How to take a WordPress backup

Knowing how to take a WordPress backup is an important skill for a WordPress blogger. It falls into the boring but must-do category of blogmin. I can hear you sigh but trust me, you’ll thank me some day. When you’ve accidentally installed demo content (yes I have actually done this) or a dodgy plugin corrupts your site you’ll be singing my praises. You’re welcome.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy through one of these links I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I use or want to use in future.

Why do I need to take backups?

No-one likes to think about bad things happening to their blog but you need to be prepared just in case.

Taking regular backups protects you from losing pictures, blog posts and pages if your blog is hacked or something bad happens to your hosts servers.

When installing a new theme on my other blog I accidentally, after 2 or 3 hours work, managed to reset the theme options and had to start again from scratch. I was cocky and didn’t back up beforehand, because I thought I knew what I was doing. Ever since then I always take a backup before making major changes. The moral of the story is don’t be like me, backup your files.

How often should I take a WordPress Backup?

There’s no right or wrong answer here. It depends on how often you make changes to your blog, whether it’s writing or editing a new post or uploading new images.

Personally, I’m on my blog every day tweaking posts and adding new pages so I take a daily backup. But if you only make changes once a week or once a month then weekly or monthly backups are fine.

The one exception to this rule is before you make major updates to your blog. For example you should always take a backup before updating your theme, plugins or version of WordPress. This is just to cover yourself incase anything goes wrong during the updates. Don’t be scared of making updates – it’s really important that everything is kept up to date for security reasons, just be sure to take a backup to cover yourself, just incase.

How do I take a WordPress backup?

So now I’ve banged on about how important backups are, we get to the juicy bit. I’m going to give you a brief overview of different ways to back up your WordPress blog.

Your host

I’m hosted with Siteground and I can take manual backups via CPanel, in addition to the system backups that Siteground run regularly. At the time of writing I’m still trying to find out how often Siteground run system backups, but I would imagine that it’s at least daily. I don’t know how much hassle it would be to get hold of a copy of a backup taken by your host, so personally I would use this method as a last resort.

Pictured below is Siteground‘s free backup screen; they also have a backup tool that you can buy per backup you want to take or if you upgrade to the GoGeek package you can take 5 backups per month using the tool.

How to Take A WordPress Backup
Siteground free Backup screen

A plugin

This is my preferred method to take a WordPress backup. I like to have my backups close to hand, so I’m not running around like a headless chicken if either of my blogs go down.

I use the free version of UpdraftPlus which, allows you to automate daily, weekly or monthly backups. You can’t specify a particular time for it to take your backups with this version, but so far I’ve not felt the need to choose a time.

It also lets you choose where to back up your files to. I use my Google drive, but you can use Dropbox and a few other online storage solutions too.

Summary

Taking regular wordpress backups is really important, to make sure you don’t lose any work if something bad happens to your blog.

You can choose to backup in a few ways. Via your host or a plugin. I think that the easiest way to make sure your blog is backed up regularly, is via a plugin, but it really doesn’t matter how you do it as long as you do it.

If you have any questions about the information in this blog post please leave me a comment or pop me an email at thebloggenie@gmail.com – I’d love to hear from you.

How often do you take backups of your blog? Do you even take them at all? Leave me a comment and let me know.

You may also enjoy:

How to use a Broken Link Checker and why it’s important

5 Habits to Keep your WordPress Blog Running Smoothly

The A-Z of Blogging Terms for Beginners

My Random Musings

2 Comments on “How to take a WordPress backup”

  1. Nice post! Thanks for sharing useful details. Taking backup should be a regular feature and shouldn’t be missed out. I usually take help of plugins to backup my data. There are other ways as well, but this is what I find the easiest.

    1. For me, taking regular backups is one of the most important things you can do to keep your blog or any website secure.

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