Backing up your WordPress Content

Backing up your WordPress Content

Just about all good web hosting platforms will provide backup features in case there is a horrific fault with the hosting server or one of the latest updates on your site has broken something.

What happens if the back up from your hosting service doesn’t work. Are you going to lose months or years of content that you’ve poured in your valuable time to?!

backup your wordpressWhy should we backup and what are common causes of WordPress Failures?

In the world of software, it just takes a line of code to have a kink and the program doesn’t work. Thankfully WordPress has come a long way of the past years and I have found it super robust.

There are a tonne of third part themes, plugins and programmers which can all effect lines of code not working the way it should. But here are some of the main causes.

  • Update of latest Theme not compatible with latest version of WordPress
  • Update of plugin not compatible with latest version of WordPress
  • Internal Server Errors which can cause Corrupted core files
  • Fatal Errors from Auto Upgrades
  • Tampering of Editor files by a non-experienced user

What’s the Plan B (B is for Backup of the Back Up)

There is a really simple way to make a quick back up of your content. Now this back up doesn’t save the following:

  • Themes
  • WordPress Settings
  • Plugins

These all need to be re-installed once you have restored the content. But this is small price to pay if your main back up doesn’t work. At least you don’t need to retype every post.

This back up technique is a very simple export function and I hope you never have to use it. There are more premium ways to backup your site like using BackupBuddy or UpdraftPlus but they come at cost.  This is a quick and free way to get back on track in an emergency. I’ll run through the premium versions a bit later.

How to quickly backup your WordPress Site

  1. Log into your WordPress dashboard
  2. Write down your theme name and plugins for later
  3. On the left-hand side menus select Tools > Export
  4. In the Export menus page, make sure ‘All Content’ option is selected
  5. Click on the ‘Download Export File’
  6. A file will then download to your PC. Save it somewhere safe.

How to restore your website

  1. Install a fresh version of WordPress
  2. Log into your WordPress dashboard
  3. Install the theme your preferred theme
  4. On the left-hand side menus select Tools > Import
  5. Select WordPress Install in the option and run the importer plugin
  6. Run the importer plugin
  7. Choose the back file
  8. Select Upload and import button
  9. Then Install plugins
  10. Redo any other setting that you had previously

Here’s a video run thorough which shows you these steps.

How to Backup in Style and without any hard work

If you want a more automated backup, there are some great WordPress plugins which make it simple and to backup website

BackupBuddy brought to you by iThemes is a comprehensive backup plugin. BackupBuddy’s backup includes everything needed to run your WordPress website. Backup all WordPress files, all files in the WordPress Media library, your WordPress themes and WordPress plugins, and more. Once BackupBuddy completes your backup, you get a downloadable zip file of your entire WordPress website.

If you want a great all-in-one deal, then UpdraftPlus is another great backup plugin. UpdraftPlus simplifies backups and restoration. It is the world’s highest ranking and most popular scheduled backup plugin, with over a million currently-active installs. Backup your files and database backups into the cloud and restore with a single click.

Backup into the cloud directly to Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 (or compatible), Rackspace Cloud, DreamObjects, FTP, Openstack Swift, Updraft Vault and email. The paid version also backs up to Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, Backblaze B2, SFTP, SCP, and WebDAV.

Hope you are inspired to back up your WordPress site more often.

Sharing is appreciated

8 thoughts on “Backing up your WordPress Content

  1. Great post here and looks like a good backup tool you have. I know its a good idea to backup your WordPress site because its happened to me when you don’t back it up. Better safe than sorry.

  2. Hi Vince, this article came just in time. I have to actually back up my site today because, I am changing domain names. I really appreciate that you sound advice in getting this done the correct way. I had no idea that my plugins would have to be re-activated. Although, of course having de-activated plugins is no where near the pain of losing all of my content. So, you are absolutely right. I would definitely rather, have to re-activate a plugin before, I have to re-write my whole entire site. That would not be a great day, at all!

    Oh Yeah! And, thank you for sharing the plugins that can help with the back up as, well. I will have to look into those. How often should a backup be done or is just in emergencies? I’ve heard weekly is a great habit to get into. Thank you once, again for this informative review.

    • Because the actual backup process only takes a couple of minutes, once a week is ideal. But most would only do once a month or just before any large updates are too be installed.

  3. I just set a monthly task (probably should do it more often), and back up all my wordpress sites. Works well for me and as you say, it’s a five minute job – I’d rather have that insurance policy than lose countless hours of work! Thanks for sharing. Cheers, Karen

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