Different Ways to Backup a WordPress Site

Backing up is an important part of running a WordPress powered blog. Well, there are different ways to back up a WordPress website. You can download the database and files manually, you can use plugins or you can use the inbuilt admin tools in WordPress. Whatever you do, you have to be smart and back up regularly.

Backing up protects your data from loss against electronic failures and hackings. When you have a fresh backup available at all times, you won’t have to worry about losing your valuable writings in your blog. You can just go ahead and restore the backups. Backing up is quite convenient these days due to the number of back up tools available for free.

In this post, I will talk about the different options that you can use to keep your WordPress website backed up.

Backing Up Using an Inbuilt WordPress Admin Tool

  • Visit your blog admin area and click on Tools > Export.
  • Choose the content that you want to back up i.e. posts, pages or everything.
  • Hit the “Download Export File” button and you will get an XML file containing your posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories and tags.


WordPress Export XML WXR
To import this backup just visit Tools > Import > WordPress in the admin area , install a plugin and then use it to import the XML file that you exported before.

This is the simplest and quickest method to back up a WordPress website. But this method will only backup your text contents i.e. your posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories and tags. Your WordPress files like your template files and your images will not be backed up. The back up process is quick and the downloaded file is small in size because of this reason.

Using Plugins to Backup WordPress

There are several plugins that offer WordPress backups. You can download backups, keep them in your server or you can copy the backup files to cloud storage providers like Dropbox. You can even automate backups to run on a schedule.

Some plugins for WordPress Backups are:

BackWPup Free - WordPress Backup Plugin
BackWPup Free – WordPress Backup Plugin

Backs up database, WordPress core files and wp-content folder. You can store backups in your online directory, download it, move to an ftp server, copy to cloud platforms: Dropbox, Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, RackSpaceCloud and SugarSync. You get backup confirmation by email. Backups are compressed in zip, tar, tar.gz or tar.bz2 format.


BackUpWordPress
BackUpWordPress

Backs up your entire WordPress site and database. This one is recommended for shared hosting environments due to its low memory usage. You can schedule the backups and get emails of those.


UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration for WordPress
UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration for WordPress

A great backup plugin for storing files in cloud storage providers such as Dropbox, Google Drive, FTP and many more. Restoration is also possible for backups. Schedules are highly configurable, files and folder can be manually selected, and this one has support for large sites by splitting backup archives into multiple files.


WordPress Backup to Dropbox
WordPress Backup to Dropbox

This is a dedicated plugin to backup your WordPress files and database to Dropbox. Backups to your server is also supported. You can schedule the task and know that your files are safe.


Online Backup for WordPress
Online Backup for WordPress

This backup plugin is useful for saving copies of your WordPress database as well as files automatically. You can choose to save in your server’s folder or to be emailed with the file as an attachment. You can choose what to backup and AES encryption is also possible. Schedule your backups and be safe with this plugin.


Performing Manual Backups for WordPress

You can also perform manual backups i.e. by downloading WordPress files and database on your own. For that you will have to access your WordPress folder using FTP programs or a file managers. You can compress all the files and folders to create a single file to download. You can exclude your WordPress core files. Only download /wp-content/ folder which contains all your templates, plugins, uploaded pictures and other modifications. Ccore files are the same which are downloaded when WordPress is downloaded.

Don’t forget to download your database as well. Access your MySQL database using phpmyadmin. Export the database and keep it in a safe location. If you don’t have phpmyadmin, you can always use alternatives like SQL Buddy.