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Don't Lose Your Bloggin' Mojo: Backup WordPress Quickly and Easily

By Mike Bowden —  | |  — No Comments
12 minute read — No Comments
Don't Lose Your Bloggin' Mojo: Backup WordPress Quickly and Easily

Backing up your WordPress website is one of the most important things you can do to protect your online presence. Your blog contains valuable information and resources that took you time and effort to create. You don’t want to lose it all in case of a problem with your server, a hacker attack, or any other unforeseen event.

Imagine your website getting hacked for a moment, and all your content, images, and design elements are deleted. Or your hosting company has a server crash and loses all the data stored on it. In either case, with a backup, you will retain all your hard work, which may take considerable time to recover. This can harm your reputation and business and make you lose potential customers.

However, by making regular backups, you can quickly restore your website to its previous state and get back to business quickly. The backup process involves creating copies of your WordPress files and database and storing them securely. This can be done through different methods, such as a plugin or manually, but the important thing is to have a backup and ensure it’s up to date.

This article will guide you through backing up your WordPress website. We will explain the different types of backups and when to use them. We will also provide step-by-step instructions on performing a backup using plugins or manually and tips on storing and restoring your backup to keep your site safe. Even if you are not a technical expert, you will be able to understand and follow the instructions, so you can keep your blog secure.

Understanding the Different Types of WordPress Backups

When it comes to backing up a WordPress website, there are two main types of backups you can choose from full-site backups and database-only backups. This section will focus on the first type of backup, Full site backups.

Full Site Backups

Full site backups include all the files and databases associated with your WordPress installation, including all the themes, plugins, and media files. This type of backup creates a complete copy of your website that can restore it to its previous state if something goes wrong. The main advantage of entire site backups is that they provide a comprehensive solution that allows you to convert your entire website with all its content, design, and settings. Additionally, full-site backups are easy to use. You can perform them regularly and keep them safe in your computer or any cloud-based storage. However, full-site backups can be large, which may consume more storage space and increase backup time.

It is crucial to weigh the pros and cons of full site backups to determine if this type of backup is the best fit for your website. In the next section, we’ll discuss the features of the second type of backup, database-only backups.

Database-only Backups

A database-only backup is a backup that only includes your website’s database, which is where all your content, posts, pages, comments, and settings are stored. This type of backup does not fit your media files, themes, and plugins.

One of the main advantages of database-only backups is that they are much smaller than full-site backups, which means they take up less storage space and can be backed up more frequently. Additionally, this type of backup can be helpful if you need to restore only the content of your website and not the design or other elements.

On the other hand, database-only backups have some disadvantages. For example, you will need this backup to restore your website’s design or media files. Additionally, you will have to manually re-install your plugins and themes after restoring your website.

Each type of backup has pros and cons, and evaluating which will work best for your needs is essential. It may be helpful to perform both types of backups and store them in different locations to ensure comprehensive protection for your website.

How to Backup Your WordPress Website

Backing up your WordPress website can be quickly done by using a plugin. Several popular backup plugins are available, such as UpdraftPlus, BackupBuddy, and VaultPress. These plugins automate the backup process, making it easy for non-technical users to create and store backups.

UpdraftPlus: This plugin allows you to create manual and scheduled backups for your website. It supports multiple storage options, such as cloud-based services like Google Drive and Dropbox, and allows easy website restoration.

BackupBuddy: This plugin is known for its flexibility and range of options. It allows you to schedule regular backups and store backups on remote destinations like Amazon S3, Dropbox, and Google Drive. BackupBuddy also allows you to send backups via email and helps you to migrate your website to a new location.

VaultPress: This plugin is developed by the same team behind WordPress, and it is a premium plugin that offers both real-time and scheduled backups. VaultPress also offers security scans and spam protection, providing a range of plans suitable for different website sizes.

How to use a Plugin to Perform a Backup

Firstly, you need to install a backup plugin on your WordPress website by going to the plugin repository in your WordPress Dashboard, searching for a plugin, and clicking on the “install” button.

After installing and activating the plugin, you must configure the backup settings. This may include setting up the schedule for automatic backups, the destination where the backups will be stored, and any additional options the plugin offers.

Once you have set up the plugin and configured the settings, the plugin will take care of the rest and perform regular backups as per the schedule.

By using a plugin, you can efficiently perform and schedule backups for your website. You can select from various plugins with different features to suit your needs and configure them easily to schedule automatic backups and store them in safe locations.

Manual Backup

While using a plugin is an easy way to backup your WordPress website, there may be times when you want to perform a manual backup. This could be because you prefer not to use a plugin or because you are having trouble with your plugin and need to create a backup manually.

How to Manually Backup your WordPress Files and Database

To manually backup your WordPress files, you must connect to your website using an FTP client such as FileZilla. Once connected, you will need to navigate to the root folder of your WordPress installation and download all the files to your computer.

To manually backup your WordPress database, you must use a tool such as phpMyAdmin. This can be found in your hosting control panel. Once in phpMyAdmin, you must select your database and export it to your computer.

