If you use a plug-in to keep your WordPress website backed up on the host server, you may be incurring two types of risk that can result in severe penalties.
First, if you store backup data on your hosting server and it experiences a problem that crashes your website, backup files may not be available when you need them. You should keep a clean backup of your site in a different location so it can be restored to recover your website at the current host or a different host.
Second, keeping backup sets on the host server may violate the provider’s Terms of Service. If so, you may not be allowed to use your web hosting account for backup or file archive capacity because the servers are intended only for the purposes of hosting a website and associated email functions. Further, storing data sets on the host server may pose performance issues for other customers who share the same server.
A good host provider will typically issue a request that you remove the files/directories that are used as backup locations, with a warning that if the files are not removed by a specified deadline, further action may have to be taken. This usually means that the host provider will remove the backups and, if you haven’t paid attention to the warning, leave you without a means to recover from a disaster.
So, what are your options for protecting your website against possible loss?
There are a number of file hosting services that range from free to a minor cost that would be more ideal for this kind of content. Here is a good place to start looking.
You can also download backup sets to your own computer. Just FTP into the server and locate your backup sets. Once transferred to your computer, you should further protect these files by copying them to another drive on the same and/or a different computer. No matter what happens, you will always have a copy of your website to restore in case disaster strikes.
Nathan Muller is the author of 29 technical books and over 3,000 articles that have appeared in 75 publications worldwide. He also writes articles, blogs and social media content for tech companies and their executives.