cloud vs hard drive where should you backup website
Do you have a backup plugin installed on your WordPress website? Does your cloud hosting provider offer a backup solution as well?

So, where do you store your backups and why?

Today we’ll find out the differences.

What about no backup at all? Well, that’s not an option. Restoring your website or returning it to a previous version sometimes costs as much as building a new one. And if you think you’re not going to need a backup, here are some cases inevitable for most people.

Why You Need to Backup Your WP Website

  • Hacker attacks20% of all small businesses get hacked at least once a year. Of course, you take all the measures to prevent attacks so it doesn’t get to the point where you need to restore. But emergencies happen even to the most cautious users, so backup is a must.
  • Pushing staging version to live – it’s ridiculous how often people make this mistake. They test some changes and often, accidentally or not, push the staging versions to live before moving all the old files and data to the “new” website.
  • Reversing to old versions – sometimes you have no other option than to test a new version of your website live, to see how visitors react and engage. And sometimes the old version turns out to be the best one.
  • Hosting issues – if your hosting lets you down and you lose your data permanently or temporarily, you’ll need a backup to get the website running after you solve the issue.

These are only a few of the cases when you need backup. Now, back to the main question: where do you need to backup your website? There are plenty of options, but today we’re discussing the 2 most important ones. Let’s start with cloud backup.

Cloud backup

cloud hosting backup
So what is cloud backup? It includes all the cases where you backup your website on cloud-based storage — with Google Drive, Dropbox, or your cloud-based hosting. Most backup plugins and services offer a lot of cloud options, and more and more hosting providers add backup as an additional feature which is both a security measure and a competitive advantage.

Backing up on a cloud has a lot of advantages, some of which are:

  • Accessibility

    You can access your cloud storage from any point of the world — the wonders of the Internet, right? You can’t lose it, can’t be robbed, and if you happen to accidentally lock yourself out, there’s always an option to restore access.

  • Physical safety

    Here comes the fun part. You can’t spill drinks on a cloud, can’t break it, and your dog definitely won’t tear a cloud apart. Yeah, and it won’t get lost either.

Hard drive backup

cloud server setup
Whether you’re using your computer’s hard drive or an external one — a hard drive backup is what it is. This is the old school way, this is where everyone used to store everything important.

And after so many years, hard drive backups are still recommended. Here’s why:

  • Independence

    With cloud storage, you always rely on the provider. With a hard drive backup, on the other hand, you’re free of any problem the provider might have: some random error, electricity and internet connection issues, bugs, even politics if your cloud storage is physically in a different country.

  • Security

    While cloud storage is absolutely one of the most secure online storage options, and you can’t physically destroy it, it’s easier to hack. Your hard drive is always with you, and you can easily keep it disconnected, hence safe.

    Plus, you don’t share your data with others, even the provider.

Bonus: cost

When it comes to the cost, it’s really hard to decide which one’s more affordable. For larger websites with tons of data and files, a hard drive usually costs less. But if it’s just a few GBs, you can just get your cloud storage for free.


Both cloud and hard drive backups have their significant advantages. But ideally, you’ll benefit the most if you save both. Think of it as a backup of a backup. And you’ll never lose a byte.

Author bio

ani barseghyan 10webAni Barseghyan – Ani is the blog manager at 10Web — a platform for building, hosting, and managing WordPress websites. She’s been using WordPress since 2011 and writing about it for the last couple of years. You can always have a chat with Ani in the WordPress Family Facebook community.

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