Tips for Manually Backing up a WordPress Website

  • Be sure to backup your files and database to ensure a comprehensive backup.
  • Keep multiple versions of your backups so that you can easily roll back to an earlier version if something goes wrong with your website.
  • Schedule regular manual backups to make sure your website is always backed up in case of an emergency.
  • Store your backups in multiple locations, such as your computer, an external hard drive, or a cloud-based storage service.

Manual backup can be a little more complicated than using a plugin, but it is a reliable option for those who prefer to avoid using a plugin or when it needs to be fixed.

Storing and Restoring Your Backup

Once you have created a backup of your WordPress website, it’s essential to store it in a secure location where it can be easily accessed in case of an emergency. Several storage options are available, including local storage on your computer, external hard drives, and cloud-based storage services.

Explanation of Different Storage Options

Local storage: Storing your backup on your computer or an external hard drive is a simple and cost-effective option. However, it’s important to remember that these storage devices can be damaged or stolen, leading to data loss.

Cloud-based storage: Services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Amazon S3 provide secure, remote backup storage. These services are typically more reliable than local storage and offer easy accessibility from anywhere with an internet connection.

Some backup plugins also allow storing your backups remotely on their servers. This is also a good option for some users as it’s a one-stop solution, and you don’t have to worry about storing and maintaining the backups.

Pros and Cons of Different Storage Options

Local storage: Pros include being cost-effective and easy to access, while cons include the risk of physical damage or theft.

Cloud-based storage: Pros include being secure, remote, and accessible from anywhere, while cons include potential costs for storage and internet access.

Backups on plugin servers: Pros include a one-stop solution, ease of use, and security, while cons include depending on the plugin service and potential costs.

When storing your backups, you must consider both the pros and cons of each option and choose the one that best suits your needs. It’s also a good idea to store backups in multiple locations to ensure that you always have a backup available in an emergency.

Restoring your Backup

In the event of a problem with your website, it’s essential to know how to restore your backup quickly and easily. Converting a backup will vary depending on the method you used to create it, whether through a plugin or manually.

How to Restore a Backup

Using a plugin: If you used a plugin to create your backup, you could restore it by navigating to the plugin’s settings in your WordPress dashboard and choosing the “restore” option. The plugin will then guide you through the process of restoring your backup.

Manually: If you created a manual backup, you need to use an FTP client and a tool such as phpMyAdmin to restore your files and database. This will involve uploading the backup files to your server and re-importing the database.

Tips for Restoring a Backup

  • Make sure to have a recent backup before attempting to restore your website.
  • Test your backups periodically to ensure that they are working correctly and that you can restore your website successfully.
  • If you are facing any issues during restoration, try to look for troubleshooting guides online or reach out to the plugin’s support or your hosting provider for assistance.
  • Be careful when restoring your website. It’s vital to ensure that you restore the correct version.
  • Be sure to update your plugins, themes, and WordPress installation after restoring your website, as these may have been updated since the backup was created.
  • Before restoring your website, deactivate all plugins, as they can sometimes cause conflicts during the restore process. Be sure not to disable the backup plugin if you are using one to restore your website.

TL;DR;

We’ve discussed the importance of backing up your WordPress website and the different methods you can use to create a backup, including using a plugin or manually. We’ve also looked at the different types of backups available, including complete site and database-only backups, and the pros and cons of each. Finally, we’ve covered the options for storing and restoring your backup, including different storage options and tips for troubleshooting common issues.

It is important to stress that regular backups are crucial for protecting your website. By creating and storing regular backups, you’ll be able to quickly and easily restore your website in case of a problem, whether you use a plugin or manually create your backups, regularly schedule backups, and store them in multiple locations.

Backing up your WordPress website is essential in protecting it, and it’s important to understand the available options. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your website is always protected and that you’ll be able to quickly and easily restore it in the event of a problem.

Here are some additional tips and resources for maintaining a secure and reliable WordPress website.

  • Keep your WordPress installation, themes, and plugins up-to-date to prevent security vulnerabilities.
  • Use a security plugin to protect your website from potential attacks.
  • Use a strong username and password for your WordPress account, and use two-factor authentication if possible.
  • Limit the number of users who have access to your WordPress dashboard, and always use strong passwords.
  • Regularly review and delete unnecessary themes, plugins, and media files to keep your website lean and clean.
  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to help distribute content and reduce the load on your server.
  • Regularly monitor your website’s traffic and server logs for any suspicious activity.

Some additional resources for maintaining a secure and reliable WordPress website include:

  • The official WordPress website is an excellent resource for learning how to use the platform and troubleshooting any issues you may encounter.
  • The WordPress support forums are a great place to ask for help and advice from other users.
  • The WordPress Codex is a comprehensive resource for learning more about the various features and functions of WordPress.

Remember that if you’re unsure or not confident in handling your website's backups, it’s always a good idea to hire an expert or request assistance. You may also benefit from restoring your website to another location first to be sure you have the process before restoring a production website.

Mike Bowden
With a diverse background as a tech enthusiast, writer, educator, and small business owner, I bring decades of experience creating, hosting, securing, and maintaining WordPress websites. Join me on my journey as we navigate the digital age and uncover insights that inspire growth and success.
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