Did you accidentally delete a page or post? Or did you discover that your website is hacked? Or maybe you are living with the fear that these misfortunes can befall on your website any day.
You are right. You are right bad things can happen to your website, any day at any moment.
But you wouldn’t have to worry about any of these if you had a backup.
Backup is your safety net for when things go south. Whether your website is hacked or you accidentally deleted a post or a page, if you have a backup, you can restore it and quickly get your site up and running.
Backups offer you peace of mind. If you want to take a backup of your website, we will show you exactly what steps you need to take. But before we begin, we’ll also cover how you can choose a backup service. With so many backup plugins available in the market, it’s no wonder people end with the ones that don’t work. More on that in the next section.
If you are in a hurry and just want a plugin to backup your site, install and activate BlogVault. It’ll backup your website instantly. The plugin takes a backup every 24 hours. You can also schedule and take instant backups whenever you want.
There are 3 ways of taking backups. You can use a plugin, a hosting provider or you can do it manually. Using a plugin is the most popular option because it’s not time-consuming like the manual method. And in comparison to hosting providers, backup plugins are more focused on offering the best backup service.
Before we take you through the steps of taking a backup, a few words on how to select a WordPress backup solution.
How to Select a WordPress Backup Plugin?
These are 8 things to consider when you are choosing a backup plugin:
1) Takes Complete Backup
A WordPress website is made up of files and a database. You’d be surprised to know that a number of backup plugins are not capable of taking complete backups. Backup solutions that do incremental backups are best capable of handling entire WordPress websites. They take backups in chunks ensuring that they are covering every part of your website.
2) Stores Backup Securely Offsite
Many backup tools store backups on your website server. This is not ideal because the server is burdened by the backup while it’s running its daily processes. Since the server is undertaking twice the responsibility, it affects the speed of your website. Your site slows down.
3) Stores Backups in an Encrypted Manner
Besides the storage location, it’s also important to secure the backup itself. The backup of your website must be stored in an encrypted manner. This will ensure that even if outsiders manage to obtain your backup, they can’t steal your website data.
4) Takes Multiple Backups
Backups of your WordPress website are stored on servers that can be damaged or lost completely technical failures or a natural disaster. Combating this challenge is possible only if you store your backup in multiple locations. Backup copies can be stored on the plugin’s own server, Google Drive, and Dropbox. It can even be downloaded on your computer. Also you can read more on WordPress Google Drive backups and WordPress backups on Dropbox.
5) Offers an Independent Dashboard
Backups are your safety net – a fallback option for when things go south. But if you can’t access your backup files when you need it most, then the whole point of taking backups are lost. Not only should your backups be stored in a different server but it should be accessible through a separate dashboard.
6) Offers Real-Time Backups for E-Commerce Sites
On e-commerce websites, transactions take place frequently. A real-time backup is designed to take frequent backups. In worst-case scenarios, you will never lose a single order if you have real-backups enabled on your e-commerce site. We recommend using WooCommerce backups.
7) Offers Reliable Restoration Process
The whole point of taking a backup is that you can easily restore it when you need to. You’d be surprised to know that many backup plugins for WordPress don’t offer an easy way of restoring a backup. And even when they do, the process of restoration fails in many cases. The right sort of plugin should get your complete website up and running with just a few clicks.
8) Offers Responsive Customer Support
Although you can rely on a reputed backup plugin, at times you may need assistance. If your website is hacked you’d want to restore your website quickly. But if the restoration process is stuck midway, you will need to speak to the customer support. In that moment of panic, the last thing you want to do is wait for hours for the support person to respond.
These are the 8 most essential characteristics of a good backup plugin. If you are looking for a backup plugin, make sure it has all the characteristics we mentioned above.
How to Backup WordPress Websites?
There are 3 methods that you can follow to backup your WordPress site. Those are –
- Backup Website Through Plugin
- Backup Website Through Your Hosting
- Backup Website Manually
We will show you each method in the next section.
Method 1: Backup Website Through Plugin
For the purpose of this tutorial, we are going to use BlogVault Backup Plugin because it has all the characteristics of a good WordPress backup plugin. Let us show you how to take a backup with BlogVault Backup Plugin.
