Tutorial: How to Back up WordPress (3 Ways)

In this article, we’ll explain why it’s critical to backup your website on a regular basis. Then we’ll go through three ways for backing up your site and analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each.

You’ve obviously invested a lot of effort into your website, and if something were to go wrong with it, the consequences may be disastrous. Hackers may lock you out of your website, data files could become corrupted, or you could even wipe your site by accident – and the consequences could be irreversible.

Maintaining regular backups may prevent you from ever being in this situation. There are various methods for backing up your WordPress website, and they can all assist prevent the loss of your valuable site files and database.

The Importance of Backing up Your WordPress Website

Let’s start with the fundamentals. A website backup is just a duplicate of all the files and databases on your website. Backups are used to restore sites that have been compromised due to hacking or corrupted files, or sites that have been erased on purpose or by accident.

The frequency with which you should back up your website is determined on its niche and size. If you have a site that changes regularly, such as a high-traffic blog or an e-commerce site, you should perform backups on a daily basis. Websites with largely static content may usually get by with fewer backups.

It is strongly advised that you create multiple backups and save them in different locations. Backups can be damaged or erased in the same way that your site can be compromised or lost. Having multiple backups ensures that you always have a fresh and current backup, even if another is unavailable.

How to Back up WordPress (3 Strategies)

WordPress sites can be backed up in a variety of ways. Each has pros and downsides and can be beneficial. The best strategy is up to you, but it’s a good idea to be aware of all three. Let’s take a closer look!

1. Back up WordPress Manually

Backing up a WordPress site manually is the most difficult method, but is sometimes necessary. If you’re locked out of your WordPress dashboard due to an error or security issue and need to make a backup, this may be the only way to do it.

There are two stages to this: backing up your files, and backing up your database. To start, you’ll need your Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) credentials. You’ll usually find them within your hosting account’s back end. If you can’t find them, just contact your host — they’ll be able to root them out for you.

Once you have your SFTP credentials, you’ll want to download and launch a suitable client, such as FileZilla. This option is excellent because it’s free, open-source, and easy to use.

Once it’s open, enter your credentials in the specified areas.

After you’ve established a connection with your server, you’ll need a destination folder for your backup. You can create one without leaving FileZilla quickly by right-clicking within the top-left quadrant, selecting Create Directory and giving it a name.

Next, you’ll drag the WordPress files from your server (found in the top-right quadrant), and drop them in your destination folder. The download may take a while — coffee time! — but once it’s done, you’ll have a backup of your site’s files saved to your computer.

However, you’ll still need to back up your WordPress database. To do this, you’ll need to utilize the phpMyAdmin tool, which you can find within your host’s back end. Once you’re logged in, select your WordPress database from the sidebar.

Next, navigate to the top of the screen to the Export tab. Select the Quick export method, click Go, and download the file when prompted. Again, the download may take some time and will save a backup of your database to your computer. That’s it!

To implement this backup method, you’ll first have to install and activate your chosen plugin. From here, you’ll be able to schedule your backups, determine where the plugin should save them, and select the files you want to back up.

2. Install a WordPress Plugin to Run Automatic Backups to Google Drive

Using a plugin is much easier and faster than backing WordPress up manually. Some plugins, such as UpdraftPlus plugin, enable you to schedule automatic backups, giving you back much-needed headspace! I will use a free plugin UpdraftPlus to show you how to backup WordPress site to Google Drive free.

1. First, you need to install UpdraftPlus, open the WordPress information center, select Plugins in the menu bar, and then click Add New. Enter UpdraftPlus in the search bar and click Install Now.

2. After activation, you can choose Settings > UpdraftPlus Backups in the WordPress menu to customize the UpdraftPlus settings according to your needs.

3. Entering the Settings tab again, you can see that UpdraftPlus can integrate with many remote storage solutions, and select Google Drive as the remote storage.

4. You only need to follow the instructions provided to complete the integration process and select Save Changes.

5. When the window above appears, you need to log in to your Google account and click Allow to authenticate UpdraftPlus to view and manage files in Google Drive.

6. Finally, click Complete setup, and now you can directly back up the WordPress data to Google Drive.

However, one downside to using a plugin is that it’s difficult to monitor whether backups are being created. Of course, backing your site up manually every once in a while can help with this, since you’ll be able to easily see if the backup is completed correctly. Though, there is one way that can provide the best of both worlds.

3. Manage Backups Through Your Hosting Provider

Some hosting providers offer a backup feature. How you access, schedule, save, and restore your backups will vary depending on your provider.

Automated backups provide the highest level of convenience possible, running in the background without you having to do a thing. You can (of course) supplement them with on-demand backups outside of your normal schedule — for example, right before pushing changes to your live site.


The Bottom Line

Your website is important to you so it’s vital to protect it from outside threats, simple human errors, or something else. Backing up your WordPress site regularly will ensure you have a way to get your site back if the worst happens.

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