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Better Way to Backup Your Wordpress Blog [Tutorial]

by Mrinal Saha

A good webmaster always keeps multiple backups of his or her websites. Backups not only protect your website from server failure and security attacks but are also needed while changing your host.

Now some of you may question, “Why should I take regular backups when my hosting provider is already doing that for me”? And the answer to that will be, what if their server get compromised or they suddenly suspend your account.

In such situation, there will be no way to access your backup. Therefore having update backups on your computer as well as cloud storage is a must.

What to Backup in Wordpress blog?

For any Wordpress blogs, there are two key things that you need to backup.

1. Wordpress installation directory

In most cases, you need to backup of 3 directory i.e. wp-content, wp-admin, wp-config. It contains everything that you need to create a copy of your websites like your posts, themes, plugins etc.

2. Database

Next is your database. It include things like category,tags, your wp-login credential, and the changes your have made in your themes etc. 

So now that we know what to backup, let’s see how to take backup.

Well there are two ways of doing it:

Method 1: The obvious- Cpanel

This is the traditional way of taking backup of Wordpress blog. Most people take the backup, by manually downloading the all the files using host’s file manager. To do this login to your website’s panel and go to the root directory.

Once you are inside the root or ‘www’ directory, you will see files like wp-content, wp-admin, etc. Select all of them and then compress them into a single zip file. Download the zip file. You can also use FTP manager like FileZilla to connect and download the file from the server.

backup wordpress from control panel

3. For database backup, head over to your database > phpMyAdmin> Export the database.

Backup database using phpMyAdmin in wordpress

However, this method is tedious. Moreover due to large no. of small files, you may face connection timeout error and have to start download from the beginning.

Webmaster doesn’t have time to regular backup manually. So how do we automate this process? Let’s find out.

Method 2: Backup Wordpress with BackWPup

BackWPup is a Wordpress plugin that schedule Wordpress backup. I have been using it for months now and it work great. And here is why you should also use BackWPup:

  • It’s free, reliable and easy to use
  • You can schedule backups on daily, weekly or monthly basis
  • Option to store backups in cloud storage

So you see, BackWPup is awesome, but it comes with little learning curve. Let’s see how it works.

1. Head over to your Wordpress dashboard and download and install the plugin BackWPup.

download BackWPup wordpress plugin

2. Once it’s install, you will see it listed in the right side of your Wordpress dashboard. Hover on it and select jobs.

setting up jobs in wordpress plugin

3. Since it’s your first time with the plugin, you will have to setup a new job. Click on ‘Add new’.

Add new job in BackWPup

4. Once you are inside the ‘new job’ menu, you will have to make various changes like what you want to backup, where you want to store your backup, how often to schedule it, the format of your backup, etc. If you find this overwhelming, then stick with defaults settings. 

Configure WPbackUP for the first time

Side note: Although the options are self-explanatory, I strongly suggest you watch this video by Craig Smith.

5. Once done, run your job. And the backup process will start.

backup your wordpress blog with backWPup

Bonus Tips 

My recommendation is to stick with the default setting, i.e., Take database backup, files, and plugin list. And the complete backup of your website. So there is nothing to loose.

Old backup is replaced by newer one. So don’t worry, you won’t run out of your storage.

If you are on shared hosting, then schedule this backup when you experience less traffic to avoid access load on your server.

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