You’ve heard it time and time again – Back up your WordPress files! I’m talking about the importance of backing up your blog today because like a lot of people, I thought “It’ll never happen to me…” and I’m betting you have told yourself the same thing.
Why should you back up your WordPress files?
Stuff happens, and technology doesn’t always behave the way we expect it to. The biggest reason to back up your blog files is that it’s so easy to lose them. It’s heartbreaking to find hours or even days worth of hard work just *poof* gone.
What to back up
It’s going to sound like a lot, but you should really get into the habit of backing up everything – your WordPress theme, uploads, plugins, and database. This assures that every part of your website is downloaded and saved regularly so that you can always go back to a previous version if something breaks.
That being said, this isn’t for everyone. You might consider only doing large scale backups before changes to your themes and plugins, and then weekly backups of your uploads and blog posts. I would consider this option if you aren’t making regular changes to your blog theme. Just remember to back up your entire blog before updating your theme, plugins, etc because that’s when major changes (and oopsies) occur!
How to Back up your WordPress Blog
My favorite way to back up my blog files is by using a plugin called Updraft Plus Backup/Restore because not only does it let me back up my entire blog, it also allows me to automatically save it to different cloud storage websites such as Dropbox, or Google Drive.
You can pretty much use this plugin “out of the box” so to speak. There are settings you can change such as how many backups to retain on the server (I keep 2) but you can really just get started right away. The backup screen should look something like this…
After it’s completed, you can check out your Existing Backups and download any part of them that you want – Database, Plugins, Themes, Uploads, or Others. You can save them onto your computer or my personal preference: External Hard Drives which you can buy via Amazon for a great price these days.
This 1TB External Hard Drive by Western Digital is the one I use and love. It wasn’t super expensive and it’s easy to carry around on trips. It comes in a few different colors (I love white electronics – so sexy) and 1TB is more than enough space to store copies of your blog many times over.
Of course, you should always back up your backups! Fortunately, Updraft Plus Backup/Restore lets you send your backups directly to other storage clouds – Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, etc. It’s important to do this because once again, technology can fail… will fail you eventually. You can set up a backup location from the Settings section.
That’s it! Wasn’t that easy? Now you have a copy of your entire blog saved so that you can avoid mishaps.
How to Restore a Backup
In the unfortunate event that something should go wrong, you’ll need to know how to restore your blog to the previously backed up version. Trust me… you’ll be thrilled one day to have a working copy of your website in the event something goes amiss.
Once again, Updraft Plus Backup/Restore makes things really simple. All you have to do is check out your Existing Backups and click Restore on whichever backup you want to use (remember, I keep 2 just in case). The nice thing is that it lets you then choose which files you want restored from your last backup!
Don’t worry… you can upload your backup files using this plugin as well – which comes super handy if you have an older version stored on your external hard drive or cloud storage service that you prefer to use.
How do you back up your WordPress files?
Do you have a special way of backing up your files? What’s your preferences?