If you are a website owner, backing up your WordPress site is a must.
WordPress is pretty secure, however, security breaches, botched code, and other elements can mess up your whole website and you’ll lose all of your data.
To avoid that you should always have your site backed up. This way, even if something unfortunate happens, you will be able to restore your site in no time!
Grab a cup of coffee, as I will show you how to backup your WordPress site either using manual methods or automated plugins.
How Do Backups Work?
The way backups work is simple – you save a copy of your website’s data in a secure location.
When it comes to backing up your WordPress site, you’ll be dealing with two main types of data – your website’s files and MySQL databases.
Your WordPress site’s file includes the core installation, plugins, theme files, media files and code files. While your WordPress MySQL database – a place where your site’s data stored – includes your posts, users, comments, categories, and tags.
So, it is essential to back up your site files and MySQL databases to have a complete copy of your website.
How to Backup a WordPress Site Manually?
To manually backup your WordPress site, you can use an FTP client to access your files and phpMyAdmin to access the databases.
This way, your backup will totally maintain your site’s features and data. But, you need to be aware that manual backups’ success relies hard on the server’s connection. So, make sure your connection to the server is good enough before performing these steps:
Step 1: Access Your WordPress Site With an FTP Client
First things first, back up your site’s files, for this, you will need an FTP client such as Filezilla.
Specify your connection settings by logging in to your host’s server: this requires you to fill in your server or hostname, username, password, and port number.
No need to worry, most hosting providers will have all the login information present in the hosting control panel.
Step 2: Locate And Compress Your WordPress Files
Once you’re connected, you can find your WordPress files under the “Local Site” pane on the left, side by side with “Remote Site” pane on the right.
The “Local Sits” lists the files on your computer and the “Remote Site” lists the files on your hosting account.
Just drag and drop the files that you want to back up to your computer files. To save space, zip the files by clicking “Compress Items”
Step 3: Download the Files
Once they’re compressed, simply right-click the files and select “download”. I highly suggest saving the files in secure cloud storage, so it’s well protected.
Step 4: Access Your WordPress Database with phpMyAdmin
Next, you’ll have to back up your database through phpMyAdmin.
From the hosting service’s control panel head over to the phpMyAdmin page, you’ll see all of your account’s databases.
Step 5: Export WordPress Databases
Select the desired databases and export them in SQL format.
Do so by clicking the export tab on the top panel. You’ll get two options – either to export the complete database by choosing “Quick” option or export specific database’ tables by choosing “Custom” option.
Then you’ll need to choose the download format: it is already exported as SQL by default, but you still can choose the other formats like PDF, PHP, or XML.
How to Restore a WordPress Site From a Backup?
When you need to restore a WordPress site from a backup, you simply need to use the same FTP client.
Manage your site’s connection with the FTP client, and delete all old files on your site root directory. What you should do next is upload and uncompress the previously saved files of the WordPress site.
If you want to restore your phpMyAdmin and WordPress databases to your site, just do the same steps as restoring the site’s files.
Easy peasy, isn’t it?
How to Backup a WordPress Site With Plugins
As manual backups are not really reliable because you have to do it regularly, I recommend using plugins for automatic backups.
- You can make a complete backup of your site: back up your site’s pages, posts, custom post types, categories and tags, widgets comments, theme files and settings, plugin files and settings, WordPress settings, database and core files, media library, and users.
- You can automatically get a copy of your backups. Once you backup your site, you will get a downloadable zip file. The plugin also allows you to automatically store the zip file in any cloud storage service.
- If you love anything automatic, this plugin features scheduled automatic backups. You can set up your backups schedule and let it run automatically.
- You can easily and quickly restore your backed-up site with a few clicks.
- The plugin features quick malware scans, so your website will be safe from malicious threats during the backup process.
- It might be considered overpriced for some users as it cost $80.
- There is no free trial and no refund policy, so those who consider it too pricy will reluctant to purchase.
- Some users using international characters (non-ASCII characters) face a backup restoring issues as it will not be conducted correctly even on the same server where it worked well before.
If you’re not a price-sensitive person, BackupBuddy will be a perfect choice. With a little upgrade to the Gold plan, you will get enhanced lifetime back up support and upgrades.
- This plugin supports scheduled and on-demand backups.
- Updraft automatically uploads the backup to cloud storage services.
- Easy back up restoring.
- Very reasonable prices for the premium features.
- Since it uses fewer server resources, this plugin performs faster than other backup plugins.
- You need to upgrade to premium features if the free version feels limiting.
- Some users experience poor customer support.
As Updraft’s functional backup feature comes for free, it is suitable if you want to start an automated backup without spending money.
If you’re willing to spend some money to upgrade to the Premium version, you’ll get exceptional enhanced features such as incremental backups, database encryption, personal support, more cloud storage, advanced reporting features, automatic backup every update, migrating websites, multiple site usage and translation.
It is the most widely used backup plugin and has 4.9 out 5-star rating average by more than 2 million users.
- While this plugin has a free version, there also are tiered pricing systems if you want to upgrade to the premium version.
- It offers automated real-time cloud backups with automated restores and security that cost less than 4$ per month.
- It also features tons of modules ranging from visitor engagement, security, appearance, to writing modules in a single plugin.
- Loads of features make for a bloated user interface that may be confusing.
- It requires higher loading time and may slow down your site.
- It may harm your credentials as it requires you to log in to your WordPress.com account before using it.
Jetpack is suitable for you if you love simplicity as it covers many modules and features within one single plugin. It has an average of 4.2 out of a 5-star review.
Keeping your WordPress site safe and sound is possible through backups.
You can backup your site manually or use one of the many great backup plugins.
Here are the best backup plugins for WordPress:
- BackupBuddy – loads of functions, but a steep price tag
- Updraft – lightweight and fast
- Jetpack – many features, but quite slow
Always make sure to have a current backup of your site! If you have any questions – leave them in the comments below!