Picture this, you wake up one morning and open your website, only to be greeted by a horrifying ‘Website/Server Down’ message. That’s okay, you reassure yourself that you’ll be able to restore it to its old glory soon. But then, a horrible realization dawns on you that you can’t remember the last time you took a backup of your website.
Now, it is really time to panic!
Because if you don’t have a recent backup of your website, it most probably means you’ve lost all your data in the server crash. All those painstaking hours of creating content, designing, developing, and generating backlinks, all gone down the drain.
This nightmare can come true for anyone and everyone.
Which is why once you install WordPress and start posting content, backing up your WordPress website should be your top priority.
With WordPress hosting and many other amazing backup options available today, you can ensure that everything on your website, including the content and databases, are safe, and easily retrievable when need be.For the sake of all the WordPress novices, let us first explain what exactly “backing up a website” means.
‘Backing Up’ a WordPress website simply means creating an identical or duplicate copy of your original website and saving it in a secure place. This will include everything from its theme and plugins, to the entire database.
Now that you know what ‘backup’ means, let’s move on to the different kind of threats that can bring your website down.
How To Backup Your WordPress Website?
WordPress is an amazing platform to use and work on. It offers you ample of great features and makes the task of managing and maintaining a website easy. If your website is WordPress-powered, then taking regular backup of your entire site and database is important. This is because, in spite of being a secured platform, there is still the threat of hacking, viruses, SPAM, malware, etc. In the event your website gets hacked, having a backup will ensure you can restore it to working order in no time. As such, here is a complete guide that has listed the different ways on how to backup your WordPress website – both manually and with plugins.
- How To Backup Your WordPress Website?
- #Threats That Can Doom Your Website
- #Vital Things to Backup from Your WordPress Website
- #Manual Backups
- #1. Backup Directly Via WordPress Tools
- #2. PHPMyAdmin for Database
- #3. cPanel
- #4. FTP Client (Filezilla)
- #Automatic Backup with Plugins & Tools
- #1. BackupBuddy & BackupBuddy Stash
- #2. Backup WordPress Plugin
- #3. WP Backup For Dropbox
- #4. Updraft Plus Backup & Restoration
- #5. DropMySite
- #6. CodeGuard
- #Why Should You Hire Experts & How Exactly Can They Help You?
#Vital Things to Backup from Your WordPress Website
There are normally two things which need to be backed up from a WordPress website;
The ‘Files’ here would include;
- WordPress Core Installation
- WordPress Plugins
- WordPress Themes
- Images & Files
- Static Web Pages
If you take regular backups of all these files and the database of your WordPress website, you will never have to lose sleep over a website crash and subsequent data loss, regardless of whether your server has a backup or not.
Now, moving on to the most crucial part;
What are the ways in which you can create backups of your WordPress website?
Basically, there are two ways in which you can backup your website; Manually or setting it up Automatically.
Let’s begin with the manual methods first.
#1. Backup Directly Via WordPress Tools
If you wish to export your website content (not themes, plugins or other crucial files) from your existing website, you can easily do so through the admin panel of your WordPress. All you need to do is;
- A] Go to the Dashboard of your admin panel.
- B] Click on the Tools icon and expand it.
- C] Click on the Export button and tick All Content under Choose What to Export.
- D] Click on the Download Export File button and save your files.
If your host uses cPanel, then you can easily backup your database and files using this powerful control panel. To generate a full backup in the cPanel, you will need to follow the steps mentioned below;
- A] Go to your web host and log into your cPanel account.
- B] Go to the Files section and click on Backup Wizard. This is where your WordPress website (one or many) is backed up on the server.
- C] Under the Backup Wizard section, click on the Backup icon.
- D] Here you will see a Home Directory icon. This will have all your files, themes content and comments. Click on this icon.
- E] Once you click on the Home Directory button, you will be able to download and save your files on your computer. Make sure you save it in a zip or gzip format to make the process easier.
In the case of your website files, here is another way, apart from using cPanel, in which you can create their backup.
#Automatic Backup with Plugins & Tools
Now, you may be one of those people who has little or no time to look after your website’s crucial aspects.
You can always hire a top hosting company to take care of these things. After all, what are the experts for!
Unfortunately, it is not enough.
While it is alright to trust your web host, it is not advisable to completely rely on them to create regular backups of your website.
No matter how good their promises are, there can still be a number of things which can go wrong with their server which can result in the loss of your data, and by extension your website.
But the good news is, there are several amazing plugins and tools that can take automatic backups of your website, in addition to those your host creates.
