Having a WordPress Backup is an important part of your business, especially if most of your work comes to you online. Although hosting services have greatly improved their uptime and system redundancy, there are situations where your website can crash.
Always remember, sometimes, the files for your site can even be lost due to a serious system failure. And that is why you should always have a WordPress backup for your website in place.
Bearing in mind, having a backup file for your website lets you quickly restore your website to full functionality, even if all of the files are removed from the server. You should always have a copy so you can restore it yourself. And ensure that you can start your website again.
Thanks to WordPress and its partner website hosts (like Bluehost), this process is much easier. Furthermore, your WordPress website needs a reliable backup strategy using a trusted backup plugin or host methods.
What is WordPress Backup?
A WordPress Backup is a process of making a copy of the files needed for your website. It includes the core files for WordPress, any themes, plugins or additional settings you may have made to the website. And also, a copy of the database that it uses to store information.
In essence, it is a snapshot of your website that you can use to restore it if something happens to the files on the server. Not forgetting, this is critical for WordPress, especially if you have an online store.
WordPress stores all of its data (posts, page content, pictures, user accounts, etc.) in a central database. And if this database is changed in the wrong way or deleted, your website will break.
But, if you have a backup of your site, you can always restore the damaged parts. Or even replace everything to get your site back online right away. It’s therefore important for you to backup your website regularly.
After all, most people try to do it once per month, however, sites with higher traffic should do it more often.
For instance, if you have an online store, you should try to back it up at least once per week. That way, you won’t lose track of new user accounts, shopping carts, or sales data.
Which tools can You Use for Automatic Backups?
In general, there’re many tools you can use for your WordPress backup. But, it is important that you first check with your current website hosting provider to see if they offer a backup service.
For example, Bluehost provides a complete WordPress managed hosting service solution and automatically creates backup files regularly so that you don’t have to. However, if you run a standalone WordPress site, you can install a WordPress backup plugin (like VaultPress) to make the process easier.
There are backup options using plugins that can make the files backup easy while downloading them for you to your computer.
Or you can choose to upload your backup to cloud storage with some more simplified tools as I’ll show you.
1. WordPress Sites Backup & Security Plugins
VaultPress Plugin is a real-time backup and security scanning service for WordPress built-on websites. Particularly, built, designed, developed and maintained by Automattic. After all, the same company (Automattic) that operates (and backs up!) millions of sites on WordPress.com.
VaultPress makes it easy to keep an up-to-date backup of your site with both daily and realtime syncing of all your WordPress content. To ensure your site stays safe, VaultPress performs comprehensive security scans daily and makes it easy to review and fix threats.
In addition, if you’re looking for another alternative way to back up a WordPress site for free, then UpdraftPlus is definitely one of the most popular and well-rated options.
Not only does it let you manually take a backup, but it can also automatically backup your website to the cloud on a schedule of your choosing. As well as easily restore a backup with just a few clicks. Of course, it’s a much easier and faster process than doing it manually.
Eventually, a good website backup plugin should also work on hosted sites if you prefer not to use tools provided by the host.
2. Manual Website Backup Method
By the same token, your web host should have an alternative method to let you backup your data manually. Whereby, if your host uses cPanel as its dashboard, then this feature exists. In that case, you will have to go to the two programs that WordPress uses, called PHPMyAdmin and MySQL.
Although there are other options, the above mentioned are the most common. Allowing you to download the database and the rest of the files manually. However, this is only recommended if you are used to working in the backend of web hosting platforms. Or rather, if you have no other options.
What you should know before you begin
Before you begin this process, decide which method works best for you. Check with your website host to see if there is an existing backup file and if you can download it. Also, you need a place to store the backup files.
You can download it straight to your computer. However, businesses may want to have an external hard drive to save backup files to. You also want to keep at least the three most recent copies of the backup. So that you have multiple options for restoring your website.
(A) Manual Site Backup
Remember, this is a process for people who have some experience working on website backends. If you are unsure of any of these steps, stop and ask your host for help.
To do a manual backup, start by logging into your hosting platform. This is not the WordPress site that your website sits on, but the administrative system that your web host has. Once you are logged in, look for a backup program in the list of available tools.
If your host has one, you can use it to download the latest backup file. If you don’t see one, then look for a program like PHPMyAdmin and MySQL. Usually, they will have the words “PHP” or “SQL” in the title. Open each one separately and download the files there.
Alternatively, you can use an FTP manager to access the website files you need. FileZilla is a common option. You will need the FTP information for your site, which is on the hosting platform. Once you can give FileZilla FTP access to your site, download everything that is in the main file for your web host. Make sure you don’t delete anything.
(B) Website Backup Plugins
If you are going to use the plugin, then use the plugin installer in WordPress on the plugins tab. It will take you to the plugin store, where you can search for and download the plugin.
Much of the process is automatic, so it will be quick and easy. Once you have the plugin installed, activate it and follow the instructions from the manufacturer.
It will usually be as simple as pushing the backup button in the plugin’s interface. And as can be seen, the following plugins can be used for automatic backups.
Best WordPress Backup Plugins:
- Updraft: Uploads files to the cloud via Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft Onedrive & more.
- BackupBuddy: Allows you to schedule daily, weekly, or monthly backups to the cloud.
- VaultPress (by Jetpack): Offers different plans. With no available free version.
(C) Backup Restore Tools
It’s very important to backup your site regularly.
Therefore, make sure you keep several copies of your latest backup files so that you can recover in case of a problem.
If you ever need to utilize your backup file, there is backup restore tools or restore features available in the cPanel.
- Similar to doing a manual backup, log into your hosting account.
- Look for the tool that the host has for automatic backups.
- When you open it, it should give you an option to download the backup files.
Finally, I hope the above-revised guide was helpful to you or even your website design team.
All in all, What do you think about our WordPress Backup Guide? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below this blog.