When managing your own site, it is always best to have on hand a current backup copy of your site. This is important in case your site breaks, is hacked or you may be moving your site to a new server. A full backup means: server files + MySQL database. Here are a few easy ways you can do this:
1) 1-Click Backup.
Most WordPress friendly servers have an easy 1-click backup of your public_html directory (all server files) and MySQL databases. As an example, here is how I can download my backups from my BlueHost CPanel:
LOGIN TO YOUR CPANEL
Click on ‘Site Backup Pro’. You do not have to signup for their Pro services in order to download a .zip copy of your server files & databases. The Pro services only add additional conveniences, like restoring your websites, etc.
DOWNLOAD .ZIP OF WEBSITE FILES & MYSQL
Scroll down on the Site Backup & Restore page until you see a list of options to download. Click ‘Download’ under Website files, choose the most recent date, .zip & then click ‘Download Now’. Do the same under MySQL
Once your .zip files are finished downloading, you’re done!
2) Install Backup Plugin
BackupBuddy is a fantastic WordPress plugin to automate full-site backups. However, there are many free alternatives in the WordPress plugin directory that can also get the job done. For example, WordPress Backup to Dropbox. Keeping regular backups offline is ideal for a WordPress website so it can be restored if something did happen.
- BackupBuddy – Premium plugin with annual subscription. Can backup to FTP, Amazon S3, Dropbox and more
- WordPress Backup to Dropbox – Free with premium upgrades – Can backup to Dropbox only
- VaultPress – Premium plugin with monthly subscription. Service from Automattic, developer of WordPress
3) FTP File Download & Database Plugin Backup
OPEN FTP CLIENT
We suggest using Filezilla (it’s free!). Login to your server using quick connect. Your server files are to the right (remote) and your computers files are to the left (local). Pick a location on your computer (local) hard drive where you’d like to keep your backup files. On your server (remote), open up public_html folder and select all, drag and drop these folders & files to your computer (local) backup location. This may take awhile to finish.
INSTALL WORDPRESS DATABASE BACKUP PLUGIN
Login to your WordPress Dashboard, go to Plugins >> Add New. Search for WP DB Backup. You don’t have to install this particular plugin. In fact, it’s important that you read the plugin details before you install to make sure this is a plugin you are comfortable using.
Once installed and activated, run through the plugin settings and create your first backup. We would urge you NOT to store your backup file to your server, but instead store the backup to your computer.
After the backup file is finished downloading, you’re done!
Backup CSS & Preset
If you have made any adjustments to your Custom CSS stylesheet, before upgrading your theme - it would be a good idea to back up that stylesheet before you click the Theme Update button. Copy a back up to a Notepad, just in case. 🙂
To backup your Custom Preset, follow this guide:
Import & Export Custom Preset