Backing Up is Hard to Do (Not!)

Sing along with me now…

Backing Up is Hard to Do (Not!)

Let’s talk about how to backup WordPress. You’ve put a lot of hard work into your website. Blood, sweat and tears, even. Protect all that effort by getting into a regular backup routine now, before you’re sorry you didn’t.

There are several different types of backups that you need to have in order to really cover your behind. I’ll tell you about the different types, and I’ll tell you how you can back them up. You’ll go out and set up a schedule to make sure it gets done regular-like. Deal?

This turned out to be a really loooong post, so I’ve broken it into several parts. See links to the related posts at the top and bottom of each post. For this first segment, let’s talk about the whole kit & caboodle, the whole shebang, the works, the full deal, the whole enchilada…The Full Site Backup.

Full Site Backup

This is a major backup that will save your bacon if (heaven forbid) some sort of major catastrophe happens – your web host’s entire server center burns to the ground or the server gets fried AND the host’s backups get fried. Unlikely? Yes. Impossible? No. Ask me about the time my web host just closed up shop and left town without telling any of his clients. Yeah, it happens.

A Full Site Backup won’t enable you, personally, to restore your site, unless you are running your own server. And if you are, you don’t need me to tell you how to do this. Rather, this kind of backup is what you give your new host (after your old one was nabbed by aliens or whatever) so that they can recreate your site. It includes everything you’ve got on your server – your website files, email addresses, redirects – everything.

You can create a Full Site Backup from your web hosting control panel. The one I’m familiar with is the cPanel (very popular among web hosts), so that’s the one I’ll be describing. If your host has a different control panel, search their knowledgebase for instructions on how to do a site backup. Every host offers this service (and if yours doesn’t, stop reading this and go find a new host right now).

  1. Login to your web hosting account control panel
  2. Go to the Files section and click on Backups
  3. At the top, there should be a section that says “Full Backup.” Click the ‘Download or Generate a Full Web Site Backup’ button
  4. On the next screen, you will have a couple of options. For Backup Destination, select Home Directory, then make sure your correct email address is listed in the Email Address box.
  5. Click the Generate Backup button
  6. Go away and do something else for a while. You’ll receive an email when the backup is ready.
  7. After you receive notification that your backup is ready, return to the Site Backups section of your cPanel and download the file. Save it somewhere safe.
  8. Schedule yourself to do this process at least once per month, more often if you do a lot of updates on your site and are worried about losing data.

This is the most comprehensive type of backup, and it’s important to have on hand. However, it’s not the one you will use to restore parts of your own site if problems occur.

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