Regularly backing up your website can save you from potentially losing all of your data due to unexpected events. Backups can protect you from cyberattacks, system crashes, and anything else that could break your website to the point of no return.
By creating backups on a regular basis, you save a copy of your website in a safe space. So in case anything happens, you can simply click the restore button and have it back the way it was in no time.
There are two ways to create a site backup in WordPress – automatically and manually. This article will explain how to backup your WordPress site using your hosting manually and using a plugin. Let’s get started.
Method 1: Back-Up Using Your Hosting
Although some hosting companies provide automated backups, it’s a good measure to back up your site manually just in case. Automatic backups may not always contain the most recent version of your website, and accidents can happen anytime.
Let’s go through the steps on how to create your backup manually through your hosting provider.
1. Go to Your Control Panel
To create a backup manually through your hosting provider, find the control panel from your hosting account dashboard. Then, scroll down to the files section and click File Manager.
2. Find Your Site Directory
After opening the File Manager, you will see folders containing website data and files. Your WordPress files should be in the Home or Public_HTML folder.
These are the files that you need to download as a backup. However, you must first compress the folder into one .ZIP file before that. Press Select All in the public_html folder, right-click, then use the Compress feature.
Then, decide the file type according to your .ZIP file processor. Rename it before compressing as that will make it easier to find within the folder. After that, click Compress Files.
3. Download Your WordPress Database
Finally, locate the compressed file inside the folder, then click the Download prompt on top of the page. Choose a safe place to store your files on the computer and save the website backup.
Method 2: Using a Plugin
Backup plugins are very convenient and easy to use for all types of users. Some plugins can help you manage your website backups, automate them for you, or become a one-click feature where you can simply press download to create offline backups on demand. These plugins can also upload website backups directly to the cloud storage.
1. Choose a Backup Plugin
There are various backup plugins optimized for different website needs, so you need to choose the most suitable for your website. Below are a few options that work great for most website types.
UpdraftPlus is one of the highest-ranking backup plugins for WordPress. It has features suitable for almost all types of websites. It lets you automate backups and upload them regularly to cloud storage such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and S3.
UpdraftPlus has a premium version starting from $70/year that offers more features. It includes add-ons to clone or migrate websites, enables multi-site backups, and provides priority support from their customer service team.
Jetpack Backup offers the best backup features for eCommerce websites. It allows daily real-time backups to protect your website and restore it in one simple click from your preferred device.
Starting from $10/month, get a 30-day archive and restore your website from any backup point. They also offer a log of site changes to keep track of the customizations made to the website.
Smaller business websites can benefit a lot from using BlogVault. Starting from $7/month, get premium features such as scheduled backups, unlimited on-demand backups, and a 90-day backup archive.
What’s great, BlogVault stores automated backups on their server. This is useful to not overload your website server with backup data so that you can save space for other necessities.
2. Configure Settings
After choosing the perfect backup plugin for your website, it’s time to install and configure the settings to get the plugin working. In this section, I will use UpdraftPlus as an example.
After installing the plugin on your WordPress website, activate it by visiting the Plugin menu from the WordPress dashboard. Click on the Activate button and wait for the process to complete.
After that, visit Settings –> UpdraftPlus Backups to see the configuration options you can set for the website.
Then, click on the Settings tab. It will reveal the options to set for website backup. Begin with scheduling an automated backup and choosing the preferred cloud storage to keep the copy of your website.
I recommend setting the backup schedule according to the website’s posting frequency. Every time a new post comes up, the plugin should immediately include the content in a recent backup. That way, you will always have the most recent backup in times of need.
3. Backup Your WordPress Site
Finally, trigger the first backup by clicking the Backup / Restore tab. You will find a Backup button that will create a copy of your website on demand.
Scroll down to the Last log message section to ensure that the process is completed. You will find the files in the Existing backups section, where you can immediately restore your website or use the Upload button to place it in your preferred cloud storage and save an offline copy.
Why WordPress Site Backup Is Important
Below are a few reasons why you should always have the most recent backup of your WordPress website:
- Server failure. Even a well-maintained server can crash sometimes, and anything can happen to your website, including data loss. Backing up the website regularly can prevent you from losing it completely.
- Update failure. WordPress regularly updates its system for new features and functionalities, which sometimes may cause a website to crash. A backup saves a copy for you to restore in case of any malfunctions.
- Human error. Even experienced developers make mistakes when building or refining a website. A backup is a one-click solution to undo what went wrong.
- Instant solution for malware. If your website gets infected, simply restore a safe copy of your website and have it up and running again in no time.
It’s essential to safeguard your WordPress website by having regularly scheduled backups. It simplifies the process of restoring sites in case of technical failures, cyberattacks, or human errors.
To back up your website, manually download the WordPress website data through the control panel. Find the directory in the file manager and follow the instructions to have the database downloaded.
You can also use various plugins to automate the website backups. This is especially useful for small business website owners who may not have a dedicated IT team or advanced skill set to do the backups manually themselves.
You can backup a WordPress website in two simple methods explained above. All that’s left to do is choose the perfect backup method for your website needs. Good luck, and if you have any questions, leave them in the comments section below.