Backing Up WordPress Websites [Quick Guide]

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It is incredibly important to back up your website, whether it's your own or a site that you're working on. Backing up protects your data if you lose it, which can happen due to error, failure, or attack. These things can happen to anyone and any website, which is why backups are important.

When backing up a WordPress website, you have a number of options available to you. The instructions below show you how to manually backup your site, but you can also use a plugin. Free plugins are available, but the most popular are premium plugins like BackupBuddy or VaultPress. These are good because you can automate the process instead of doing it manually, but it is still important to understand how to create backups without a plugin. This will give you a better understanding of the structure of your WordPress website, and how backups work.

How often you backup your website depends on how often you update it. Think about how much data you will lose between backups when making your decision.

Manually Backing Up Your WordPress Website

There are two things that you have to back up on a WordPress website—your files, and your database. The files contain the WordPress core files, your theme, any plugins that you have installed, and any files that you have uploaded, such as images and videos. Your database is where the data is located—your posts, pages, etc. Both need to be backed up.

Backup Your Files

1. Access your files and folders.

You should use an FTP program such as Filezilla to access all the files and folders on your website.

2. Download.

The process of backing up these files and folders is really simple. Just download them all to your computer. The length of time this takes depends on the size of your website.

Backup Your Database

1. Log into phpMyAdmin.

Most website hosts use phpMyAdmin to manage databases. If yours doesn't, you will have to find out what they do use and access that instead. The steps won't be the same in that situation, but they should be very similar. If your host usesphpMyAdmin, you can usually access it from your hosting dashboard. You might need a password -- contact your host for the details if you do.

2. Select your database.

If you have multiple websites on your hosting account, you might see more than one database. Select the database relevant to your website.

3. Click Export.

At the top of the screen, you will see a number of options. Select Export.

4. Save the backup.

Select the quick export option and choose “save to a file”. If asked, make sure you select structure and data as you want to back up everything. This will then save the backup onto your computer.

Finally, it is recommended that you keep at least three versions of your website backup and that you store them in multiple locations—for example on your computer and in the cloud. This will ensure you always have a working version available if you ever need it.

Posted 5 December, 2015


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