As our website grows, and valuable content is added, the need to protect this content arises. How do we do this? We make backups!
WordPress, like many other CMS(Content Management Systems), will store all of their dynamic content in an SQL database. This content normally includes things like user profiles, blogs, comments, pages, categories…etc, etc. The database WordPress creates for you to store your website content assigns a complex username and password that can be difficult to break if you are a cracker. So why do you need to back up your database if it has a super secure password?
The database and website need to communicate. To do this the site will ask the database for the information it needs, but the database will ask for a username and password first. The site must be able to provide this information. In order to do that, the site must have a file with the username and password stored on it.
In my post How to hack WordPress, I showed how to completely bypass the need of breaking through a password protect database by exploiting a security hole in a theme that a WordPress site was using. This hole allowed me to access the file with their database login information.
It is because of issues like these that backing up our content is crucial! There are many amazing plugins you can get that will backup your whole website, as well as your database. Many of the paid versions will do the backups at set time intervals, and have automated restore procedures built in. I strongly advise getting a plugin that backs up your data automatically!
An example of a backup plugin would be BACKUPGAURD. This plugin will let you create backups of your site and database, but if you are wanting more advance features like auto-backup, then you will need to pay for one of their more advanced versions.
A more advanced plugin would be voultpress. This is a whole security suite in one, but they charge a monthly subscription to use the plugin.