A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Backup WordPress Site (With 3 Methods)

 2 Sep, 2021

Introduction

Do you often find yourself casting away the task of backing up your wordpress site for another day? Or even just wondering “I don’t need to backup my wordpress site so frequently. I just did it last month!

Well, congratulations! You, like the majority of the companies or individuals, are developing your skills at dooming your business and losing your data for good.

The problem is that it’s a skill that can lead you to bankruptcy. Don’t believe us? Well, do you know 93% of companies that lose their data for ten days or more file for bankruptcy within one year of the data loss? “And 50% of businesses that found themselves without data management for this same period filed for bankruptcy immediately!”

You see how scary that can be?

We now live in a data-driven world, so imagine a scenario where due to some network or or any other cataclysmic reason, you can’t access your database, and if you own an eCommerce business then that product information, photos, inventory, sales or customer data- everything that is crucial to the livelihood of your business, gone for good! 

It's a dreadful scene, we know. That’s why we want to tell you that data backup and data recovery management is essential to how your business functions and how quickly it survives such a scare. Therefore, in this blog we want to talk about how to backup wordpress site. Why WordPress? Well, “over 500 new sites are created daily using the free version of WordPress.or, while 70 million new blog posts pop up every month”. So, not only we’ll discuss how to backup your WordPress site but additionally, we help you find answers to:

  • What Wordpress backup includes? 
  • Why do you need to backup your Wordpress site? 
  • How to Back Up a WordPress Site Easily (3 Methods)
  • How often should you back up your WordPress site?

What is a WordPress Backup: Why Do You Need It & Its Components

You really don’t need a definition to understand what is a WordPress backup but then again to brush up on your knowledge let’s get to know this. When you backup a website you’re simply making a copy of your site so that you can reinstall or restore it for future use or when something goes wrong. This is a precautionary step taken to ensure that you avoid a lot of undue stress and protect all the effort, time, and money you’ve invested in your WordPress site.

You really don’t need a definition to understand what is a WordPress backup but then again to brush up your knowledge let’s get to know this. When you backup a website you’re simply making a copy of your site so that you can reinstall or restore it for future use or when something goes wrong. This is a precautionary step taken to ensure that you avoid a lot of undue stress and protects all the effort, time and money you’ve invested in your WordPress site.

What does a WordPress Site Backup Include?

Now, to give you a clearer picture, let’s delve into what makes up a full WordPress site backup. Your WordPress site is made of two components.

  1. Your website file that includes any themes or plugins files, scripts, media files etc that defines the structure of your website and enables functionality. (It’s also called WordPress root directory where you set up the copy of WordPress that empowers your website.)
  2. Then you have a MySQL database which stores your blog posts, comments and any other options you set in the WordPress admin area.

Together these two constitute your whole WordPress site, so when you plan to go for your WordPress site backup, this is what you intend to backup or recover in case of future data loss.

Why Do I Need to Know How To Backup WordPress Site?

Losing all your site’s data is a nightmare that no site owner wants to ever go through, and it is not something you can predict. You can lose your key data with or without human error or fault and to avoid going through this pain, you should backup your website everyday. But if you still want to know why should choose to do WordPress site backup then here are some unforeseen circumstance where not having a backup would cause you immense loss financially and mentally:

  • Cyber Attacks: WordPress empowers “35% of the websites on the internet making it the most popular CMS platform.” However, this also attracts cyber attacks (83% of all the CMS-based websites, which are hacked, are built on WordPress) from hackers or viruses because finding a breach in a plugin or theme means it's easy to spread malware and access thousands of sites all at once. 
  • Human Errors: Just like you can’t predict a cyberattack, similarly, it’s really hard to say when one mistake from your or someone else's side causes you to lose data. Almost in “50% cases, human error is the major cause for data loss in organizations in 2021.” So it’s safe to have backups so that you can restore your website easily.
  • Compatibility Issues: It’s a fact that you cannot install a new plugin or theme without having a backup stored somewhere as not doing so will lead you to losing data due to compatibility issues.
  • Migration/Porting Data: Backing up your files or data is an essential part to your data migration plan. Especially if you’re preparing to upgrade servers, conduct server maintenance, or switch to another hosting platform. Without backing up, you risk losing, misplacing files or worse having corrupted data and no means to recover it.

    Since you have designed your website with lots of effort, money and time and you put so many resources into building and running this website successfully, why let all of it go down the drain, only because you forgot to backup one day or worse simply find backing up a nuisance? So having highlighted the importance of backing up WordPress sites or any website in general, now let’s learn about how to backup WordPress site in three easy methods.

