Okay! if you’ve been reading my recent post about wordpress security I’d like to think I think I’ve convinced you that it’s extremely important to back up your WordPress website.
Before I show you some methods for backing up your website, I think it’s important to talk about the different pieces that make your WordPress website run. When backing up your website, you need to make sure you get all these pieces in place or you won’t have a complete backup.
Your WordPress Website is Made Up Of:
- WordPress Files: Includes your all the PHP and CSS files that make your WordPress installation work. It also includes anything you’ve added such as your themes, your plugins, images, and any other files you may have uploaded.
- Database: A database is where your pages and posts are stored.
- Other Files: If you’ve uploaded anything outside of WordPress (via ftp, cPanel, Dreamweaver, etc) then these will be files that are separate from your actual WordPress site.
So let’s get to the bones of it and talk about exactly how you back up your WordPress website.
Option 1: cPanel Backup
This step requires that you have cPanel in your hosting account. Most people who have WordPress installed will have used cPanel to do so. cPanel allows for an easy script installation process using either the Simple Scripts or the Fantastico program. If you don’t have cPanel, check with your hosting company to see if they have a manual backup option you can perform within their system.
To do a cPanel backup, follow these steps:
- Login to cPanel through your hosting.
- Scroll to “Files” > “Backup Wizard.”
- Click “Backup.”
- The system will then start a backup of your entire website and all files. This may take some time depending on how many files you have.
- cPanel will usually email you when your backup is ready. Then all you need to do is log back in to your cPanel and download your backup.
- I recommend you save your three most recent backups. What if your website is corrupted for a while and your only backup contains those same bad files. It’s a smart idea to store your backups on a portable hard drive (so you can easily move it to another PC or take it with if you when evacuating away from the next hurricane).
One of the problems with doing manual backups is that you’re likely to forget. So while I absolutely recommend you do manual backups on whatever schedule you can work out, I would not recommend relying on it as your only backup method.
Option 2: WordPress Plugin Backup
There are some plugins out there that allow you to back up your entire website. One such plugin is the Backup Buddy by iThemes. It is a premium (paid) plugin but well worth the peace of mind you achieve by knowing that your sites are backed up automatically.
Backup Buddy is unique because it does a full backup of your whole WordPress installation and all website files.
Here’s how to do it:
- Buy, download, and install Backup Buddy
- Click on “Backup Buddy” in the left side menu.
- Click on “Backups” from the Backup Buddy dropdown menu.
- Do a full backup and download it to your computer (for remote storage off your host server).
- Set up scheduled backups by clicking on “Scheduling” from the Backup Buddy section.
- Choose where you want to send the backup, and save.
Another Backup Plugins I recommend
Now you have two easy ways to back up your entire website. I recommend you use both and save at least your last three backups so you have complete protection.
Please be aware that there are other ways to backup your wordpress website and I’ve just given you 3 ways.