While it is a rare occurrence, there may come a time when your web host encounters a problem that results in your files being lost. Then, if that news wasn’t bad enough, your hosting provider tells you that they have no backup copies of your files and that you will never see them again!
Like I said, it’s a rare occurrence and most upstanding web hosts do have disaster back up plans in place. However, they also recommend that you make your own site backups on a regular basis.
It is good practice to backup your WordPress website on a regular basis. Making a habit of backing up data will prevent you ever falling victim to any sort of disaster, and it’s pretty easy to do.
Backing up Your WordPress Database
The majority of the important WordPress stuff is stored securely in a database on the servers of your web host. This means that all posts, pages, comments, site settings, and settings for installed themes and plugins will all backed up regularly.
What are not backed up in the web host database, though, are the core WP files, uploaded images, plugin and theme files – these are all things that you will need to arrange backup for yourself.
Fortunately, this being WordPress means that performing backups is easy and as always there are plugins available to help you out. For this ‘how-to’ we are going to use the excellent WP-DBManager plugin. There are many alternatives, but this plugin provides both automatic backups and sends files to your email for extra security.
To install WP-DBManager, go to you WordPress Dashboard, click on Plugins > Add New and enter ‘WP-DBManager’ into the search box. Once found, click on ‘Install Now’ and then activate the plugin.
When the plugin is installed you will see a new option at the bottom left on your control panel called ‘Database’; click on this and then ‘DB Options’ before navigating the menu to find the ‘Automatic Scheduling’ menu. Here you will be able to set up automatic backups according to your preferences. A general rule of thumb is to set the option to backup every time you post new content.
Backing up Your WordPress Files
With regular database backups up and running, you will now need to set up something similar for your WordPress files; this will require an FTP client. There are dozens of these available, and once again, you will want a program that provides automatic backups.
SmartFTP offers the automatic backup feature we are looking for and allows you to choose how often the program performs backups of your wp-content file (this is the file that contains theme and plugin files and image uploads).
Losing your WordPress database and files is one of things you think will never happen to you, and the chances are it won’t. But, do you really want to run the risk of losing everything? Following this tutorial will make sure you don’t.