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Today’s post is all about backing up your WordPress blog. You do back up your blog, right?! Just in case you don’t, I’m going to show you step-by-step how to back up your WordPress blog, and how to set up backups on an automatic schedule if you wish.
I had scheduled backups when Practically Functional was hosted on Blogger, but I never got around to setting them up after I moved to WordPress. However, Adrianne from Happy Hour Projects recently wrote a wonderful tutorial about how to back up your blog in Blogger and it was the perfect reminder!
I immediately set up scheduled backups for Practically Functional, and it was totally easy.
Every blogger should backup their blog. It only takes a few minutes to do, and if you set up an automatic schedule, you can just set it and forget it! If you have a Blogger blog, check out Adrianne’s post.
If you have a WordPress blog, keep reading!
First, log in to your WordPress dashboard. (Practically Functional is a self-hosted WordPress blog, but I imagine the steps are the same, or very similar, for WordPress.com blogs as well.)
UPDATE: I use a plugin called WP-DB-Backup, and it works fabulously! You can find more info or download it here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-db-backup/. Or if you don’t want to download and install it manually, go to the Plugins tab on the left, click Add New, and search for WP-DB-Backup. Once you see it in the search results you can install it right from there just by clicking Install Now. Easy! After the plugin is installed, make sure to activate it if WordPress didn’t do that automatically for you.
Once the plugin is activated, under the Tools tab on the left is a Backup option. Click on it…
It opens up the Backup page. On the left is a list of core WordPress tables that are always included in your backup. On the right is a list of additional tables that you may choose to include in your backup.
The main functionality of your blog (posts, pages, comments, tags, etc.) is included in the list on the left, so even if you don’t choose any additional tables on the right, your blog will get backed up. But the list of tables on the right are related to your plugins, so if you want any of that data backed up as well, check the boxes next to any of those additional tables.
Once you have your boxes checked, scroll down for the rest of the backup options. The first section is for a one-time, immediate backup. You can choose to save the backup file to your server, download it to your computer, or have it emailed to you. Choose one and click “Backup now!”
Your backup file will be saved to your server or emailed to you, or if you chose to Download the file, a new window will pop up asking where you’d like to save it. Choose a location on your computer, click Save, and you’re done!
If you’ve never done a backup of your blog, you should do one immediately!
And then you should set up a scheduled backup so you never have to think about it again. You can do that in the third section.
First, choose how often you would like the backup to run. I have mine set to backup once weekly, but you may want to set it to daily, hourly, or monthly, depending on how often you post. Like with the one-time backup, the scheduled backup automatically includes all of the basic WordPress tables in that first column on the left, and all of your additional plugin tables are listed again in this section on the right. From the column on the right, choose which additional tables you want included in your scheduled backup, type in your email address, and click “Schedule Backup”.
Scheduled backup files are automatically emailed to you, which is awesome! I set this up a week ago, and then I literally forgot about it until this little email showed up in my inbox yesterday.
Just make sure, if you are having the files emailed to you, that you have some sort of system in place for downloading and saving those files so your inbox doesn’t fill up!
I set up a folder on my computer to save these backup files to. And for additional protection, the backup folder is included in my Dropbox folder as well, so it’s doubly backed up! (If you’re looking for a way to backup your personal files and folders, I highly recommend Dropbox!)
So that’s it, how easy is that?!
Another option, if you don’t want to install a plugin to do it automatically for you, is to do a manual backup using Export. Click on Export under the Tools menu to go to the export page. You can choose what content you want to export, and then download the exported file. This works fine as well, but you can’t back up any of your plugin data, and it has to be done manually every single time, no schedule.
I’m so bad about backing up my files, and when my computer completely died a couple of months ago I totally freaked out! Luckily the hard drive was okay, but now that I have my computer back up and running I have become vigilant about backing up my files. The nice thing is that I can schedule the blog backup so I don’t have to remember, and Dropbox automatically syncs all of my files to their servers, so my files are always safe!
Do you have backups set up on your blog already? How about for your personal files and folders? I know there are paid programs out there that will back up your entire computer system, but I like the way I have it set up because both the WordPress backup and Dropbox are free and automatic! What do you use for backups? Do you have any recommendations?
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