Backing up your WordPress blog or website is essential. Your host (hopefully) conducts regular backups of the server your site is hosted on, but if you backup yourself, you have the ability to restore your site quickly if needed.
The 2 things you should back up regularly
- Your database (your posts, comments, etc.)
- Your files (your theme, plugins, images and various other items that make your site work and look nice)
How to back up your database
- The easiest way to backup your database is to install a plugin which automates the process. Check out my post about the plugins I use to see what I recommend for this. Note, this will not back up your files (see below).
- Configure your plugin settings. This will vary depending on the plugin you choose. If you need help on this step, check the plugin’s page in the WordPress plugin directory and click on the “Installation” tab. Many times instructions will be here.
I recommend you schedule daily backups.
If you’re given the option, have it sent to you or sent to a place like DropBox (referral link) for safe keeping. Or do both. I like both.
How to back up your files
- There are various ways to do it, but it’s easiest to do so via FTP. Here’s how to use FTP.
- Once you’ve opened up your FTP connection, navigate to the wp-content folder. Transfer this folder from your server to your computer.
- Save them somewhere safe.
How to zip your files to save space
This can be a pretty large file, so you might consider zipping it so it doesn’t take as much room on your computer. Here’s a zipping tutorial for Windows. On a Mac, Command-click (i.e. “right-click”) on the folder and choose “Compress Items.”