How to Backup Your WordPress Site

Written by: Hosting Coupons on September 9, 2014

Keeping multiple backups of your WordPress website is advisable and highly recommended if you want to avoid downtime-related catastrophes in the future. With WordPress, there are many things that can go wrong, including WordPress upgrades failing, plugins which corrupt your site, hackers deleting your website files, and of course user erro

Backing up your site is an absolute necessity if your website generates an income. In you find yourself in the situation where your e-commerce store or affiliate site has been lost, you’ll be hit hard financially. Even if you do manage to get the site back up again after a few weeks, the chances are you’ll have lost many of your loyal customers.

Whatever you use your WordPress website for, taking regular backups will make life easier if/when disaster strikes – so always remember to backup your site regularly in some way.

You’ll find there’s a range of different ways to back up your WordPress install, ranging from the more labor-intensive manual export on the server to the easy option of hiring a third party to take care of things for you.

Below, we’ll go through each of the three options in detail.

Option #1: Run a Full Manual Backup


Backing up your site manually is free, fairly easy to do, and it won’t it won’t take you more than 10 minutes to complete on a small-to-medium sized website.


Exporting data and backing up files can feel alien to those with little website experience (if this is the case, one of the other two solutions is probably best for you).

Here’s what you need to do:

a) Log in to your WordPress account and navigate to tools > export > “all content”. Here you can download an XML file of your posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories and tags. (You can later import from the same menu if needs be)

b) Next, it’s important that you make a copy of all the files on your server. This includes everything from plugins to themes, scripts to images. The easiest way to do this is to download a copy of your website via FTP to your computer. Since your computer could fail, it’s also a good idea to keep another copy stored in the ‘cloud’, with a storage provider such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

c) Finally, you you need to download a copy of your MySQL database – this is where the bulk of your WordPress data and settings are stored, so it’s important that you get a copy for safekeeping. The easiest way to do this is by logging into cPanel, Plesk, or the equivalent used on your server, navigating to phpMyAdmin, and exporting a copy of the tables (where the information is stored). If you’re unsure of how to do this, the WordPress Codex can help.

Pro Tip: There are plenty of tutorials out there that explain how to run “cron jobs” on the server, which are tasks automatically run by the server at a set time. For example, you could create a cron job which asks your server to create a database backup for you on a weekly basis.

Option #2: Use a WordPress Plugin

If you have limited time, knowledge or patience, this would be the best solution for you. All you need to do is to know how to install the plugin.

The most favored backup plugins in the WordPress community is probably BackWPup. This plugin will create a copy of your complete install and store it in your server or preferred cloud storage system. It will backup of your database, XML export, plugins and files. Additionally, it checks, repairs and optimizes your database. Useful!

There’s a pro version too, which offers premium support and a number of other advanced features.

Other plugins include Backup and WP-DB Backup

Option #3: Use a Third-Party Solution

Paying a third party is probably the simplest way to ensure your site is backed up correctly on a regular basis.

You can use services such as CodeGuard, which take regular backups of your site CodeGuard also alerts you to any changes

If you’re looking for a good, reliable third party backup service, VaultPress (by Automattic) is a solid choice. If you didn’t know already, WordPress is owned by Automattic, so you’re in good hands. The site offers: “automated backups with easy restores”, “daily security scans with one click repairs” and “help from the WordPress experts”.

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