    3 Methods On How to Backup Wordpress Site: A Step-by-Step Guide!

    So you understand the significance of backing up your Wordpress site and now we’ll move on to discussing the three methods that are the best way to backup Wordpress site. First we’ll start with how to backup WordPress site manually:

    Method 1: How To Backup Wordpress Site Manually

    You can back up your files on the WordPress site through cPanel. cPanel is accessible through the hosting account, so just remember your host account name and password. Next, to backup your database, you should access phpMyAdmin through your hosting account credentials. If it’s not pre-installed in the cPanel then you can download the phpMyAdmin from here. Now let’s see the steps for the best way to backup WordPress site using cPanel:

    Step 1: Log in to Your Web Host Account to Access cPanel

    First Login to your web host account and choose the “product” option, select it to get to your “cPanel admin”. If you can’t find your cPanel, you can always seek guidance from the “Help Section,” on hosting providers.

    Step 2: Enter cPanel to Access “File Manager” 

    Once you enter cPanel, you’ll see the “File Manager,” icon and this is the location of all of your site files. Click on it to access the files. (If you’re using cPanel directly then this is the screen that will appear before you.)

    Step 3: Select The Files You Want Backup

    Once you select the “File Manager,” you’re taken to “public__html,” click on “+” to expand the folder. Select only that folder that has your website name or domain name. For instance, the below image shows the file name as “Demo,” so we clicked on “public_html > Demo”. You can see the folder has three main folders along with other files.

    Step 4: Choose Only The Relevant File To Compress

    Now you can see different operations performed on a file, you’ve two ways to select the file you want to move for backup. One, you “select all” files to download or you can compress them all before downloading. But we recommend you to compress only the folder you need as compressing all these files will take longer and could overload your server. So, select the “public_html” folder, then right click and choose “Compress”.

    You will see multiple options to compress, so ensure to select the right option.

    Step 5: Download the Zip Files & Save Them To A Separate Folder

    Once your zip file is ready, download the manual files to backup your WordPress site. It’ll be a lot safer and easier if you create a separate folder, like “WordPress Backup”, and copy & save the files in this folder.

    Method 2: How To Backup WordPress With Plugins (UpdraftPlus)

    When you backup your site with WordPress backup plugins, it lessens your work and also gives you a dependable backup of your WordPress site. All you’ve to do is install your favourite WordPress backup plugin, configure it to your website and you’re good to go! But WordPress plugins can be divided into two types:

    1. Full-Site Backup Plugins: These plugins create complete copies of your website to save them for any unforeseen circumstances. They are expensive.
    2. Incremental Backup Plugins: These plugins only generate backups when there are changes to your website, this helps you avoid taking up extra space in your system, they also come free of cost. 

    Though there are plenty of WordPress Plugins that you can use to backup WordPress sites, we will show you how to backup WordPress site using UpdraftPlus plugin as this is the most popular WordPress plugin. Kindly note that the steps for other WordPress backup plugins will be more or less same. So let’s begin:

    Step 1: Install & Configure UpdraftPlus Plugin

    First download and activate the UpdraftPlus backup plugin in WordPress.org. 

    Step 2: Open Settings On your WordPress Dashboard

    You’ll be taken to the homepage where you need to click on the “Settings” and then click on the “UpdraftPlusBackups” on your site dashboard.

    Step 3: Select What You Want to Backup

    Step 2 action will open a pop up asking you to “choose what you want to backup”. It can be your website’s files, database, or both. You should select both and then hit the “Backup Now” button.

    Step 4: Download the Backup Files

    Once the process of “backup” is complete, your files will be listed in the “Existing backups” section. Simply click on the 5 buttons under the tab “Backup data”, and move next to download these files on your computer.

    How To Set Up Automatic Backups:

    Manually backing up WordPress sites can be time consuming and end up being a tedious task. To avoid manually backing up your website every time you create or post content on your website, we suggest you opt for automatic backups. It’s not only a quick and best way to backup WordPress site but also safe with no human errors involved. So how to do it? This is how how to do it:

    • To set up automatic backups, go to the “Settings” tab on the UpdraftPlus page.
    • You’ll see two options: “Files Back Schedule” and “Database Backup Schedule,” decide how frequently you want to automatically backup your website. 
    • Next, you need to change the “Manual” mode to “Automatic” from the drop down menu and click “Save Changes,” at the bottom of the page.

