More than three-quarters of WordPress users are currently not using backup plugins, according to a report by website backup service CodeGuard on Tuesday. CodeGuard surveyed 503 WordPress users last month to understand how often they backed up their websites and the tools they used to do so.
CodeGuard found that 24 percent of respondents use a website backup plugin, and 32 percent have received extensive training in the use of website backup tools. Only 23 percent of WordPress users reported to have received extensive general WordPress training.
Nearly half of WordPress users (44 percent) do not employ a website or IT manager, suggesting that many users take a DIY-approach to managing their website – and subsequently, their website security.
The ease of which plugins can be added to WordPress sites can further complicate security. WordPress hosting provider WPEngine said that while WordPress core is actually fairly stable and secure, the major source of exploits and security issues is from out-of-date plugins. And although managed WordPress hosting providers often offer customers automated security updates, many customers want to handle the updates on their own to ensure the updated plugins work with their websites properly.
According to the survey, 69 percent of users have had a plugin fail after updating, and 24 percent of users have had multiple plugins fail after updating. Sixty-three percent of respondents have deleted files that weren’t backed up.
While CodeGuard used to offer a WordPress plugin, it was discontinued in favor of using SFTP. CodeGuard said that “using SFTP instead of a plugin allows users to use CodeGuard across multiple platforms, reduce the risk of an attack, schedule reliable and automatic backups, and benefit from continuous updates without having to manage them.”
Of course, there are a number of WordPress backup plugins available, including one developed by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg and his team at Automattic, called VaultPress, BackupBuddy, and BackUpWordPress.
Given the low cost of entry and relative ease of use, CodeGuard said it was surprising that 21 percent of respondents backup their sites only occasionally. And while 22 percent said that a backup plugin seems “unimportant”, 24 percent said that they would pay “almost anything” for a complete restore of their website.
The survey shows that while website backup services are still not used by a majority of WordPress users, customers are willing to pay to ensure their sites can be fully restored. For web hosts, this presents an opportunity to educate users on preventative approaches, especially with World Backup Day around the corner on Mar. 31.
“WordPress vulnerability is a way of life for website owners, but they don’t have to live in fear,” CodeGuard CEO David Moeller said. “Regular training in the use of WordPress is a great form of prevention, as is website backup. In lieu of personal WordPress training, it behooves all website owners — especially those with an ecommerce or customer-facing website — to spend the relatively small sum of money it costs to hire an experienced IT manager. In today’s online business world, that expense amounts to the cost of doing business.”
CodeGuard is making it easier for hosting providers to offer website backup services to their customers, recently launching cPanel and WHMCS plugins and an integration with hosting provider A Small Orange.
CodeGuard competitor Dropmysite has also announced several hosting partnerships recently.