Imagine if you lost every file of your website in 10 minutes and cannot even open the homepage. Would you be able then to recover your data from a backup, or would you spend the next several days trying to get all of the information from your provider?
A wide range of different reasons can cause data lost and not all are things you can control - your site may break, or be hacked or you may decide to move it to a new server. And your data really isn't safe unless you're backing up properly and with lots of redundancy.
WordPress site backups are essential because problems inevitably occur and you need to be in a position to take action when disaster strikes. Spending a few minutes to make an easy, convenient backup of your files and database will allow you to spend even more time being creative and productive with your website.
So, how to do a backup of WordPress website?
There are two principal ways fo making a backup of your data:
1 Backup WordPress manually
2 Use specially created tools for this purpose
3 Make an agreement for your hosting provider do backups for you or just pay for that if there is such an option.
Backup WordPress manually
WordPress is a web application that bases on PHP and MySQL. As such you need to backup all its files and its database to have a full copy of your site. The easiest way to copy your files is via FTP.
You can use several hosting operation panels:
Important folders to download from the root folder of your account:
- mail (location of all your stored e-mails)
- public_html (location of all your stored website files including plugins and themes)
An alternative way to backup the content of the public_html folder is to create an archive of its content. You can do that through the cPanel --> File manager and download the generated file on your local PC through the File manager or using an external FTP client.
Please, remember, that in other operation panels the folder with your website can be called differently, for instance htdocs.
The WordPress database can be backed up as any other database. In case you have multiple MySQL databases and you wonder which one your site is using, open the wp-config.php file in the WordPress root folder. You'll see the database name saved next to the DB_NAME option.
Let's take a look at the steps for creating a database backup:
1 Login to your cPanel account and click on the phpMyAdmin icon located under the databases section.
2 Select the database you wish to backup in the drop-down database selection box on the left.
3 Click the Export Tab towards the top of the interface. This will take you to the Export page with a lot of options.
4 Click Select All. This ensures that all the tables in the database is included.
5 Select SQL in the Export box.
6 Ensure that Structure is selected, then make sure the Add Auto_Increment and Enclose Table and Field Name with Backquotes boxes are ticked.
7 Make sure Data is selected, check Hexadecimal for Binary Field and set the Export type to Insert.
8 Select Save as File then click Go. You will be prompted to save the database to your PC.
You can also back up your entire account using the Create Backup option in cPanel. In order to be able to create full cPanel backup your hosting account should be with size less than 5000MB (5GB). From the same tool you can download separate backups of the databases.
Operation panel can be set up to create backups authomatically in a certain period of time.
Specially created tools for backup
Tools for backups are pieces of software that allow you to copy files from one server to another. They can be different. Some of them will only transfer files (and even just parts of files) that have changed, saving you time and bandwidth. Some will back up your entire site including your database and all your files on a schedule that suits you, such as UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin. And others may give you an opportunity to choose if to backup/migrate your files, database or both, for instance Backup Guard.
You can learn more information about WordPress backup on official website - WordPress.org.
And the main thing: you must remember to back up frequently, make several backups and keep the backup files in a safe place. If your backups are stored on your server and your server goes down, you are essentially left without a backup.