I know I should back up my WordPress website regularly. What’s the best way to backup my WordPress website?
Everyone should backup their sites regularly! It’s quick and easy and will give you peace of mind and save you lots of time in case something BAD happens to your website.
However, backing up a WordPress website can be tricky.
That’s because there are TWO important components that must be backed up: Database and Files.
You need to back up the entire site, and you need to back up your WordPress database.
You can find detailed instructions on how to do it on the WordPress.org site (http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Backups), however, just reading though this will likely give you an instant headache. Even if you are not completely techno-phobic, it will likely be too much for you to handle.
Besides, I promised you, that it’s going to be easy, so I don’t want you to mess with your phpMyAdmin panel and your database.
I’m not a techie person myself. I don’t want to bother learning all that technical nonsense.
Another way to do it, would be to use one of the free database backup plugins that are available, install it, and set it up to back up your WordPress database automatically. As for the files, you can just copy of all the files to a safe location using your FTP program. I used this solution once to move a site to a new location, and honestly, although it was not complicated, it certainly was not easy. I spent several hours trying to figure out how to do it right.
Fortunately, there are much easier solutions out there.
Unfortunately, it costs some money – but – in my honest opinion it’s totally worth it! This is one of the areas it’s not worth to save money on!
This little investment will provide you with the peace of mind for the most unexpected situations, for example, when you neglect to update your WordPress for a while and your website gets defaced. It happened to one of my client’s sites once – and here it what it looked like:
Let me tell you – it was NOT fun.
You don’t want this on any site, but this was a daycare website, so it made it even worse, in my opinion.
And this was BEFORE I had this miracle tool.
The wonder-tool is called WP Twin and I’ve been using it myself for several months to backup my sites, move sites from one host to another, clone sites, etc.
My Best Tool To Backup WordPress Websites
WP Twin is in my opinion the simplest way ever to copy, clone, BACKUP up and RESTORE any WordPress blog, with ANY plugins and any themes installed in mere minutes … and … sometimes even seconds.
It works perfectly every time, and the one and only time that it did not work as expected, I contacted their customer support, and they were very responsive, helping me to fix the problem (that’s the great benefit of a paid tool, that you usually don’t get with free tools. You pay for the peace of mind.).
Here is the link again:
WP Twin for WordPress site backup
(Disclaimer: this is an affiliate link. This is a product that I personally use and recommend.)
Using this tool you can create a complete website backup – or “clone” – in a just few simple steps. Even for the most technologically challenged, it should not take more than 1 hour figuring this all out. Once you have it figured out, doing it again will take less than 5 minutes.
(Jayson, the guy who created the tool, provides really helpful step-by-step instructions to the whole process, and excellent customer support.)
Of course, don’t forget that you need to keep your files in a safe place. You should keep your files in several places just in case. (Home, Work and somewhere offsite)
How often should you back up your site?
That depends on how often you update your site, how often you want to do this, and how you would feel if your database were lost along with a few posts. It is your decision. If you want peace of mind with automatic backup, Jayson provides a tool for that too, for additional $47 dollars. Personally, I haven’t used it yet, but probably will invest in it in the near future.
How many backups should I keep?
Excellent question. Most people make a backup and then just replace it every time. This certainly saves space on your computer hard drive. But what if that backup file is corrupted or lost? Then what? The general rule of thumb is to keep at least three backups and keep them in three different places or mediums, like CD/DVDs, different hard drives, a thumbdrive, web disk, your e-mail account, etc.
Remember, back up your WordPress database regularly, and always before an upgrade or move to a new location!