As part of making sure the various installations of WordPress that I look after are working as they should I have been trying out various backup plugins. Everyone knows that taking regular backups is important, but almost everyone either forgets to do it from time to time or doesn’t do it regularly enough. So I was looking for plugins that would automate and simplify the process as much as possible.

The two I’ve chosen to use are:


This is a really simple solution. It requires very little configuration to get up and running and is ideal for the beginner who wants a straightforward method for ensuring that their site is backed up regularly.

I’m using this on single site installations and will include it as the default backup plugin when I set up sites for clients.


For my multi-site installations I needed something a bit more sophisticated with a greater level of configuration. This plugin supports multi-site although in this situation it restricts access to the plugin to the network admin — but this is the kind of set up I was looking for. It has an annoying habit when first installed of adding a button to the WP admin bar, although this can be removed by selecting an option in the settings.


This video is of an excellent presentation by Luke Wroblewski, author of ‘Mobile First’, from An Event Apart.

AEA Video: Luke Wroblewski (author, Mobile First) – Mobile To The Future

His key points are;

  • Mobile is the next form of mass media
  • We are currently in a process of transition from ‘the desktop web’ to ‘the mobile web’
  • So the process web designers and developers should engage in is;
    1. Taking what we know from the desktop web
    2. Adapting and optimising it for mobile
    3. Then finding new ways to do things that only mobile makes possible
  • He looks at how to do this through the examples of making a better login form and improving the online checkout process.
  • He concludes that the shift to mobile forces us to look again at what we are doing and find ways to do it better.

One of the trickiest things to deal with that I’ve been finding in committing to responsive web design is that it really challenges to think about your site navigation.

Generally speaking this is a good thing. Critical to the success of any website is clear and logical navigation — so anything that forces you to think more carefully about how your navigation works should be positive. Particularly if it leads to simplification.

So over the last few months I’ve been developing a little library of navigation patterns to use on the responsive WordPress themes that I develop. Essentially these patterns are about answering the question of what to do with your menu when the width of your screen shrinks down to the size used on mobile devices. Mostly these are using media queries with CSS, but some use a little bit of JavaScript.

In developing this library I’ve been relying pretty heavily on the ideas developed by Erick Arbe on his site ‘Adventures in Responsive Navigation’. This is a really useful resource. There are a lot of practical ideas here — but he also understands that RWD forces you to think about your navigation in different way. This video also acts as a good introduction to these issues:

What I’ve not yet really tackled is what to do with the more complicated drop-down menus on responsive sites and the tricky issue of getting these to work with touch screen devices. Something that needs a more detailed post of its own.