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How to Backup your WordPress Website

How to Backup your WordPress Website

So you’ve had your WordPress Website for some time now and you’re rightfully proud of it since you are consistently adding valuable content for your readers. How would you feel if all of a sudden your website just disappeared? Like most people you will go through a few phases.

  1. Nervous Laugh thinking nah let me try again, maybe it’s the browser.
  2. Panic sets in as you realize it isn’t your browser.
  3. Sweat maybe even tears starts to flow down your face.
  4. You might want to throw your computer in frustration and disbelief.
  5. You frantically search online for what to do.

This wouldn’t be as much of a concern if you had a proper backup of your website. By proper I mean all the files and the database. But wait, you have that awesome plugin that will do the job for you right? And you’ve set it up to make automatic backups of your website both database and files. So you are good to go, right? Not always! I like to maintain duplicate backups in various forms. If one way fails then at least you have another backup from a different solution.

Backup Plugins Might Fail

99% of well written plugins will work properly. There are some awesome backup plugins both free and premium that will do the job for you and most of the time they will do it just as described. But there are times that your plugin might not work as you anticipated. Why would this happen? Aren’t they supposed to be thoroughly tested for bugs and issues? Yes they are. But here are some reasons that they might fail.

  1. Might not be supported by your hosting server. Yes, your server has a lot to do with how certain plugins work. Why? Not all servers are built equally. Especially shared hosting accounts.
  2. Plugin might not be up to date.

Should I delete my Backup Plugins?

NO! I’m not saying to delete your plugins. That would not be responsible. Some plugins are awesome and work the overwhelming majority of the time. Which do I recommend?

Free Backup Plugins

  • BackUpWordPress – As of this writing this plugin has been downloaded over 1,000,000 and has a 4.6 star rating out of 5. Updated often which is key. Also simple to use. For more info Click Here
  • BackWPup – As of this writing this plugin has been downloaded over 1,266,000 and has a 4.3 star rating out of 5. Updated often which is key. Also simple to use. For more info Click Here
  • There are others but these are very simple to use and have great reviews. They are also updated often.

Premium Backup Plugins

  • BackupBuddy – This is a crowd favorite and what I install for my clients when I create their WordPress Websites. This Backup Solution has a ton of great features that does full backups and database only backups. Also allows you to send to various destinations like email, cloud storage etc. I have a developers license so I can install this for free on my clients sites. This plugin costs $80 per year.
  • Snapshot – This is another premium plugin that gets high marks from the community. This is less expensive at only $19 one time fee. I also have a developers license and can install this for free on my client sites.
  • Again there are others but these are the two I have a lot of experience with.

The Technical Backup Solution!

Ok, this is considered the best way to backup your WordPress Website but it is kind of technical. First I would go to your hosting account and SFTP all your files onto your computer. How do you set up FTP? FTP Setup Guide. (UPDATE: with SFTP use port 22 ). Then I would go to phpMyAdmin on your hosting account and backup the entire database. How to use phpMyAdmin? phpMyAdmin Guide.

Why is this the best solution? Because it does not rely on plugins, is done manually and allows you to store locally on your own computer.

Imagine this scenario. You only rely on the plugin to backup your WordPress website and you haven’t set it up to forward the backup to another location. Your server crashes and you haven’t FTP’d your files to your computer and you haven’t downloaded your backup of your database to your local computer. Then how would you restore? You can’t. Your website is gone.  Again, Sweat, Tears, Anger etc.

I recommend using both solutions. A Plugin for automation purposes and the manual way of FTP and phpMyAdmin. Plus you will learn more about how WordPress works by looking under the hood of your website.

If you want a managed backup solution then fill out the contact link in the navigation bar above and let’s chat.

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