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How to backup your WordPress site

Keeping your WordPress installation backed up is a vital step in protecting all the hard work that you’ve put in to creating the site and adding content. So, how do you backup your WordPress site?

The good news is that there are no shortage of methods to backup a Wordpress site. There is little surprise here as it’s far and away the most used CMS, with over 26 million installs and nearly 60% of the CMS market.

This large market share also has a corresponding downside in that it makes Wordpress a target for hackers. They are constantly on the lookout for ways to hijack sites and use your site for their own profit. The only way to keep a safe position is keeping the site backed up with plenty of historical checkpoints in case you don’t pick up the problem right away.

The complex method, a manual backup of WordPress

A manual backup requires no special plugins or tools. However, it’s the most technical and will change based on your hosting provider. There are two main steps, the file backup and the database backup.

For the files, using your favourite FTP program, connect to your WordPress server. Copy everything in the “public_html” folder to a safe place on your computer.

Now login to your hosting control panel and use a program called PHPMyAdmin to backup your site database and copy that backup to your computer.

You’ve now got everything that your WordPress site relies on to work. If you need to restore this backup, the process is again quite technical and complicated.

This option is only really suitable for people who are pretty technically minded. WordPress themselves have written a useful guide on this method.

The easy method, using a WordPress backup plugin

There are hundreds of plugins that can backup your WordPress site, so the real job is locating one that will suit your needs. Some of the important factors to consider are:

Basic, or with added features

WordPress sites can be transferred between servers or between a test and live location. Some backup plugins can facilitate this type of transfer. There is also a more complex type of install called a Multisite, and some backup plugins support this, while others don’t.

Backup locations

A backup is only as good as the location where it is stored. While it’s unlikely that your WordPress site and personal computer will both die at the same time, it does remain a possibility. For this reason, some backup plugins allow you to automatically store a copy of the backup on Google Drive, Dropbox or some other remote location. Some systems even let you encrypt the backup, so storing them in the cloud is safer.

Scheduling and notifications

Another major benefit of an automated backup plugin is that you can set a schedule and then let the backup happen overnight, or whenever is most convenient. Normally plugins working in this way can also send you an email to let you know everything was successful. Streamlining the process in this way gives you great piece of mind.

While backup is only part of keeping a website healthy, it’s an important one. Part of the service I offer is ensuring that websites are kept working in perfect order and that your online presence isn’t affected by issues that stop visitors getting to your site. If you’d like the peace of mind of knowing your site is in a safe pair of hands, get in touch to talk about your requirements.