Who doesn’t love WordPress and the power it gives your site? With no HTML or coding knowledge, you can have a professional website online in a matter of minutes. But unfortunately accidents do happen, so it’s always good to maintain regular backups.
Here at Name Hero we automatically backup all websites once a day and place them in three separate secure locations. While this certainly gives you peace of mind while you sleep, it’s also good to keep your own, especially when you’re performing an upgrade.
Countless times we’ve seen customers make an upgrade to their WP core or a plugin, sending their site into an error. Had they taken their own backup before hand, they could have simply recovered it with a couple clicks.
Duplicate Your Files Using An FTP Program
Before getting started on an important software update, we recommend duplicating all of your files using an FTP program such as Trasmit. This is a very good free one that allows you to duplicate your WordPress install by right clicking over the containing folder:
This way, when you perform the upgrade if something breaks you can quickly revert back to this folder with your original files. But before you proceed you should also duplicate the database.
Duplicate Your Database Using phpMyAdmin
WordPress stores all your data (posts, users, configurations, etc.) in a mySQL database. Some upgrades, especially to the core, modify this structure. Therefore as soon as you duplicate all your files, you should also take a copy of your database before proceeding with any upgrade. This way, if something fails during the upgrade process, you can revert to the old files and old database with just a couple of clicks and minimize downtime.
To do this, simply login to your cPanel (Name Here Control Panel -> My Services -> cPanel) and search for phpMyAdmin:
Once inside, select the database by clicking on it in the left corner. You will then want to click on Operations (at the top) and in the text field under Copy database to: you will type the name of your backup:
Simply click Go and your database has been copied!
You are now ready to perform your upgrade or edit your site. If you run into a problem, you have your original files and database that you can revert back too.
Use A Backup Plugin
We love the above method because it’s fast, easy, and free. However there are other solutions for those of you that would just rather use a WordPress plugin to do all the work for you. A lot of these plugins charge some type of premium, rather for space, or licensing. Here are some of our favorite:
Each of these has their own unique benefits, with VaultPress being our top since it was developed by WordPress c0-founder Matt Mullenweg.
Regardless of how you do it, the only wrong way to back up your WordPress website, is to not have a backup at all. Don’t get in a hurry and take a risk at something that can easily be avoidable. We’re here to help you and will even do this for you step-by-step just let us know.
Feel free to add any suggestions or let us know your favorite WordPress backup plugins!
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.