An ideal WordPress backup solution offers a number of features. However, there are two questions you can ask that will help you choose the best WordPress backup plugin for you. They are , what features does the plugin have, and how do they work?

What Makes an Ideal WordPress Backup Plugin?

There is a long list of features which make an ideal WordPress backup plugin.

  • Multiple versions
  • Multiple copies of each version
  • Encrypted backups
  • Independent storage and access
  • Test Restore
  • One-click restore
  • One-click migration
  • Secure site settings

A combination of all of the above sounds like a good deal; doesn’t it?

Most of these features are covered between the popular backup options available on the market. Also, most premium options have most of the above mentioned features. However, it is not useful to say this. It is like saying that every car has an engine, seats, wheels and steering. Just like cars, when it comes to backup solutions, it is all about how they perform; and you really need to do your homework first.

 

Choosing the Best WordPress Backup Plugin

 

There are two points of entry to the debate on the best WordPress backup plugin. One is the differences in features between all the different plugins; despite the uniform titles. The other point of debate is the user experience. What does a good WordPress backup solution do, and how does it do it? Both these questions should be equally relevant.

In this article we explore how following best practices as well as being efficient can answer both: the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ questions.

 

1. WordPress Incremental Backup Plugin

Increased load times or frequent timeouts is highly undesirable in today’s competitive environment. This is is particularly a problem for WordPress sites on shared hosting. Incremental backups is perfect for such circumstances.

For example, let us say that you have photography focused website with high resolution images uploaded everyday. If your entire site had to be backed up daily, then chances are that the backups ruin the user experience of you site’s visitors or your backups may cut off for taking up too much server resources.

On the other hand, consider that automatic incremental backups of your WordPress site are done daily. After the first initial full backup, each day only the latest updates are backed up. This ensures that you don’t lose any data while the backup solution does not unnecessarily load your server resources. The plugin can scan the site for changes, recognize that the high resolution images are backed up, and only add the changes to the latest version of the backups. This means that, media – images and videos which are generally the the most heavy files on a site do not become an extra burden with incremental backups.

 

2. Control over entire WordPress database & all WordPress files

A WordPress sites contain files and tables. You must be able to know that all the tables, and files on your site have been backed up. If not you must be able to add them. This is possible when you have access to a list which gives you this kind of information; a good WordPress backup solution must offer such access. From such a list, you may also be able to download specific files from WordPress backup. The same applies to specific tables in your WordPress database as well. This depends on your requirements but you need to have the option.

Such a feature along with versioned backups allows for restoration of specific files instead of the entire site. This is important if you know the exact pain point on your site. It can be fixed with ease and minimize down-times. This type of granular control is essential when choosing a WordPress backup solution.

The dread of having to sift through thousands of files; when you’re running against the clock to get your site back up and get around to doing business, is unacceptable.

 

3. One-click Restore/Migrate

When you pay for a solution to do the work for you, then you shouldn’t have to manually restore or migrate your site. Otherwise, there is little point to lightening your wallet, is there? A plugin must allow for one-click WordPress restore and one-click migrate options. Managing your site’s functionality in the most critical hours must not be your headache. Usually in such instances inputting your SFTP credentials, destination URL and email id should be enough to easily migrate your WordPress site.

 

4. Test restore option

Apart from restores and migrations, it is equally important for you to be able to ensure that your backups or migrations work as desired. Allowing for a test environment to verify the functionality of different backup versions of your WordPress is just a good practice but unfortunately, most plugins don’t offer this. It boosts your confidence in your backups and ensures that the reputation of your blog/business is intact.

 

5. Great customer support

A service or product which does not allow you to track all the activities from the dashboard, notify you by email will only worry you about routine processes. If the time comes when you have to get your hands dirty, then you should not do the work yourself when you are paying for a service. This is reason you need great customer support.

 

6. Completely independent dashboard

With a completely independent dashboard you have access to and control over your backups always. This means that, unlike other plugins which store backups in your site’s files, you don’t have to restore your site to get your hands on your safety net a.k.a. your backups. Besides, the whole point of backups is to restore your site. If that is not supported well enough then backups are not good enough by themselves. You need to know that you have access to secure backups. Multiple copies of encrypted off-site backups is a must.

