How to Back up a WordPress Site in 4 Ways

Backing up your WordPress website is crucial for anyone using the CMS. Understanding how to perform a backup is essential to avoid potential setbacks down the road. While learning how to back up a WordPress site may not initially seem urgent, it’s knowledge that becomes invaluable if something unexpected happens.

This blog post will delve into the importance of backing up WordPress sites. We’ll discuss why creating copies of your files and database is vital, how frequently you should conduct backups, and which plugins can assist you. However, before we dig into the details, it’s worth mentioning that a minor mistake made during the backup can cause significant injuries to your website. That’s why it’s always better to rely on professional WordPress developer services to ensure no mistakes are made.

Let’s explore these key aspects together from a professional standpoint.

Why Should You Back up Your Website?

Backing up your WordPress website is crucial to safeguarding your valuable files and website settings in case of unforeseen issues. In this imperfect world, mistakes such as installing unreliable plugins or extensions can occur while attempting to enhance your site’s performance. By maintaining backups, you can restore earlier versions of your website if anything goes wrong and focus on enhancing its security.

There are several scenarios where a WordPress site backup proves invaluable:

• Updates to WordPress core, plugins, or themes may unexpectedly cause issues.
• Accidental deletion of meaningful content.
• Installation of a problematic plugin or extension leading to site crashes.
• Failures caused by hosting providers.
• Potential malicious attacks targeting your website.

You must always have recent backups available to prevent potential troubles and data loss on your WordPress site. Relying solely on hosting providers for backups may not be foolproof since there is no guarantee that they regularly back up files and databases. Therefore, taking matters into one’s own hands ensures consistent access to recent backups when needed.

While shared WordPress hosting solutions might pose reliability concerns regarding automatic backups with off-site storage, using premium managed hosts becomes viable at an additional cost – providing the service you pay for.

How Often Should You Back up Your Website?

The frequency of backing up your website depends on how often you change it. Daily backups may not be necessary if your business website seldom undergoes updates or installs new features. However, for a multi-user blog with frequent new posts and user-generated content, setting up regular backups is crucial to avoid any potential loss in case of mishaps.

Deciding the backup schedule is at the discretion of the site owners – whether it should be daily or hourly. It’s important to note that backups encompass self-created content and user-generated data, such as comments and forum discussions on your website.

How to Back up a WordPress Site?

Backing up your WordPress site is essential for safeguarding your data from unforeseen events such as security threats, human errors, conflicts between WordPress plugins and themes, or server failures. Let’s consider 4 major methods to back up your WordPress site.

Method 1: Use a Plugin (Recommended)

The most convenient way to create backups is by utilizing a plugin such as Duplicator. This beginner-friendly plugin simplifies backing up, migrating, and cloning your website.

Multiple WordPress backup plugins are available, with popular options such as UpdraftPlus, Jetpack Backup, and BackupBuddy. For this demonstration, let’s consider Duplicator.

Step 1: Install and Activate the Plugin
Install your selected plugin from the WordPress plugin repository. In the case of Duplicator, access your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins > Add New, search for “Duplicator”, then proceed to install and activate it.

Step 2: Configure the Plugin
After activation, you will need to configure specific settings within the plugin. This typically involves specifying what content to back up (e.g., files or databases), establishing a backup schedule, and selecting a storage location.

Step 3: Create a Backup
Utilizing Duplicator allows you to create a backup by navigating in your WordPress dashboard under Duplicator > Packages; then, click “Create New” at the top right corner of the screen. Follow subsequent on-screen instructions for completing the process.

Step 4: Store Your Backup Securely
Upon creating a backup, ensure it is downloaded and stored in an adequately secure location. Additionally, some plugins also provide cloud storage options.

You must routinely check and update your backup settings so they continue functioning as expected.

Method 2: Manual Backup Using cPanel

You can manually back up your site using the hosting service’s cPanel. This method provides greater control over which content to preserve.

To manually back up a WordPress site using cPanel, follow these steps:

1. Log in to cPanel by accessing your web hosting account and navigating to the cPanel interface.
2. Use the File Manager under the Files section to access all your WordPress core and media files.
3. Compress the Files by selecting all the files you want to back up, right-clicking, and choosing to compress them. This will create a .zip file containing all your selected files.
4. Download The Backup Once you have compressed the files, download them to your local storage. This downloaded file will serve as your backup.

It’s important to note that this method only backs up your WordPress files. For a complete site backup, make sure to back up your WordPress database using phpMyAdmin in cPanel.

Method 3: Manual Backup of WordPress Databases

This method involves manually backing up your WordPress databases. ​​To manually back up a WordPress database using phpMyAdmin, follow these steps:

• Log in to your web hosting control panel and locate phpMyAdmin under the ‘Advanced’ section.
• Ensure that your WordPress database is selected inside phpMyAdmin. You will see the list of WordPress database tables when it is selected.
• After selecting your database, click on the ‘Export’ tab from the top menu bar. Choose ‘Custom’ as the export method for more options.
• Review all tables in your WordPress database and deselect any that you do not wish to include in the backup. Select the ‘Save output to a file’ option instead of text as an output method.
• Select either the zipped or gzipped option for compression, then click on the ‘Go’ button at the bottom of the page to create a .zip or .gzip file containing your database.

Please note that this method solely backs up your WordPress Database. For full site backup, it’s necessary to back up all relevant WordPress files.

Method 4: Manual Backup Using FTP

To back up a WordPress site using FTP manually, follow these steps:

1. Choose an FTP client that you are comfortable with, such as FileZilla, Cyberduck, or WinSCP.
2. Launch your chosen FTP client and enter your login credentials to connect to your website. You can find these details in your web hosting control panel.
3. Once connected, navigate to locate the files and directories of your website. The WordPress files you need to back up are typically in the public_html directory.
4. Select all the files and directories you want to back up, then right-click and choose the option to download. This action will copy all selected files from your website to your local computer.

It’s important to note that this method only backs up your WordPress files. For a complete site backup, it is also necessary to back up your WordPress database.

Where to Store Your Data?

When storing backups for your WordPress site, many website owners mistakenly store them on the same server as their live website. While this may provide quick access in case of minor issues, it poses a significant risk. If something goes wrong with the server, the website and all backups can be lost.

To avoid such risks, consider storing your website’s backups in two alternative places:

• Cloud storage services like Dropbox, Amazon S3, Google Drive
• Your local computer

Additionally, here are some extra steps you can take to protect your website’s data:

• Create multiple copies of your data and store them on different types of media;
• Store one copy offsite (outside your home or office);
• Keep several copies of your WordPress site, including a copy of the live site and multiple backups.

In most cases, webmasters often store their WordPress sites on cloud services and local computers so that if one option fails, another will ensure safe file storage.

Bottom Line

We hope our guide helped learn how to back up a WordPress site. Regardless of your web project type, it is crucial to prioritize regular backups. Depending solely on your WordPress hosting provider may not be optimal unless you utilize premium managed hosting. Most standard hosts do not offer dependable backup services, so you need to seek out WordPress backup plugins independently.

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