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backup So for the past few weeks my mind has pretty much been in ‘blog’ mode, which you can probably tell due to my recent fixation on blog related posts. I’ve done nothing but think about my new blog and over the previous weekend I got the barebones live on the net.

However, it didn’t all go to plan. There was something wrong with the host which left my site back in 1982 until the MUO authors, more specifically Karl, was able to get her up and running while I yelled at my hosting company.

So I was happy. For a while. But then the thought of “˜what if the host was to go belly up right now?’ popped into my mind. At any minute it could all just go wrong and I’d be left blogless. All my posts would be gone. The theme I’ve fine-tuned. The media I’ve uploaded. It would be the virtual equivalent of pulling the pin from the hand grenade and tossing it into the epicentre of my site. The only remnants of its existence being a ‘404’ error. And you want to know the worst thing? No matter how many times your press ‘F5’, the blog simply wont appear. Ever.

There are two things you need to do to have a full backup of your website. The first one is easy, you just have to backups server files. This can be easily done using any FTP client. Just connect to your server and copy the contents of the folder to your computer.

Second, you need to backup your database. Figuring out how to backup your WordPress blog database is the way to go. Most definitely.

One could do this the hard way. You could manually backup everything using an FTP client and an external hard drive. But that’s the hard way. So here is an easy way to backup your WordPress blog – in three easy steps no less.


Getting a WordPress database ‘back up’ plug-in

If there’s one thing that separates WordPress from the other half dozen popular blogging platforms, it’s the abundance of plug-ins. There are quite a few which back-up your blog but I recommend using the ‘WordPress Database Backup Plugin’. For those of you familiar with the innermost working of a website – this plug-in will back-up your tables in your WordPress database. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the innermost working of a website – it will save you a weekend of going through the five stages of grief.

Installing the plugin

Have the plugin downloaded? You sure? You’re not just reading on through this post while your blog sits utterly vulnerable to destruction? OK, good.

backup your blogNow comes the installation. It’s pretty much the same as any other plugin installation.

First go to the plugin menu on the WordPress admin page and under plugins click ‘add new‘ as seen in the screenshot. Upload the plugin. You can leave it in the .zip format if you like. Then click ‘Activate‘ once the install has finished.

Setting it up

Go to ‘Tools‘ along the left-hand sidebar in the WordPress admin area. Under ‘Tools‘ you’ll find a new menu called ‘Backup‘. Click on that.

There are three main areas that you have to fill out in the screen which appears. The first area is entitled ‘Tables‘ and put simply, it allows you to specify what you want to back up. I’d suggest leaving everything ticked. This will basically back up your entire blog including posts, comments, users and settings.

backup your blog

Then, under ‘Back Up Options‘ you can select where you want the backup files to go. You can either save to your server, download to your computer or e-mail to a specified address. Pick whichever one works for you. I’ll be keeping mine on an external hard-drive so I’ll be downloading it to my computer. However the other two options – particularly the e-mail options are also good.

backup your blog

Finally, the third table allows you to choose how often your blog is backed up. This is done automatically. I’d suggest doing it at least weekly. If your blog is really big with multiple posts per hour you can back up hourly, daily and twice daily.

Finally click ‘Backup Now‘ under the second section to make sure you’re safe from the get-go.

So now if it all does go horribly wrong (i.e. a virtual hand grenade has just blown up in serverland) you’ll be back up (no pun intended) in no time by simply restoring the backed up database and uploading WordPress files using an FTP such as FileZilla.

For more great plugins for your WordPress blog click here.

Image Credit: John Loo

  1. Sally
    December 20, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Great post. Backing up is so important because we know that we can't get the valuable time or inspiration back 100% once it's lost. It's an agonizing feeling. I'm a co-founder of a company called that provides nightly backups for our WordPress customers. We keep agony away. ;-)

  2. TechHelpSite
    November 15, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Like Jay I have mine set to send to my Gmail account - saved forever

    Amit and others - what is the best way to set up an automated/regular back up of the all files via ftp? Do ftp clients have scheduling capability?
    off to check Filezilla now

  3. evelyn
    November 13, 2009 at 2:31 am

    i try to download it but it cound not work, could u tell me why?

    • Dean Sherwin
      November 13, 2009 at 8:37 am

      So the actual download won't work or you can't get it to work on your blog.

      If it's the download then make sure your browser isn't blocking the download. See if you have the pop-up blocker on. Normally under Tools>options


  4. Wendy
    November 12, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    I just spent all day yesterday asking in the forums for advice on the best way to backup.

    One question... have any of you actually tried restoring from a backup, just to double check?

    • Matt
      November 13, 2009 at 12:36 am

      I actually restored a DB backup tonight on a failed upgrade I had. The backed up database from the WP DB backup plugin restored perfectly.

  5. Pranshu Arya
    November 12, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    I've been using Lester Chan's DB Manager plugin for a while now, and it works pretty well. It automatically backs up my database everyday (or whenever I want) without having to manually set up a cron job.

  6. Jay
    November 12, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    I use this plugin, and set to send the backup to my gmail account. Works great, unfortunately (or luckily) my blog never have any issue since I install this plugin, so I never try to restore from the backup it created :-)

  7. Jason SW
    November 12, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    One problem with that. I think that plugin uses the wp-cron plugin to make its scheduled backup feature work, which is a bad thing, unless you have a blog that gets visitors hourly. If you have a blog that only gets visitors once in a while, though, the blog probably won't get backed up as often as you want it to be.

  8. Amit Banerjee
    November 12, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    But you should also back up the files as well as the images used in your posts via FTP for a complete backup. If you want to move to a diffrenet host, you will need the database backup as well as the image files.

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