How to Back Up WordPress Site

vikki| 2016-05-25 WordPress Comments( 0 )

I have no idea whether you can bear the loss of your WordPress site in a sudden way. But I am sure to tell you that it is a likely event to lose your WordPress site. Your site could be attacked by hackers. You or your developers could do wrong operations. Or you could lose your site data just because your host fails. I have heard of many cases like these.

A word to the wise here, pick up a backup solution for your website to minimize the loss, even if your web host backs up it for you. There are many lessons telling us that never rely on backups of your host, since

  • It could back up every day, 3 days, one week or other cycles. And you could just find out that you cannot restore the version you want.
  • It could back up your data in MySQL database only while themes, plugins, scripts, etc. are not stored in MySQL. Then how could you do when you need restore changes made to a theme?
  • It could restrict you to restore your site. In some cases, you have to reinstall all sites in your account rather than the one you need.
  • It could not inform you that the backup fails. Supposing you need to restore data while the backup fails, how could you do?
  • It does not have a specific backup solution for WordPress sites in most cases.

Simply put, it is not secure enough even if your host provides backup. You had better get it in your hand. So, no matter when you need a copy or which part to reinstall, you can do it immediately. What’s more, backing up WordPress site is easy. You can take good advantage of plugins or just do it manually. In below, we guide you how to back up a WordPress site in full.

Manual WordPress Backup

In most cases, web hosts store your blog posts, pages, comments, links, as well as options you set up in the WordPress dashboard into MySQL databases. On the other hand, themes, plugins, WordPress cores files, etc. are saved in file systems.

Therefore, to fully back up a WordPress site, you have to make sure that you take copies of data from MySQL databases and meanwhile file systems.

How to Back Up Your MySQL Manually

In general, you can manage MySQL database via phpMyAdmin. To download your blog posts, pages, comments, etc. in MySQL databases, you need phpMyAdmin too.

1.       To access the tool, you need to login your control panel and then navigate to phpMyAdmin that is located in the Databases section.

2.       Click Databases tab from the administration dashboard of phpMyAdmin.

3.       Choose the database that you store your WordPress site.

4.       The page will refresh and display all tables, which save your WordPress site.

5.       Select Check All and for With selected option, choose Export.

6.       The page refreshes and just click Go.

7.       Save the downloaded files on where you think it is secure

How to Back Up Your WordPress Files Manually

To back up themes, plugins, WordPress core files, etc. in file systems, you can utilize FTP or control panels.

FTP is comparatively simpler, supposing you have installed a FTP client, such as FileZilla and Cyberduck, on your local computer. Then you just need to open your FTP client and connect it with your web server. When it succeeds, you will find out that the left side displays local files and the right side shows files in your web server. Next, locate WordPress files, which is usually under home directory or public_html on the right side of your FTP client and download them by dragging and dropping them to the left.

A good majority of control panels enable you to download WordPress files and save them anywhere you want. Here, we take cPanel as an example to guide you how to backup WordPress files manually.

1.       Login in cPanel with the credentials that your host provides.

2.       Locate to File Manager and open it;

3.       Navigate to Home directory or public_html where your WordPress files are based.

4.       Select the files and click Compress on the top or compress the files by right clicking the file and selecting Compress.

5.       Choose a compression type you like, and click Compress File(s).

6.       Locate to the compressed file and now you can download it by choosing it and click Download on the top. Or right click the compressed file and choose Download.

7.       Place the downloaded files to a secure place or several ones.

In a nutshell, the manual backup method is to download files from MySQL and file systems. Then save the downloaded files locally or on clouds. I suggest that you can save the files in several places in case you lose one.

WordPress Backup via Plugins

The big defect of manual WordPress backup is time-consuming and requires you do it frequently while there are a vast array of great backup plugins for WordPress to automate backup, such as:

  • BackupBuddy
  • VaultPress
  • BackWPup
  • UpdraftPlus
  • BackUpWordPress
  • WP-DB-Backup

Backup plugins are easy to use, but you need update the plugin when there is a new version. Plugins could make wrong backups sometimes either.


No matter which kind of way you plan to use, back up your WordPress site and leverage security of your site right now. 

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