That’s what you are going to look like when you forget to backup your WordPress blog, when suddenly on one fine day, it breaks and no longer works. To prevent our jaws,or our world from falling apart, it is important and necessary that we take preventive measures to backup our WordPress blog files & database (SQL). On this article, we cover two common methods
- using FTP and phpMyAdmin
- using WordPress plugins
Using FTP and phpMyAdmin to backup your WordPress Blog Files & SQL Database
PART 1: Backup WordPress Blog Files
- First login and connect to your server using your favorite FTP software. For this tutorial, I am using FileZilla, a free FTP software.
- After connecting to your server/blog, go to the base directory of the remote site, and initiate the download to your computer. More instructions in the screenshot below.
- The time require to do the backup/download is dependent on the size of your blog.
- It is advisable to give your newly backup folder a name that indicates when you did the backup.
- That’s all. Now we will move on to backup the blog’s database.
PART 2: Backup WordPress Database
Losing your database is a very painful since it contains the essentials of your blog.
- plugin data & settings,
- theme settings,
- tags, categories & post content,
- user accounts, and more
Over here, the steps are illustrated using Hostgator cPanel and phpMyAdmin. Do not get overly worried if you are not using Hostgator, since the database tool you really need is phpMyAdmin.
Steps to backup your MySQL database:
- Login to your hosting account dashboard (cPanel, or Control Panel, depending on what your web host calls it)
- Search for the phpMyAdmin icon, and click to enter it.
- Once you are inside the phpMyAdmin, you should see something like this:
- Next, from the top navigation bar, click on EXPORT, and you will be given two options on how you want to export your database, either Quick or Custom. The Custom option gives lots of settings that you can tweak with. We will choose Quick since this is what is sufficient for many of us.
- Export Method: Quick
- Format: SQL
- Click the button Go, to start your download.
- Once download is complete, you will see your database file as localhost.sql
- Again, do rename the file appropriately, so that you can restore your WordPress files, and SQL database as a pair when you need to.
How to know that the SQL backup is complete? Open up your SQL file, and scroll all way to the bottom to check. A successful SQL database have lines similar as per below.
CHARACTER_SET_CLIENT=@OLD_CHARACTER_SET_CLIENT */; /*!40101 SET CHARACTER_SET_RESULTS=@OLD_CHARACTER_SET_RESULTS */; /*!40101 SET COLLATION_CONNECTION=@OLD_COLLATION_CONNECTION */;
How to Restore your SQL Database
Restoring your SQL database with phpMyAdmin can be done easily by clicking on the IMPORT tab located on the top navigation bar. Simply choose your .SQL file to upload, and click on the Go button to start the process.
Using Plugins to Backup WordPress Blog Files & SQL Database
Plugins provides convenience as well as other added benefits, such as being able to do manual or scheduled backups, and the possibility of uploading backups to cloud storages, and more. There are several plugins that you can use to backup your WordPress, however my votes goes to Duplicator and UpdraftPlus. If you have the time, take a look at the post that I written earlier on the top 50 WordPress plugins. You can find brief summaries on UpdraftPlus on item #6, and Duplicator on item #32.
Backups routines are recommended to be conducted regularly so that
if you when you encounter any errors, it is easier for you to troubleshoot and recover.
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