Backing Up WordPress
Backing Up WordPress is an essential part of website ownership today.
You need to ensure you are performing a FULL backup before you do upgrades, as well as a database backup at frequent intervals between upgrades.
If all of this is new to you, be sure you pick up my WordPress Video Training Library.
For the type of backup we need before an update… a FULL backup is in order.
This means we need to ensure we have both the database (the text part of your posts/pages) and the contents (your theme and your graphics and images).
Too often, novice bloggers make the mistake of only backing up their database and losing all of their thumbnails, featured images, embedded graphics and more. Trust me, you don’t want to ever experience that!
Option #1: CPanel Backup: On the “very complete, but non-automatable” end of the spectrum, a full CPanel backup will do the trick. See the “Backup” icon in your Cpanel dashboard and select Full Backup. Be sure to download it from the server or it doesn’t count as a backup.
This backup has the added bonus of including your domain based email account and more. However, it’s not a backup that you yourself can actually do anything with. It’s only useful to a hosting company.
Option #2: BackWPUp: WordPress plugins are my usual solution to this task and BackWPUp is a free plugin that for the most part gets the job done. Definitely work looking into if you need a free solution.
An upgraded version of this is included in WP Pipeline and is what I use on sites where I have been hired to do the backups/upgrades. Want to just forget all of this headache and let someone else take care of it for you? Contact me.
Option #3: Backup Buddy: Perhaps a childish name, but this plugin is “best of breed” many times over. Backup Buddy combines ease of use, with great support, and plenty of tutorials available.
It also includes a number of tools you won’t find elsewhere such as free off site data storage and tools to help you migrate from one hosting account to another. Nothing tops this wonderful plugin and it will give you incredible peace of mind. Check out Backup Buddy.
This is a current summary of what is available and working well. If you used my prior tutorial for backing up WordPress, it’s important that I state that those plugins do still work. However, they are getting some age on them and have not been updated (particularly the content backup plugin) and I do suggest upgrading to spare yourself any heartache down the road.
~ Kim ~
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PS: Between update cycles, a database-only backup is generally sufficient unless you change your site dramatically. Fortunately, all of the above options can easily accomplish that so no other tools are needed.