In this post I will show you how to backup the data which is your WordPress blog so that you will be able to restore in the event of your computer crashing, your server losing your blog, your blog randomly breaking or any other mishap that can occur.
When my blog broke yesterday, there was no need for me to freak out because I was pretty sure I have all the bases covered when it comes to backing up my blog.
Here are the three things you should do:
- Backup your WordPress database once daily – this is done automatically with a plug-in and should be emailed to you, preferably to an online email account such as gmail
- Have all of your comments sent to your online email account
- Download your site files to your computer (through use of an FTP program such as Filezilla).
Step 1 – Backup Your WordPress Database Daily – Very Simply Done with a Plug-In
To the best of my understanding, there are two distinctive areas that need to be backed up in order to fully recreate your blog in the event of disaster.
- The database which holds your posts, plugins, settings, dynamic user-created content
- The site files which hold your theme, plugins, uploads and images (accessible by FTP).
You can’t do one or the other, you must do both. The database is more important, in my opinion because the sweat and tears of my blog is in the posts. The way the blog looks, photos, etc. isn’t something I spend the bulk of my time on.
If you are a techie person, here are the steps to follow for installing a backup plugin. If you need a bit more detail, each step with a screenshot of what you are looking for, click here for How To Add a Backup Plugin To Your WordPress Blog Step by Step With Screenshots.
- Log in to your WordPress account. On the left hand side you’ll see a button that says plugins.
- Click on Plugins one time and it will drop open and show you several other choices like Installed, Add New, Editor, etc.
- Click on Add New.
- You will see a screen that looks like the following – type backup database backup in the search box, making sure “Term” is selected. Click Search Plugins.
- You will have many to choose from, but WP-DB-Backup which was recommended to me.
- Click Install Now. You should receive a pop up message asking “Are you sure you want to install this plugin? Verify that you clicked on the correct one.
- Click OK. You will see the screen showing that the plugin is installing.
- Click Activate Plugin.
- You will be returned to the previous screen and will see that the Plugin has been Activated. Scroll down to see that it is present.
- Go to Tools and Backup to set up the plug in. It is fairly straightforward. See the step by step tutorial with screenshots for the settings which I use.
I recommend that you go to BACKUP OPTIONS and send a backup of your database to your email immediately, then go down further to SCHEDULED BACKUP and set up your scheduled backup. I highly recommend having your blog backed up at least once daily. I recommend having the database emailed to an online account such as gmail. If you have your database downloaded to your computer, or you download all your mail to your computer… and your computer crashes, then you just lost your backups. I know, the chances of your computer crashing, and your web host crashing and losing your blog are practically nil, but this is what makes me feel safer.
I know there are some of you out there who delete within minutes of receiving. I urge you to keep at least a week’s worth of your blog database backups. Again, this is what makes me feel safe.
Step 2 – Set WordPress to email a copy of all your comments to your online email.
- Login to WordPress
- Go to Settings > Discussion > and check email me whenever anyone posts a comment, and also check email me whenever a comment is held for moderation.
- Scroll down and click Save Changes.
Step 3 – Download your site files using an FTP program such as Filezilla.
I find this final step to be less dramatically important, although I try to do it at least once per month. I don’t do a lot of tweaking to the design of my blog, but if I did, I would backup more often.
There will be at least one more post in this series, in which I will share how to restore your backups in the event that your blog breaks. I hope to put that together next weekend.
Again I’d like to thank Third World Geek for the post that has helped me get through two restorations: How to Backup and Resurrect Your WordPress Blog.