Losing a website is a big deal. It can happen due to malicious hackers, faulty plugins, hosting failure, or physical server damage.
In case you haven’t backed up your website, you’re at serious risk. With backup, you can restore your website even if you lose it with just a click of a button.
But the question is, how to back up a WordPress site?
Below, we have listed out all possible ways of doing it. Along with that, the article also includes detailed information on what backup is and why it is essential. Keep reading to learn more.
Table of Contents
What Is Backup?
To backup is to simply keep a copy of your website files, which you can reinstall if you ever lose your site. A backup is like a safe repository, where all useful logs are maintained and recorded in case there’s a failure. It is a method of preventing a potential loss of data along with your clients.
Let's dig a little deeper and understand how a website is backed up.
A WordPress website includes two major components. The first is the website files, which include theme/plugin files, scripts, media, and more that make up the structure of your site and provide functionality. The second is the MYSQL database that stores all your data, including blog posts, comments, and settings for the admin panel.
Why Should You Backup Your WordPress Site?
It’s common for hackers to attack websites anytime. As a business owner, it is always best to stay on the safe side of the internet and backup your website to remain safe.
A malicious program or physical damage causes loss of data: both website files as well as the database. Many web hosting companies claim to backup your website data. They provide you with backup and restore facilities. When choosing a hosting provider, make sure your hosting provider has restore and backup facilities.
Having said that, we suggest you to backup your website on your own. There are numerous ways to do it. Below are ways that can help you recover your website files as well as the database.
3 Ways to Backup Your WordPress Site
There are 3 different methods you can use to backup your WordPress site. We have listed down all possible ways of backing up your WordPress site in an understandable way, even for beginners. Let’s dive in.
Most of the web hosting companies backup databases as well as website files. So, the first option is to find the appropriate web hosting company that necessarily backs up your website files as well as the database.
The best part is that you can keep a backup for yourself before at any time. For example, the WP Engine Managed WordPress Hosting backs up all your WordPress core files and database. Backups are usually created before a major WordPress update or while changing themes of your website.
If you wish to go a step further, you can download the zip file time and again and store it in an external storage device, like a hard drive.
To manually back up your website, there are three ways to do it. You can use the cPanel or an SFTP program to backup the website files. Meanwhile, you can use phpMyAdmin to backup the database.
cPanel gives you the total control of your website. It lets you create backups for your website easily. Here’s how:
- Login to your website cPanel.
- Go to File Manager. Find the public.html file or Home directory.
- Locate your WordPress directory.
- Click on the WordPress directory and select Compress either from the menu bar or through the right click of the mouse.
- Choose the compression type, eg: tar, ZIP, and more.
- Hit compress, and your computer does the rest.
- Select the created compressed file and choose “download” from the menu.
- Store the file safely in a hard drive.
To ensure full backup, you can store the file in multiple locations, like a hard drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and such.
For SFTP, we recommend using a popular file manager, like FileZilla. It is lightweight and easy to use. Firstly, install the application on your computer and retrieve your login SFTP login credentials from the hosting account.
- Log in to the File Manager (here FileZilla) using the credentials from the hosting account.
- Fill the details (a nickname, website URL, login credentials, change the port number to 2222).
- Select all the files you see once you log in. Right click on the mouse and select the “Download Selected Items”.
- Make sure the file is zipped and stored in a proper location.
Now that you have successfully backed up the website files, it is time to backup your database. For this you’ll need to login to your cPanel and find the phpMyAdmin option. For cPanel users, you can easily find it under the “database tools” section, whereas for other hosting panels, its location might be different.
- Log in to phpMyAdmin
- Select the “Databases” tab.
- Tick all the boxes of database tables which you would like to backup.
- Click the “Export” tab.
- Select export method and set format to SQL.
- Hit the go button and save the downloaded file in a secure location.
That’s it. That’s all you need to do to backup your website manually. It is the best way of backing up a website as you get total control of your website and do not need to depend on anyone else. In case you’re having trouble in establishing connection to your database, here’s a full article on how to fix errors establishing a database connection in WordPress?
Backup WordPress sites Using Plugins
Specially for a WordPress site, plugins come in very handy for creating backup of your website. A Backup plugin makes your job easier by maintaining regular backup of your website.
Different plugins work in different ways. Some allow you to backup databases, while some backup your website files as well. Here, we look at the 5 best backup plugins for a WordPress site.
Handsdown, UpdraftPlus is by far the best backup plugin for WordPress sites. It offers complete backup of your database as well as WordPress files.
This plugin supports scheduled backups, as well as on-demand backups. Moreover, it allows you to backup your website in cloud services, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and many more.
It is one of the most loved plugins by the WordPress community for website backup. No wonder it has over 2 million installations.
|The best free version plugin for WordPress||Services like cloning and migration, multisite support, encrypting databases, and more are only available in the paid version.|
|Consumes less resources(memory) when used||May not work well with large sites and older versions of WordPress|
|Automatic as well as on-demand backups|
BlogVault is an advanced backup plugin that is a household name due to its highly reliable service. Unlike any other plugin, it offers 100% restoration rate.
With BlogVault, you can restore your backup with just a click of a button, which makes it extremely easy to use. Your data is encrypted and stored in cloud-based service Amazon S3 servers. You can also get an option to store elsewhere, like Google Drive, Dropbox, or your local storage.
BlogVault creates backup independently and ensures there’s a zero load on your server. Its smart incremental backup is excellent for optimal performance of your website as it only stores incremental changes.
|Excellent personalized support||No free version.|
|Easy to use||High price for small business owners|
|Unlimited on-demand backup|
BackWPup is another major plugin that you can use to create backup of your website and store it in cloud based platforms, like Drive, Dropbox, or your local device.
With premium support features, this plugin has managed to gather 60000+ satisfied customers. It is extremely easy to use as well.
This plugin also features a dedicated app for emergency cases. The premium version of plugin comes with added powerful features.
|Dedicated app for emergency restores||Might be confusing for non-technical users|
|Premium personalized support|
|Checks for corrupt files and repairs them|
Though it started out as an independent plugin, VaultPress is a part of Automattic’s another product called Jetpack. You need to subscribe to Jetpack to use VaultPress.
Vault Press offers an automatic real-time backup solution with just a few clicks. It ensures safety backup of your website data with minimum load.
VaultPress backs up your data on a daily basis with a 30-day archive. You can upgrade to different plans, according to your need as VaultPress is flexible in its pricing and plans.
|Real-time backup||Need Jetpack subscription to fully use VaultPress|
|Security scanning feature||Lower plans store data only for 30-days|
|Multiple pricing plans|
BackUpBuddy is an easy-to-use backup plugin for a WordPress site. Though it provides limited functionalities with its free version, it accomplishes four vital and major tasks, like complete backups, scheduled backups, safe storage, and restoration.
For real time backup, there’s a Stash Live feature available, which creates real-time backup. You get 1GB of free space with this plugin purchase, along with cloud services like Amazon S3, and more for data storage.
One of the best features of this plugin is that it allows you to control upto 10 websites using a single dashboard.
|1 year of Stash Live service||Fails to work with large WordPress sites|
|Easy to use||No on demand backups, frequent scheduled backups only available|
This article gives you a clearer picture of what backup is, how it works, and why it is important. By now, you must have realized how important backup is. It is vital if you want to keep your site secured. You never know when malicious programs attack you.
We have tabulated different approaches to backup your website along with specific procedure details on how to do it. We hope you’ve found your ideal backup plan through this article. Think wisely and choose the best one.