How to Back Up Your WordPress Site and Why You Should

Photo Credit: wpdolly.com

Photo Credit: wpdolly.com

With the ease of creating websites now, particularly with theme template software like WordPress, people are creating websites for virtually everything, their business, their family, affinity groups, hobbies, classes, or special interests. “Easy to use” doesn’t mean that you don’t have to put in a substantial amount of work to build a site; the work includes gathering, editing, and posting images, or creating and posting text entries. Imagine working weeks, months, or even years, creating and updating a website or blog, and one day, you log on, and all the content is gone or inaccessible. The first emotions? Panic! What happened? What caused this? Can I fix it?

The second emotion? Distress or heartbreak, if you find out the data is gone forever. “Things happen” with the internet and computers. Things beyond your control sometimes, and you can possibly avoid the type of situation above if you regularly backup your WordPress website or blog.

Luckily for us, WordPress was created by a smart person who had an information assurance degree and we can easily get our information back. Your WordPress database contains every post, link, and image you have ever uploaded to your site. If you back up this data periodically (how often is up to you), you can fairly easily restore your website or blog.

Back up process

This process does not back up the appearance theme you are utilizing, but if that becomes correct, you can easily reinstall it from the “appearance” menu located in the back end controls of your site, which you access at the URL (yoursitename.com)/wp-admin. You set up the user name and password when you started the site.

The most basic backup can take place from that back-end WordPress page.

  1. Scrolling down on the left-hand page menu, you will see a listing for “Tools”, and when you click on that, you are presented with a minimum of two options, “Import” or “Export”. To start the back-up process, click on Export, and your choices are to export all of the content, posts only, or pages only.
  2. The data is exported as an “XML” file, a type of file used to manipulate and move data that includes HTML (website programming language). Choosing the “all” option transfers your posts, pix, tags and so on to a file on your hard drive, for which the default name is (yourwebsite.WordPress.date).
  3. These files can get rather large, particularly if they contain a lot of images or video, you’ll have to come to a decision as to where the best place to store the back-up is: your hard drive, a thumb drive, or any cloud storage provider that you elect to use, like Microsoft’s Skydrive, or Google’s products.
  4. Bringing your site back to life from a back-up is similarly easy. From the same menu that you exported your file, choose “import”, after you have chosen (and possibly reinstalled) your theme. The import menu gives you a variety of types of file choices to import, but if you have backed up your site as described above, you are electing to import the option of a “WordPress Export File.” Choose the file you wish to import, if are periodically backing up your site, you will, of course, want to choose the most recent back-up file.
  5. Click the option, and behind the scenes, the file will be imported and repopulate the site and (generally) be a mirror image of the site as it appeared prior to the disaster.

This is the simplest and least expensive way to back-up your WordPress site. Various software publishers like Secure Data Recovery sell back-up tools that you may wish to consider, particularly if you aren’t very good about remember to conduct tasks like this, as some of the back-up applications can be set to back-up the site, automatically, behind the scenes, at any schedule you set. Whichever method you use, backing up websites can avoid a lot of pain and anxiety, and if you are running your site for business, or you accept advertising a regular back-up can avoid an interruption of revenue or loss of customers.

Fjordan Allego
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Fjordan Allego

Fjordan Allego aka Fjordz is an IT Security Professional in the Philippines. He maintains a couple of blogs where he shares his views on various topics that he finds interesting. A self-confessed introvert who's mostly active in social media, Fjordz also loves to travel and explore the wonders of the world.
Fjordan Allego
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Comments

  1. Even though this content was created over a year ago, it is still as valid as the day it was written. Well done.

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