A few weeks ago, an OVH data centre (one of largest cloud providers in the world) went up in literal flames with thousands of sites taken off line in an instant.
Thankfully nobody was hurt in the disaster, but many mission critical terabytes were gone without trace.
This is a very rare occurrence, but it highlights the importance of having backups of your website that you can store offline in the case of such an emergency.
When it comes to making WordPress website backups, our go to backup software is Backupbuddy, which is a little heavy on server usage when running, but is also a good indicator of hosting quality, with generally poor hosting struggling to either reinstall sites or make a full backup once installed.
The other great option for WordPress backups is called Duplicator, which is less server intensive and can often manage its way through most things that BackupBuddy cant do.
If either of these don’t work on a host, we then would try a database export from phpMyAdmin and a manual download of server files – this method was popular 10 years ago but we have thankfully moved on since then.
So if your website hosting is not up to the task of making such a backup, or even worse, prohibits the installing or usage of either of these plugins, it might be time for you to throw them in the trash and look for a better web hosting provider.
In any event, backup often, and especially before making major changes to your website that could leave them inoperable – at least this way you would have something to fall back on.