    And you’re done with backing up your WordPress site with UpdraftPlus Backups both manually and automatically!

    Method 3: How to Backup Wordpress Site Through Hosting Provider

    Whichever WordPress hosting provider you’re using, Bluehost, Hostsinger or Siteground, among others, almost all of the reputable hosting providers offer backup features for your website. Therefore the steps will be the same for all the hosting providers, and if you come across any hurdle then go to your host providers Cpanel and follow the guidelines to backup your entire website. Here we are showing you to how to backup WordPress site on Bluehost:

    • First, login to the Bluehost “Control panel”,then click on “Advanced Tab”
    • You’ll see the “Database” tab opened, from there select the “phpMyAdmin file”.

    • From there, select the “Export” tab and ensure the format is SQL and hit “Go”.
    • The file will start downloading, once it’s done, you can save the files, or open a FTP program of your choice from the Bluehost control panel and connect your account to download all of your website files and save them for later use.

    When to Back Up Your WordPress Site And Where: Essential Overview

    It’s no rocket science to know that you should always keep a recent backup of your website. It can be a day old or less, otherwise, imagine running into an error or crash that leads to you losing your site’s data and you’ve no idea how to troubleshoot it. And if you already have a backup of your website then you can just pick up yourself and dust it off this scary scenario, but if you don’t forget to have a backup or worse if you do have a backup but it’s a week old then, we feel your loss and understand your panic. 

    But it also depends on the kind of website or content you own, like, it’s not that all data or information in your website is critical to your business. There could be some data that you could lose or don’t backup without it impacting your website or business drastically. So, if you own a static site, we think, if you would run occasional backups then you would be okay. However, if you run forums, online stores, blogs, and mostly dynamic or big websites, we strongly recommend you to conduct daily backups. 

    Also, there’s a simple backup rule, recommended by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team to follow for backing up your site data i.e. the 3-2-1 backup rule:

    Where Should You Backup Your WordPress Site Files?

    It’s totally up to you where you want to safely store your WordPress backups but generally, you can save them in:

    1. Your Computer: Simply download your backup files onto your system’s hard drive.
    2. Cloud Storage: Here you host your backups in the “cloud” with services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Amazon S3, among others.

    Conclusion

    Backing up your WordPress site every time you add or modify or delete something may seem like a daunting task but it’s very crucial to saving not only your months or years of compiled data but also the efforts, time and money behind them. With viruses, cyberattacks, hardware failure or even natural disasters, not knowing how to backup your Wordpress site or having a data recovery plan that means you’re throwing your business under the bus. 

    So, data backup is a key element in helping you survive any data loss threat for any company, be it small or large. Having reliable data recovery management ensures that you will avoid unwanted stress and loss. Just click to restore a backup, and you’re back in the business like nothing happened!

    In this blog on how to back up your WordPress site we not only discussed 3 major backup methods to know how to backup WordPress site but also shared a few tips on how to and where you should backup your site. We hope this blog has made the understanding of how to backup WordPress site manually, through plugins or by your hosting provider a simpler and easier raks, additionally, also made you aware about the significance of backing up your website for your business

    Do you have any questions about how to back up your WordPress site? You can reach out to our Website Maintenance Services Experts or shoot your queries down in the comments section!

    FAQs

    1. How frequently should I backup any WordPress site?

    It depends on the kind of website or content you own. It’s natural that not all data or information in your website is critical to your business. There could be some data that you could lose or don’t backup without it impacting your website or business drastically. So, if you own a static site, we think, if you would run occasional backups then you would be okay. However, if you run forums, online stores, blogs, and mostly dynamic or big websites, we strongly recommend you to conduct daily backups. 

    2. How To Take Wordpress Site Backup?

    Backing up your WordPress site is an essential part of your data recovery management plan to ensure a smooth functioning of your business, so make sure you always backup your website. There are three methods to take WordPress Site backup, we have discussed them in detail in the blog and here mentioning only the names: 

    1. Manual (via cPanel)
    2. Backup WordPress site through Your Hosting
    3. Backup Wordpress site through WordPress Plugin

    3. What are some popular backup WordPress site plugins? 

    The kind of WordPress site plugins you want to use depends on various factors such as the kind of website you own, content or post type and even your budget, among others. But here are some popular backup WordPress plugins that you can consider:

    • UpdraftPlus (Free + Premium)
    • BackupBuddy (Premium)
    • BlogVault (Free + Premium)
    • VaultPress (Free)
    • Jetpack (Free + Premium)

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