspects of the site I found a few great resources by Google. They are a prime example of a philosophy that I enjoy: pay it forward and reap the rewards. It costs Google money to make things like the YouTube Creator Academy. Why do it? Because they help you create great content, you make the content generating subscribers which may create ad revenue that benefits everyone. Along those lines, if you don’t mind being manipulated by a conspiracy theory, check out Google’s resource for small businesses: GYBO. You can use it to get some money (I think) and some assistance at a local level. The internet of things is pushing for local commerce and as a small business guy, I couldn’t be happier. Check it out, I will be, and let me know what you think.