Taking frequent backups of your website or blog should be one of your top priorities. All websites are pron to attacks and WordPress is no exception.
In case of a hacked website, the only solution is to clean the malicious code or entirely installing a new website and you will be nowhere if you wouldn’t have any backups to resume.
The other scenario is if you messed up with your WordPress core files or install an incompatible or corrupted plugin which results in WordPress to stop working. Instead of bumping your head, you can simply restore your backup to make everything right as it was before.
This is what we are going to discuss in this tutorial. We will see how to backup WordPress manually and automatically using plugins.
- Backup using CPanel
- Backup using FTP
- Using a backup plugin
A backup is simply a copy of your online website kept saved on your computer or on a remote location like Dropbox, Google drive or any remote drive.
Saving a backup copy to at least three separate locations is recommended.Woopoo's Tip
Depends upon the activity on your website, you need to take backups either daily, weekly or at least monthly. The backups could be either full backups which includes your full web hosting account backup or partial backups of your database and other important directories.
Similarly a WordPress backup is a 2-step process. Backing up the database and backing up the files.
A typical WordPress installation normally consists of:
- WordPress database
- WordPress core files
- WordPress wp-content folder which holds site-specific data (plugins, themes,images and uploads)
- Other custom files (.htaccess, robots.txt etc)
A database backup will save all of your posts, pages, comments and other related data while WordPress files and folders backup will save what the name suggests all files and directories such as themes, plugins, uploads etc.
1. Backup using CPanel
The most simple method to take WordPress quick backup is by using your web hosting CPanel. All web hosting servers offer a way to either backup entire site or website files and database separately.
We are using Hostgator web hosting service. The steps will be similar for your web hosting service.
- Login to CPanel and go to Hosting tab.
- Press Files and Folders
- Press Backup Wizard from the menu.
- From the options Backup and Restore, select the Backup option.
- If you are are moving your whole website like changing your hosting provider then you need to backup everything so take a Full Backup.
- For backup content, we will take partial backups of Home Directory and MySQL Databases separately. Press the Home Directory button and download the backup zip file. Do the same operation to backup WordPress database.
As we discussed earlier, repeat this process at least a month to backup all website data.Woopoo's Good Practice
2. Backup via FTP
FTP is another way to take website backups. You need an ftp client like WinSCP or fileZilla to make an ftp connection with your website and save a mirror copy of your online website or blog. If you need more details about ftp, see how to setup an ftp account for WordPress for more details.
We assume you have already created an ftp account and connected with ftp client WinSCP.
Once you are connected to ftp. You will see your root directory on the right side and your local files on the left side.
- Either create or select a folder on the left hand side to synchronize with your root directory.
- Click Synchronize.
- On the Sync setting window, select Local in the Direction/Target directory so the flow will be from root directory to local directory exactly what we need. Click OK.
The program will start downloading files and make an exact replica of your online website in the local folder you specified on the left side.
Unfortunately database can’t be backed up via ftp.
3. Using a backup Plugin
Using a WordPress backup plugin is another versatile method to take website backups. One great feature of such plugins is that they can take automated backups in the time intervals you specified so you don’t have to remember to take backups manually unlike the methods we discussed above.
There are many backup plugins available in the market with their own pros and cons but the plugin we have selected is UpdraftPlus backup plugin.
It is the most basic yet best plugin to backup WordPress and recommended for beginners. With options to set time intervals and uploading backups to remote drives like Dropbox even with its free version, it is a very popular choice among bloggers with more than 1+ million installs.
- From your dashboard, go to Plugins > Add New. Install and activate the plugin. see instructions on how to install a plugin in WordPress if you need additional help.
- Once installed, go to Settings > UpdraftPlus Backups.
- This plugin works just straight out of the box. Simply click Backup Now.
It will separately take backups of your plugins, themes and uploads directories. The backups will be saved in updraft directory located in WordPress Plugins directory.
- From the Settings menu, you can schedule backups for files and database separately. With a premium version you can even place your backups in remote locations using Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive and more than a dozen other options. As a free version you still have the option to save to remote backup location using Dropbox only.
Using any of the above options, backup WordPress site to your computer will be a breeze for you and we hope you find the article easy to follow. If you still have any questions, do let us know using the comments section below.