Step 1: To take a backup with BlogVault, you need to install and activate the BlogVault plugin, and add your website to the BlogVault dashboard. BlogVault will begin taking the first backup on its own.
The plugin takes a backup every 24 hours. But if you ever want to take a backup instantly, all you have to do is select Backups and then click on Backup Now.
Method 2: Backup Website Through Your Hosting
Many WordPress hosting providers offer value-added services such as free backups but they are not reliable. Having a backup that doesn’t work is as good as having no backup at all.
If you want a better backup service, you can upgrade to an advanced hosting plan where they charge extra money.
If you are using a basic plan, you can ask your hosting company if they offer free backup services. And if it turns out that they do, you should be able to access them through your dashboard. If they don’t then you’ll have to upgrade to a higher plan.
In most cases, backups are generated automatically once every 24 hours.
When it comes to automatic backup you need to be aware that some hosting services have a limit on the size of the website you are trying to backup. HostGator is a good example. It can backup your WordPress website only if it’s less than 10GB.
Moreover, hosting services also store the backups for a limited period. Kinsta retains backups for upto 30 days. So does SiteGround and FlyWheel.
Many times, hackers carry out their activities discreetly without causing alarm to the website owner. It may take months before the owner realizes their site is hacked. In these cases, a host backup from 30 days ago would be useless because the backup copy will be infected.
Good to Note –
BlogVault Backup Plugins store backups for upto 365 days. This means you can go far back to find and restore a clean backup.
Taking WordPress backups using plugins and hosting providers can be unaffordable for many website owners. In such cases, website owners resort to taking manual backups on their own. Bur fair warning, taking manual backups are time-consuming and prone to errors. This is why we don’t recommend manual backups.
Method 3: Manually Backup Website
In this section, we’ll show you how you can manually backup your WordPress site. A WordPress website is made up of files and a database. Hence, there are two major steps that you need to take:
- Step 1: Download Your WordPress Files
- Step 2: Download Your WordPress Database
Let’s start with Step 1.
Step 1: Download and Backup Your WordPress Files
1. To download your WordPress files, log into your hosting account and navigate to the cPanel.
2. From the cPanel select File Manager.
3. Inside the File Manager, you will see a folder named public_html. This is where your WordPress website is stored. Right-click on the folder and choose Compress.
Note: We recommend compression before downloading. Otherwise, it could take you longer to download the folder.
4. After the folder is compressed, right-click on the folder and this time select Download. It’ll be stored on your computer.
We now have a backup of your WordPress files. Next, we need a backup for your database.
Step 2: Download and Backup Your WordPress Database
1. To download your WordPress MYSQL database, log into your hosting account and navigate to the cPanel.
2. From the cPanel select phpMyAdmin.
3. Inside the phpMyAdmin page, on the left panel, you will see your database.
Note: You may find multiple databases if your hosting account has multiple WordPress sites. To find the right database, go to your File Manager and then open the public_html folder. Inside the folder, you’ll find a wp-config.php file. Open that and look for DB_NAME. You’ll find the name of your database.
4. Select your database and then navigate to Export.
5. From the Export page, select Quick – display only the minimal options and make sure you are choosing the Format as SQL. Navigate to the end of the pate and click on Go.
We now have a backup of your WordPress database.
You have downloaded both your WordPress files and databases. Since files and the database are what makes a WordPress website, it’s safe to say that a copy of your website is stored on your computer.
IMPORTANT: Once you download the files and database, store them safely. Place them in a password protected zip folder and upload them in cloud storage like Google Drive or Dropbox. And when the time comes to restore the backups, we have a guide that you can use – Manually Restore Your WordPress Site.
While there are many ways of taking a backup, using a plugin is what we recommend.
It is automated, unlike manual backups where you can end up spending over an hour to take a complete backup of your WordPress site.
Premium WordPress backup plugins are focused on offering the best backup services unlike hosting providers whose backup service may seem pale in comparison.
While there are many backup plugins to choose from, BlogVault is one of the few plugins that checks all the boxes for a good backup plugin.
Try BlogVault Backup Services Now!