All the above mentioned best practices will ensure that you’ll find the right value for your money when you need the best WordPress backup plugin.

WordPress comprises two parts- files and database. WordPress core, plugins, themes, and uploads are saved as files. On the other hand, posts, comments, settings and users are stored as database. This article is a guide of how to manually backup WordPress database using phpMyAdmin. To know how to backup WordPress files check our article on how to manually backup WordPress files.

 

All WordPress posts, comments, etc are part of the database

 

Why backup your WordPress Database?

WordPress database stores your posts, pages, users and other information. In short, all the content you put up on the site. Without backing up the database you’ll lose all the content and users’ information  of your site. When it is time to restore all you’ll have is WordPress files with plugins and themes but no content.

 

How to Backup your WordPress Database?

Most web hosts have phpMyAdmin installed in their cPanel, so manually backing up your WordPress database is a simple 5-step process to download and backup the database on your entire site. In case you want to download specific files only, then you might have to go through a couple of more steps.

 

Steps to make WordPress database backup

Step 1:

Access phpMyAdmin through your cPanel dashboard. At this point, you’ll need to have your FTP details, username and password for the SQL database. Input the the username and password which was used to save your SQL database.

 

Input your your FTP details, username and password for the SQL database

 

Step 2:

Clicking on WordPress (or whatever is the name of the database you wish to backup) in the left hand column on your screen must reveal the tables.

 

Click on your database's name

 

Step 3:

Click on Export among the tabs on the top of your screen. This must reveal two simple options- Quick & Custom.

 

The Quick option

 

Choosing the Quick option would mean making the default choice to backup your entire database.

 

If this is not what you want to do and you want to backup specific tables, then you pick the Custom option. Here is where the options kick in. Having completed Step 2 you must now see a list of tables. You can select the specific ones you want to download and backup.

 

The Custom option

 

Step 4:

Choosing the file format of the database backup. You can do this, regardless of which option you pick in Step 3. Data is available in different file formats. You can choose the default option- SQL or pick any of the other formats in which to save your WordPress database. Click on GO and you are done.

 

Choosing the file format of the database backup

 

The download itself may take a few minutes depending on the size of your site. Remember, WordPress database backup covers only covers comments and users and so on. It is not a full backup of your WordPress site.

 

Backups are a means to an end. The end is always restoring your site. In your hour of need you should not have to fiddle with manual restores or deal with surprises. Backup both WordPress database and files and do one-click restore of your WordPress site with BlogVault.

 

Backing up your WordPress site means to backup both WordPress files as well as WordPress database. All WordPress sites contain both these parts. They store different sets of information and missing out on one or the other may mean that you’ll have a tough time restoring your site. While database stores posts, pages and users, among other things, WordPress files store all the plugins and themes, WP core installation, images and other files. In short, WordPress files are responsible for the look and feel of your site. Here, we show you how to manually backup WordPress files via FTP.

 

WordPress files affect the look and feel of your WordPress site

 

Clarification:

This article only deals with manually backing up your WordPress files using FTP. Backing up the WordPress database is a separate process; to know more about this process, refer to our guide How to Manually Backup WordPress Database Using phpMyAdmin.

Neither of these articles will help you restore your actual site.

Setup to Make WordPress Backups Using FTP

Let’s dive straight into it. To make WordPress backups using FTP, first you must have access to your site files. You can achieve this by setting up an FTP account. To setup an account, typically, you have to use ‘FTP Accounts’ via your cPanel dashboard. cPanel access is usually given by your web hosting provider when you sign up for the service.

Tip: If finding FTP Accounts in cPanel is proving difficult due to a cluttered dashboard then simply use  CTRL+F to make it easier.

To set up an FTP account you will need to input a login ID and password. Along with this, a directory will be created in your site files. Once you hit the ‘create FTP account’ button you must have access to your website files. (If you have trouble doing this then contact your web host service provider for assistance.)

 

Step 1: Install an FTP Client

In order to manipulate or act on the files you now have access to via your FTP account, you will need a tool. That tool is an FTP Client. FTP clients provide the interface for you to access your WordPress files. You can do so by entering your FTP account credentials.

