How To Backup Your WordPress Blog – No Excuses!

I’m too busy.  I have to write another post.  Nothing will happen.  I have to take my dog for a walk.  WELL, THE EXCUSES STOP RIGHT HERE!  There’s too much at risk for you not to be backing up your blog.

And most of these excuses come from one thing… you don’t know how to backup your blog.  I’ll show you how I backed up my blog and how easy it was, then you can go backup yours.

First Things First…

Before you backup your blog, you need to get something under control…your revisions.  Did you know that WordPress keeps every revision of every post you create?  The revisions are kept in the database.  As your database gets bigger your blog can run slower and your backups will be storing unwanted data.   Don’t make your backups bigger then they need to be.

I use the plugin Revision Control by Dion Hulse.  It allows you to pick the number of revisions you want to keep for a post.  I keep two, but you can keep whatever you want.  And you can set the number of revisions for all posts and pages or you can set the revisions for each individual post/page.  I went with the all posts/pages option.  It’s super easy to setup.  And don’t forget to delete unwanted revisions from posts you’ve done prior to adding the plugin.

Ok, now that you have your revisions under control, lets talk about backing up your blog.

Reducing Your Blogging Risk

When you backup your blog, you want to make sure you are not only backing up your posts but you are backing up your actual blog and how it looks including themes, customizations, plugins, etc.  You can create a backup in several ways using many different tools.  These are the two that were the easiest for me and they were FREE.

A key point no matter how you create a backup is to do it regularly.  If you post daily, you may want to create a backup daily.  I only post about once a week so I backup twice a week to catch any comments as they come in throughout the week.

Control Panel – CPanel

On your hosting company’s control panel, there will be a backup wizard that you can use.  You simply push a button to get things started and decide whether you want a full or partial backup.  I’d suggest a full backup initially to include all files which again will backup how your blog looks and the posts.  Then, if you’re not changing your blog feel much, you can just do partial backups to catch new posts and comments.

You’ll be given an option on where to store your backups.  Do not store them with your host company.  That way if your hosting company has a server problem, you won’t lose your backup.  Either have them emailed to you or store them on your computer or store them in another third party storage website like Dropbox.

If you have any questions when creating your backup or restoring a  backup, your hosting company support will be able to help you.

If you use your control panel, you’ll need to manually do backups on a regular basis.

WordPress Backup Plugin

There are many plugins you can download to create a backup.  I use WP Backup by Umar.  Once you’ve set this plugin up, which is a very easy process, it will create backups automatically on a schedule that you create.  And this plugin backs up your entire blog.  It also has integration with Dropbox, so I have my backups sent directly to my Dropbox account.  There are options to send your backup elsewhere like your email.  I can also specify how many backups I want kept.

This allows me to setup my backup process and not have to remember to do it because it is done automatically.  I would still occasionally verify that your backups are created and that there is no problems.

Now go create a backup of your blog!  But first share this post with a friend, so they can backup theirs too!

To Your Success!

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16 thoughts on “How To Backup Your WordPress Blog – No Excuses!

  1. I agree Leslie that securing your blog is very important. It’s actually one of the first steps taken when setting up a blog. I make sure it is backed up daily on my server and also sent to me by email so I can archive it locally on a USB drive. Cool post.

    1. Yeah Scott, it is amazing how such an important item gets missed so often…or at least put to the back burner.

      I think I did it because I didn’t want to take the time to figure out how to do a backup. And when I did take the time, it took me about 30 minutes to research how and actually do the backup.

      Kinda crazy…

      LeslieZ

  2. A very helpful post Leslie, we do tend to forget to do the most important things. I use the same backup plugin but was told to also use a clone plugin to copy the whole site. I did use WP Clone for that, but it no longer works.
    Catherine recently posted…Free Knit Bolero PatternMy Profile

    1. Hi Catherine, thanks for stopping by!

      Did you get a reason why to use the close plugin? Is it just a matter of having a redundant system?

      LeslieZ

    1. Thanks for noticing my prodding Reg.

      I was a little concerned the video was over the top, but I put it out there anyway.

      I wanted to make sure people paid attention to this topic and actually did it.

      And yes, people don’t realize how important until the “unthinkable” happens.

      LeslieZ

    1. Hey Sandy!

      The Dropbox feature for me is really nice. Having it on my computer, also leaves your backup to an element of chance.

      With Dropbox I feel like they have redundant systems that reduces the risk.

      And if I want a local copy, that is easy enough to do as well.

      LeslieZ

  3. Just a bit of food for thought. If you use W3 Total Cache plugin, it will clear the revisions on your posts.

    Routine backing up of your site is a must. Where you store that backup is up to you (e.g. Dropbox, Amazona S3, etc.). Even if you do not use a backup plugin that lets you restore from where you have the file stored, you can still do that by uploading the files to your cpanel or FTP.

    The plugin by Umar has appeal, but if you look closely, it has not been updated since January of this year. WP has gone through several revisions. You should consider this when choosing plugins.

    1. Thanks Dawn! It’s always good to hear the point of view of others.

      And you raise a good point about the updates to the plugins. Something I had not considered.

      And yes a restore can be done through the cpanel. I think sometimes the cpanel can be intimidating even though many functions are straight forward.

      Thanks for your thoughts Dawn

      LeslieZ

    1. Hey Jeremy,

      The plugins are super easy. Yes Cpanel can be a bit intimidating.

      Get grab the plugin and get things backed up now.

      LeslieZ

  4. Hi Leslie,

    This is my first time to your site – so glad to be here. 🙂

    What an important topic you chose – wow! Ya know, in my early months, I didn’t back up either! Then I set up nightly back ups with my web hosting and all is well. I also keep a complete backup on my own local computer as a safeguard in case the back up gets corrupted on the server, I know, I know… A little extreme.. LOL

    I never lost my site, but I’ve had friends that have.

    You’ve given some great tips for folks and provided excellent value.

    Thanks for sharing. I hope you have an awesome weekend. 🙂
    – Carol
    Carol Amato recently posted…Do You Keep A Back Scratcher In Your Pencil Holder?My Profile

    1. Thanks Carol for stopping by! I’m glad you did.

      I can’t even imagine losing my site. I have gotten some really great feedback from this post as many newcomers to blogging don’t think about backing up either.

      It feels great to be able to help people so they don’t have to live through the pain of losing all the hard work on their blog.

      Backing up isn’t really on people’s radar but once it is, it is really easy to do.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

      LeslieZ

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