Take the 2-minute tour ×
Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How to manage backups when developing websites as freelance?

  • I have my clients purchase web hosting space from a provider of their choice.
  • I develop the website and upload it to their hosting space.
  • Provide option of extended technical support.

ADDED:

The websites tend to be dynamic with various data stored into the database.

I am unable to routinely backup the dynamic sites because a) it is too time consuming and b) too costly for my clients. Ideally I need to offload that liability because if a server fails (or provider ceases to exist) and backups are also lost, how are my clients going to recover?

Should my clients be downloading backups and storing them in a safe place?

Likewise upgrading WordPress releases occasionally introduce breaking changes that require plugins to be updated. What is the best practice for charging for WordPress upgrades?

What do other freelancers tend to do?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

It depends on the nature of the site. If it's a static site you've developed for a client, you will (well, you should...) always have a copy on your machine which will be a perfectly good backup (it's static...). If it's a dynamic site, you may want to recommend a hosting provider to your clients that will take care of auto-backups or look at scheduling a backup to your own system.

Should your clients want Wordpress upgrades it's simply a case of backing up the site in any way you see fit (see above...) and having access to the admin backend of Wordpress, or FTP access if necessary.

share|improve this answer
    
I have updated the question to further clarify my issue. –  Lea Hayes Aug 24 '11 at 15:14
2  
If you want to offload the liability of server failures to your client, just put that in your contract/terms and conditions that they agree to. If it is possible for your client to backup their site themselves, then by all means, why shouldn't they? If a wordpress update is released you don't HAVE to update. Only update if you're worried about breaking plugins if a new wordpress release features functionality you could benefit from - unless of course there are security issues that have been addressed. –  Anonymous Aug 24 '11 at 15:22

WordPress upgrades are easy to do as WordPress has a built in upgrade mechanism that makes upgrading very easy to do. Just click on the "updates" link at the top of the menu. It's that easy. With the exception of customized themes you don't need to worry about keeping hard copies of the files that make WordPress go because you can always grab the latest copy from the WordPress website.

Backing up the database is easy if you install a plugin designed to do that for you. WordPress Database Backup can automate the process for you. Then in the event of a database failure you can use your back up to restore it to its previous state.

share|improve this answer
    
I have updated the question to further clarify my issue. –  Lea Hayes Aug 24 '11 at 15:15
    
I create custom themes for my clients, but I do keep a safe copy of those just in case. The main issue is with dynamic data. –  Lea Hayes Aug 24 '11 at 15:17
2  
Then any database backup plugin is what you should be looking for. It handles the backup of that dynamic content for you. Some of them even zip and email it to you so you don't even have to manually go and retrieve it. It's all automated. –  John Conde Aug 24 '11 at 15:26

You can use wordpress DB backup plugin and move the data weekly or daily to the rackspace backup host or Amazon S3 or Jungledisk. Ask your client to choose this route for the managed backups. You can setup this for your client if you want. Wordpress plugins have weekly and daily backup system that syncs with the hosts like amazon S3. There are many plugins that support popular backup sites like dropbox, amazon s3 and rackspace or jungledisk.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.