So when tragedy strikes, you can easily restore your website to its original glory within no time!
#1. BackupBuddy & BackupBuddy Stash
If there is one plugin that is a must-have for every WordPress website, it is BackupBuddy. In fact, it is one of the first plugins that is installed by the majority of WordPress users when they start to work on a website.
Yes, it is truly that amazing!
And the reason for that is evident in the many features it offers. Some of them include;
- Option to run full backups or quick database backups.
- Availability of offsite storage options, like BackupBuddy Stash.
- Option to schedule regular backups.
- Option to select desired files and tables for backup.
- Choice to create backup profiles.
Moreover, it is extremely simple and straight-forward to install BackupBuddy on your WordPress website. Here are the steps you need to follow;
- A] Install the BackupBuddy Plugin from iThemes.
- B] Go to your Dashboard and click on the Plugins icon.
- C] Select the Add New option and choose BackupBuddy.
- D] Once you see the ‘Plugin installed successfully’ message, click on Activate Plugin.
- E] You will then be directed to the BackupBuddy Quick Setup.
- F] Fill in your email address where you will receive your updates.
- G] Create a password for creating and migrating your files
- H] Choose where you want to send your backup data (BackupBuddy Stash, FTP or Dropbox are the best options).
- I] Select the schedule for your backups as per your requirements.
- J] Click on Save Settings.
- K] Finally, you will be given two options to save and download your backup, i.e. Download Backup & Send Backup to Destination. Choose the one which you prefer.
And it’s done!
If you wish to store your backups at an external destination to keep it safe from harm, then you can easily do so on Amazon S3, Rackspace, Cloud Space, BackupBuddy Stash and more.
The best bit about these online storage spaces, they are extremely simple to install! Here are the steps involved (example for BackupBuddy Stash);
- A] Go to your Dashboard and click on Plugins.
- B] Click on the BackupBuddy icon under Plugins.
- C] Under BackupBuddy, select Remote Destinations.
- D] Select BackupBuddy in the Remote Destination section and click on Add New.
- E] Type in Your iThemes username and password, under Add New Destination and click on Submit.
- F] Fill and tick all the required fields like Destination Name, Database Backup Limit, Full Backup Limit, Max Chunk Size, Encrypt Connection and Manage All Files, as per your preference.Click on Add Destination and Save Settings.
- G] The next time you create a backup using BackupBuddy and are asked to select the destination for storage, go to Remote Destination and select BackupBuddy Stash.
- H] You can always log in to your iThemes account for BackupBuddy Stash to check how much storage space has been occupied by your backups and other related details.
That was all about BackupBuddy, now let’s move on to another fascinating backup plugin for WordPress.
#3. WP Backup For Dropbox
We love using Dropbox!
It’s extremely convenient to use and is one of the best options to store your files, externally.
So why not use it to save your backup files as well?
If this sounds convenient to you, then WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin will definitely appeal to you. It is easier to set-up, requires minimal configuration and offers support for multiple languages.
Once you have installed the plugin by following the same process as mentioned above, you will be able to store your backups directly in your Dropbox, just like that!
Just like its name suggests, this is the place where you can drop your site. In other words, this is a place where you can create a backup of your WordPress website, save it every time, and retrieve it when required.
Wondering why DropMySite gets a special mention by us?
It’s because it offers the choicest of features for website backup and restoration, making it monetarily and practically worthwhile to invest in it. Have a look at its amazing features;
- Automated Website & Database Backup
- One- Click Download Backups
- Secure Backup Storage
- Scheduled Backups
- Monitoring of Website Uptime
- Website Performance Reports
- Automated Restoration of Website & Database
- Website Blacklist Monitor
- View New or Modified Files
- Easy Migration of Website & Database
Then here’s the pricing structure to help you choose a plan that best suits your requirements;
#Why Should You Hire Experts & How Exactly Can They Help You?
Okay, so we know how important backing up your website is. We also know how fairly straightforward the whole process seems. But that doesn’t always mean you’ll be able to get it right on your own every time, especially if you are not savvy with web development and WordPress.
For those of you who belong to that group, there is always the option to hire experts to do the job for you. Because let’s face it, one misstep and you could lose your entire website in a matter of seconds!
To avoid that situation, just get someone experienced to take care of your backups. As simple as that!
That way, regardless of whether your web host takes any backups and saves them, you could have your website safe in the hands of WordPress experts handling your website backup and security.
These experts will use one or more of the above-mentioned means to back up your website regularly and keep it safe in a secure location, both offline and online. So that you can rest easy and enjoy a good night’s sleep every day!