If you are new to WordPress websites or to websites in general, then please understand that there are two vital things that you need to do, backup your website on a schedule and add security to your website, none of these two vital processes are independent of each other. If you care one bit about your website or blog, then you have to set scheduled backups, and you have to try your very best to secure it from hacks, this cannot be stressed enough.
At the start of my online blogging career, I’ve had my website hacked many times and have had instances where only a full website restore was capable of saving my blog. Take it from someone whose been there, if you don’t already know how to backup and restore your website, then you need to learn how to do so now.
These are some of the reasons why you might need to backup your WordPress website or blog:
- Upgrading to a new version of WordPress or upgrading WordPress Plugins – Upgrading to a new WordPress version or upgrading plugins crashes WordPress installations more time that you might think, so for this reason it is highly recommended that you backup your website or blog before any upgrades.
- Website hacks of all sorts – After a possible hack you might be able to figure out how to fix the problem without restoring your website, but 9 out of 10 times, the quickest fix is a complete website restoration.
- Customization of website gone bad – I really can’t tell how many times I’ve personally messed up my own website by installing plugins and themes, or by playing around with PHP code. Usually you can easily fix the problem yourself since you were the cause, but you always need backups just in case.
For this tutorial you will need to be familiar with the following:
- Web hosting file manager tool (i’ll be using Bluehost’s file manager, contact your web host if you need help with using a file manager)
- phpMyAdmin (If you are not familiar with this database tool, then please try to familiarize yourself with it prior to this tutorial)
- WordPress plugin BackWPup
Backing up and restoring your website might seem intimidating at first, but once you’re familiar with how backing up and restoring a website works, then you’re pretty peachy from there on out.
This tutorial will go through two simple steps: Backing Up your WordPress Installation, restoring WordPress installation from a backup.
Step 1. Backing up WordPress Installation
- To begin the backing up of your WordPress installation, please download and install the BackWPup WordPress plugin.
- You should see BackWPup in your list of installed plugins, select it and look for Jobs option and select. Jobs allows you to customize what and when a backup takes place.
- Next step is to customize a new job, start by selecting Add new, you will then be taken to the general tab of the setup process. You’ll see that some options are already pre-selected.
- See image below for my customization of General tab (please not that my archive name and email will be different from yours).
- Next select the Schedule tab here you will be setting a schedule for when your backups will run, my backups are set for 2 AM daily.
- Next tab is DB Backup, you’ll notice that all Tables to be backed up are checked, do not adjust any of these unless you know what you’re doing. The only thing you’ll need to do is select GZip file compression option which is the last option on bottom of the page.
- For the next three tabs Files, Plugins and DB Check all pre-selected options are good, so you don’t need to touch anything.
- For the last tab To: Folder you need to tell BackWPup where to save your job and how many jobs it should save in that folder. I have chosen to save my backups in a folder outside of my main public_html folder (public_html folder consists of entire website installation files)
- After customizing your BackWPup job, save changes and go back to the jobs menu and you should see your new job appear in the list. To check if your job works, mouse over the job name and select run now.
Step 2. Restoring WordPress Installation From Backup
- Restoring your backed up WordPress installation is pretty easy, all you need to do is locate your backed up file where you have previously saved it, copy it over to your main public_html folder and extract the file. Extracting the file will replace all previous files in the directory, so you really don’t need to delete the files that are already in the directory.
- After extracting the contents of the file you will need to delete the backed up file or you will be backing up a backed up file in your next backup.
- Step 2a. database restoration – The backup of your database file will be saved in your main backed up file, when you extract the main file, locate the backed up database file and download it to your desktop.
- To restore the backed up database file you will need to log into phpMyAdmin from your hosting account.
- Next, select your website’s database name which is located on the left of the phpMyAdmin menu (you should only have one active database if you have only one website installed on your hosting account).
- After selecting your database, look for the Import database tab and select it. Next, you’ll need to select “Choose File” to look for the database file you have previously downloaded, after you’ve done that, select Go at the bottom of the page, you don’t need to touch any other options.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. If you have followed the steps carefully then you should now be able to backup and restore a WordPress installation with no problems.