Backing up your website is one of those things that many folks think about when it is too late. Believe me; you never want to wish you had that backup you never made.
Usually, when you find yourself in that position, you are motivated to get a system in place. If you’ve experienced this dilemma, here’s how you never have to feel that pain again.
Backups are not just something you rely on your hosting company to periodically do for you. When WordPress, your theme, or plugins require updating, you need to backup first. Backing up before updating anything is the only way to have a solid copy of your website to revert to if something goes awry.
So let’s take care of that today and help you avoid being one of the “I wish I had…” crowd.
WordPress Backup Steps
If you are on a Managed WordPress host, you most likely have a backup option or the ability to create a restore point in your hosting dashboard. Thanks to your hosting, you do not need a plugin to backup your server. All you have to do is login to your hosting and backup.
It doesn’t get any easier than that, right? But if you don’t want to rely on your hosting dashboard, there are several great backup plugins that you can install and do within your WordPress admin area. One that I like and use UpdraftPlus.
You can set these plugins to backup once daily or weekly to your server. Backup frequency should be determined by how often you update your website. If you do so daily, then backup daily.
Another feature available to you is if your database isn’t too large, you can have a copy of the backup emailed to you. If emailing a copy is not practical, download a copy of that backup off your server and onto your local computer, to the cloud or external hard drive.
Say your host has issues; what good is having your backups stored there? Same for your computer. If you have your backup on your hard drive and it crashes, you’d better have a 3rd party service to get copies of your backup files. That’s why it is a good idea to have copies of your site’s backup files in more than one location.
I back up my computer every day with IDrive. iDrive automatically backs up the files on my main workstation — including my WordPress website files. So now I have redundancy which is a good thing.
The chances that my Web host, hard drive, and iDrive will all crash and lose my files is practically impossible. But, let’s face it, if that were to happen, something tells me we would all have more important things to worry about.
Download the ” wp-content ” folder off your server through your Web hosting control panel’s File Manager, or download the “wp-content” folder off your server using the FTP software. This folder is the heart of your WordPress site. I use FileZilla FTP software.
To be safe, in the root directory of your server, which is usually HTML or public_html, download a copy of your .htaccess and wp-config.php files.
Last but certainly not least, when in your WordPress Dashboard, go to Tools > Export and download your WordPress XML file that contains your content, posts, and pages.
How often you go through the above steps depends on how often you add content to your site and when updates are required. The more you add content, the more often it would behoove you to backup.
Four Basic Steps for a Complete Backup
Now you know that backing up is no big deal and something every website owner needs to embrace. So go through these steps (set a reminder on your calendar app) at least once a month to make sure you have a backup available in case you need it.
Because if you ever do, you’ll be glad you did.
At your service,