For the purposes of demonstration, this article uses FileZilla. Download and install FileZilla.

 

Step 2: Manual Setup

In the case of FileZilla you’ll see a form at the top of the page to fill in your site IP address, your FTP account username, and password. Inputting these details and clicking on ‘Connect’ must allow the FTP client (in this case FileZilla) to connect to the server on which your site is hosted.

 

You can connect to your WordPress files via FTP

 

Once the FTP client establishes a connection you should be able to see your site directory on the right hand column- “Remote Site”. The left hand side shows the local folders and files (in this case, the files on your computer).

 

Creating a destination folder

 

Tip:

If you are not sure of which files you have to download then a useful guideline is to search for a directory containing folders such as “wp-admin” and “wp-content”. There will also be a bunch of files in that directory, such as “index.php” and “wp-config.php”.

 

Step 3: Create a Destination Folder for making WordPress Backup

Ensure that you have a destination folder on your computer to which you want to download the files. Usually it is best to create a new folder for each backup. It allows you to be organised and be more efficient when you want to restore from one of these backups.

You can create a new folder in the dashboard of the FTP client itself. Right click on the folder in which you wish to create the new folder and choose create new directory. Input a name for the folder and hit “Enter” and you’re done.

 

Step 4: Drag and Drop

From here on simply choose the WordPress files you want to backup by clicking on them. Holding the down the CTRL key when clicking will allow you to choose multiple files at once. Drag the chosen files from the ‘Remote Site section and drop them in the directory you just created in the ‘Local Site’ section. The download process must begin as soon as you do this.

 

The download will take a while

 

Fair warning… Downloading all the files may take a while. Grab a quick bite to eat or take walk. Before that ensure that your system has power and that your internet connection is stable.

If making manual backups it not feasible for you because of the time and effort it entails, then you can choose and WordPress backups services which automate the process for you.

You can not only track if all the files in your site and the tables in your database are getting backed up, but add/remove them to/from backups; and even download them whenever you desire. All by just clicking a couple of buttons- backup with ease and stay safe.

 

Making WordPress Backup to your Google Drive account may mean that you are choosing convenience over efficiency and security. Here’s why.
 

Uploading WordPress Backups to Google Drive

Google Drive presents a convenient option. To begin with it is accessed with your Google account. No multiple logins. Added to this 15 GB of storage space is free to users.

 

Google Drive seems like the perfect vault to store your WordPress backups in.
Google Drive seems like the perfect vault to store your WordPress backups in.

 

You can simply choose among the many plugins which allow you to upload your WordPress backups to Google Drive. UpdraftPlus, BackupGuard, and WP Database Backup are all example of plugins in the WordPress repository which allow you to do just this. However keep in mind in some cases, you may have to pay for an add-on to add Google Drive to your list of backup destinations.
 

Setting Up Google Drive with Your WordPress Backup Plugin

This process may take some steps to get through, but if you follow the documentation of the respective plugins it will be easy. However, the point to keep in mind is that setting up your Drive account with your backup plugins generally means that the plugin stores a ‘client ID’ and ‘client secret’ to your Drive account. This is how the plugin can upload backups to your Drive account. However, this can be a double-edged sword.
 

WordPress Backups to Google Drive: Pros & Cons

Google Drive gives users 15 GB of free storage space. This may prove sufficient if your site is not  large. The economic benefits from using a free plugin and having free storage space cannot be discounted without consideration. Along with this, you can gain access to your Drive account with your Google credentials; no extra logins required.

However, the very same advantages have another face when viewed from the perspective of control, efficiency, and security.
 

WordPress Restores from Google Drive

All backups are about restores. This means making restores must be easy and it must give full control. Backup files uploaded to Google Drive by plugins may not allow for this. It is true that with plugins like UpdraftPlus you can restore directly from your WordPress admin dashboard. However, this may not be enough.

Backups uploaded to Drive are usually in .zip folder; and that makes it very hard for you to find and restore individual files. This is, if your plugin allows for restoration of individual files; which is not always the case.

