Backing up your WordPress site the simple way

There are quite a few backup plugins available for your WordPress site, but often the best things in life are the simple things, so let's look at a foolproof way of backing up your site.

Files

  1. You can always get all WordPress, theme and plugin files from the relevant developers if something happens. The only time that does not work, is if you are not keeping one of your themes or plugins up to date for one reason or another; although best practice is to keep everything up to date, you might have a good reason. So you will need to keep copies then.
  2. You definitely need a backup of your child theme's functions.php and style.css files, unless you made no changes to it.
  3. The simplest way to backup your files is to keep a copy of your website files on your local computer. Let's use FileZilla to show you how:
  4. In the settings for your site, tick the options for synchronized browsing and directory comparison:
  5. Then files which are different on your local computer than on the server will be highlighted in red, and non-copied files will be highlighted in yellow, making it real handy to see if your backup is up to date:

Database backup using cPanel

  1. cPanel is one of the most used control panels by your website host. The backup feature can be used to backup your MySQL database.
  2. In your cPanel, look for Backup:
  3. Then look for Download a MySQL Database Backup and select the database you want to back up:
  4. This will save a download a *.gz file to your local computer.
  5. There is no need to unzip this file to restore it, just leave it as is.
  6. In case you need to restore your saved database, use the same cPanel program, look for Restore a MySQL Database Backup, and browse to the *.gz file you saved earlier and upload it:
  7. Be patient while your system goes through its paces to restore your database.

More information

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