Before we get to the juicier details, I used to be confused about this backup business not long ago. I had no idea what in the world backing up a site was all about. Heck, I had no idea how to create full backups of my WordPress site until circumstances forced my hand. I had to learn after getting hacked, and learn I did. As a newbie, you’re probably as confused as I was. So what the hell are backups? The answer is fairly simple. A backup is simply a copy of your site that you can reinstall (restore) should something go wrong. It’s a failsafe, precautionary measure that saves you a lot of undue stress. It’s like an insurance policy that protects all the effort, time and money you’ve invested in your WordPress site.
Your WordPress database contains every post, every comment and every link you have on your blog. If your database gets erased or corrupted, you stand to lose everything you have written. There are many reasons why this could happen and not all are things you can control. With a proper backup of your WordPress database and files, you can quickly restore things back to normal. Site backups are essential because problems inevitably occur and you need to be in a position to take action when disaster strikes. Spending a few minutes to make an easy, convenient backup of your database will allow you to spend even more time being creative and productive with your website.
There are two parts to backing up your WordPress site: Database and Files. You need to back up the entire site, and you need to back up your WordPress database. Below are instructions for backing up your WordPress database for various server programs. We will start by backing up the rest of your WordPress site.
Your WordPress site consists of the following:
- WordPress Core Installation
- WordPress Plugins
- WordPress Themes
- Images and Files
- Additional Files and Static Web Pages
All of these are used in various combinations to generate your website. The database contains your posts and a lot of data generated on your site, but it does not include the above elements that all come together to create the look and information on your site. These need to be saved. Most hosts back up the entire server, including your site, but it takes time to request a copy of your site from their backups, and a speedy recovery is critical. You need to learn how to back up your own site files and restore them.
Here are some methods to back up your site files:
Website Host Provided Backup Software: Most website hosts provide software to back up your site. Check with your host to find out what services and programs they provide.
Create Sync With Your Site: WinSCP and other programs allow you to sync with your website to keep a mirror copy of the content on your server and hard drive updated. It saves time and makes sure you have the latest files in both places.
Copy Your Files to Your Desktop: Using FTP Clients or UNIX Shell Skills you can copy the files to a folder on your computer. Once there, you can zip or compress them into a zip file to save space, allowing you to keep several versions.
Remember, keep at least three backups on file, just in case one is corrupted or lost, and store them in different places and on different mediums, like CD, DVD, different hard drives, etc. Continue Reading!
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