Restoring individual files has its benefits. Large sites take time to restore. This means more downtime. In other cases your hosting service may limit the time for each action. This is true of most cases, and in such cases your website may have to be manually restored. This is not a burden your business needs.  On the other hand, restoring individual files means that you can avoid all these complications and not suffer the cost from unnecessary downtime. With each passing day this cost continues to increase. For this reason, having more granular control over your backups and restores is important.
 

Are your Backups Secure in Your Google Drive Account?

The other point to consider is that your backups may be vulnerable because a single set of login credentials gives you access to all your accounts. If that is compromised then your backups may be compromised too. The other way is that if your WordPress site is hacked, then that may lead the hackers to your backups since your plugin stored the ‘client ID’ and ‘client secret’ to Drive account.
 

WordPress Backup to Google Drive: Storage Space Issues

In the case that your Google Drive account runs out of space, how will your plugin continue to make backups? You may want to know if you’ll get notifications from the developers of the  backup plugin you use. If this is not the case, then you may not have backups to make restore; which is when you need them the most

While convenience is one factor, uploading your WordPress backups to your Google Drive account may not allow you to practice WordPress backup best practices.
 

No Backup Descriptions

Now let us say that you are following good login practices, using smart passphrases, and following the basic security practices well. You also don’t mind making manual restores. In such a case you may be okay with a plugin which uploads your WordPress backups to your Google Drive account. While this not advisable from a security standpoint, you may still have to contend with another issue– backup descriptions.

As mentioned plugins usually upload your WordPress files in .zip files. The file names may have the date and time when the backups were made but not much else. When you want to manually restore a file you may want a description of what has changed from one backup version to the next. Without this, you may spend a considerable amount of time sifting through files, or spend time organizing backups in your Drive. Either way, you have to invest a considerable amount time and labor.

Tip:
When backing up to Google Drive, ensure that you label the downloaded backups in an organized manner, so you can categorize and differentiate backups. This will be helpful when you have to restore your site.
 

You need to safeguard your data in a more robust manner to ensure that in your hour of need you know not only know that you have access to backups but also that they are functional. Especially, if you’re running a small business or a popular blog then you might want to look at a more complete WordPress backup solution and continue making WordPress backup to Google Drive only as an additional step.

So you’ve just installed WordPress on your system and are raring to go. You’re thinking of how to start and what to start with. However, before you embark on the journey of developing your website, there’s a tiny little thing you need to do – prevent Google and other search engines from crawling your site.

I know what you’re thinking. As a webmaster, one of the most important, and perhaps the most obvious thing you would want is to bring traffic to your site. And getting Google to index your site as fast as possible would surely help with that, right? Yes, it will, but you need to wait just a little longer for it. Trust me when I say that you don’t want web crawlers and robots all over your site just yet.

Blocking GoogleBot

More often than not, you would be directly working on your live site and it is only natural for things to get messy at this stage. It is for this reason that it is advisable to temporarily block search engines from crawling and indexing your site until you’re past the initial development phase.

You might also not want Google or other search engines to get their hands on your site’s content for a variety of other reasons. So the question now is, how do you stop Google from indexing your WordPress website?

Blocking Google and Other Search Engines

Using a Robots.txt File

The most basic thing to do would be to manually create and upload a simple robots.txt file to your website’s root directory, instructing all search engines to stay away from your site and not index any part of it. The text file will carry the following syntax:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

You can also use an inbuilt feature on your WordPress dashboard to block search engines from indexing your site. For this, you need to

1. Go to ‘Settings’, select ‘Reading’.

Block indexing using WP tool Step01

2. Check the box next to ‘Search Engine Visibility’ that says ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’. Click on ‘Save Changes’.

Block indexing using WP tool Step02

This automatically adds the following syntax to your site’s robots.txt file:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

It also adds the following line to your website’s header:

<meta name='robots' content='noindex,follow' />

Although this method protects you from most of the search engine crawlers and robots out there, it isn’t a hundred percent safe.

