Hey fam! Storytime: A few years back, I was on the brink of losing EVERYTHING on my WordPress site due to a gnarly server crash. Trust me, it was close to being a full-blown disaster. But, good news! I managed to get everything back to its shining glory. Today, I'm gonna spill all the tea on how to backup your WordPress website like a boss. This is the guide you never knew you needed until now!
Around 30,000 websites get hacked every day. Yeah, you read that right, 30,000!
Buckle up, guys and gals! We're diving deep into:
- Why Backup? The Stats Don't Lie
- Manual Backups: Roll Up Those Sleeves
- Automated Backups: Get Techy with Plugins
- Cloud Security: Picking Your Digital Fort Knox
- Backup Schedules: When to Hit That Save Button
- Backup Testing: Try Before You Buy (Into Disaster)
- Smart Backups: LSI and NLP Style
- Go The Extra Mile: Website Security
So, why should you even bother with backups? 'Cause stuff happens, peeps. We're talking server crashes, malware, hacker you name it.
"By failing to prepare, you're preparing to fail." - Benjamin Franklin
Make no mistake, website data is a hot target for cybercriminals. In 2020 alone, cybercrime damages cost companies $1 trillion globally. Don' let your website become another statistic.
Don't just stop at your WordPress site. Back up your email lists, social media accounts, and other third-party data that's key to your online world.
The WordPress Core Files
Okay, to manually backup the WordPress core files, you'll need access to your web hosting control panel, often known as cPanel.
- Log into cPanel: Usually at
- Navigate to File Manager: You can't miss it, trust me.
- Select All Files: Look for the
public_htmlfolder and select every little thing.
- Download as ZIP: It's gonna take some time, depending on your website size.
The file size for my last backup was around 1.5GB. Just to give you an idea of what you might be dealing with.
The WordPress Database
This is the treasure chest where all your website data and content lives.
- Back to cPanel: You know where to go.
- Head to PHPMyAdmin: It's usually under the "Databases" section.
- Export the Database: Choose the "Export" tab, and follow the steps.
This stuff is sensitive. Store it like you would your grandma's secret cookie recipe.
UpdraftPlus vs. BackWPup: The Showdown
UpdraftPlus gets my personal stamp of approval. I've been using it for two years and it's been a lifesaver. It's got tons of storage options and it's hella easy to use.
My Go-To: UpdraftPlus
UpdraftPlus has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on WordPress.org and boasts over 3 million active installations. That's a lot of happy campers!
Your backups need a safe home. And nothing says safe and secure like cloud storage. Personally, I vouch for Google Drive. But there are other cool kids on the block like Dropbox and Amazon S3.
Google Drive gives you 15GB of free storage. My last three backups took up about 4.5GB, so there's plenty of room to grow.
Timing is everything. For my site, which is updated weekly, I opt for weekly backups. Here's my advice:
- Daily Backups: If you're posting content like there's no tomorrow
- Weekly Backups: For the average Joe's and Jane's
- Monthly Backups: If your site is as static as a cardboard cutout of yourself
Don't get lazy. Always keep at least the three latest backups.
Don't let your backups gather digital dust. Test them! I made it a ritual to test my backups every month.
For the love of all things digital, do NOT test your backup on your live site. Use a staging site, people!
Your backups can be smart, like really smart, if you know what you're doing. I've dabbled in Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to make my backups smarter.
Google loves semantic search. By backing up your site with LSI and NLP in mind, you're setting the stage for better SEO down the line.
Last but not least, secure your site. I'm talking Wordfence, peeps.
Wordfence blocked about 4 billion attacks in 2020 alone.
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