Password Protecting your Website using cPanel

Web crawlers cannot access password-protected files. Hence, if your web host provides you with cPanel access to manage your hosting account, you can password protect your website files from your cPanel dashboard. For this, you need to

1. Log in to your cPanel account and click on ‘Password Protect Directories’;

cPanel password protect directories

2. Select the document root in the pop-up window and click ‘Go’;

cPanel directory selection

3. Select the folder where your WordPress is installed;

4. Check the box next to ‘Password protect this directory’, type in a name for the protected directory, and click on ‘Save’;

5. Once you receive a success message, go back to create user;

6. Add a username and password, and click on ‘Add/modify authorized user’.

cPanel security settings

And you’re done! Your WordPress site is now password protected, and therefore, can’t be crawled upon by search engines.

Password Protecting your Website using a Plugin

Another way to password protect your site is by using any one of the various plugins available on WordPress itself.

password protect pugins

All you need to do is install a plugin (it is advisable to select one that has been updated recently) and activate it. Once it’s activated, go to ‘Settings’. Enable the plugin and set your password. Click on ‘Save Changes’, and you’re done! No search engine crawler or robot can access your website, let alone index it.

Whatever your reason may be, if you want to keep search engines from crawling on your website, you can choose any of the above mentioned methods to keep your website data safe, depending on your requirements and the resources at hand.

Pausing a WordPress site’s backups is easy with the BlogVault dashboard. This can be done by clicking on the BlogVault dashboard’s “Pause Backup” button in the Menu Bar of the Site Details page. Doing so would pause ongoing backups and put all future backups for the site on hold.

 

 

The details of the last backup performed of your sites, as well as when the next backup is scheduled, can be found on the Site Listing/ My Sites page, as soon as you log in to the BlogVault dashboard.

 

The Site Listing page showing when your sites were last backed up and when they will be backed up next
The Site Listing page showing when your sites were last backed up and when they will be backed up next

 

Clicking on the site in question from this page will take you to its Site Details page.

 

Pausing a BlogVault Backup

You can pause the backup by clicking on ‘Pause/Resume Sync’ feature in the header of the Site Details page. Pausing the backup of your site would stop the sync and backup operations of the Backup, Management and Security modules on your BlogVault dashboard. This would also stop all future automatic backups on your site from taking place at their daily scheduled times, so it’s important that you resume backups once you’re done.

 

Pausing a backup
Pausing a backup

 

Resuming a BlogVault Backup

Resuming the backup is as simple as clicking the same button again.

 

Resuming a backup
Resuming a backup

 

Pausing and resuming a backup allows you to make changes to your site, and then back up said changes.

This lets you plan backups, and have instrumental changes saved. The ‘History‘ feature under the Backup module of the BlogVault dashboard allows you to track these changes and even add notes to backup versions so you know exactly what changes were made between backup versions.

How to Switch from Blogger to WordPress without Losing Google Rankings
Choosing between WordPress and Blogger is a tough decision that new bloggers must make. Most blogging experts and experienced users choose WordPress as the better blogging platform due to its robust features and flexibility. If you are interested in taking your BlogSpot blog to the next level by using WordPress, then you have come to the right place.

Read more: http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-switch-from-blogger-to-wordpress-without-losing-google-rankings/

Gravity Forms vs. Wufoo (Which is a better form management solution?)
In this article, we will compare Gravity Forms vs. Wufoo to determine which is the better form management solution for WordPress. One thing that is important to note is that we will be using our frugal blogger / developer mentality to cast the winner.

Read more: http://www.wpbeginner.com/opinion/gravity-forms-vs-wufoo-which-is-a-better-form-management-solution/

[Tech How To] Master the WordPress Loop
The Loop is the basis of dynamic content in WordPress. The Loop is used by WordPress to display each of your posts. Using the Loop, WordPress processes each of the posts to be displayed on the current page and formats them according to how they match specified criteria within the Loop tags.

Read more: http://www.netmagazine.com/tutorials/master-wordpress-loop

[Marketing How To] How to Increase Pageviews and Reduce Bounce Rate in WordPress
When starting out, most bloggers believe that it is super hard to get people to your blog. Whereas most expert bloggers think that getting people to your blog is the easy part. Getting the users to stay on your site is harder. Most users come to your site and end up leaving without even going to the second page. When a user leaves without even going to the second page, it increases your bounce rate.

Read more: http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/how-to-increase-pageviews-and-reduce-bounce-rate-in-wordpress/