It is very important that you have a complete backup of your WordPress site, and that you understand how to use it.
Please don’t rely on your hosting provider for backups.
Before we begin we need to talk about the WordPress site files and the way WordPress stores data.
WordPress stores data in two locations.
- A MYSQL database
- In a Directory on the file system.
The MYSQL database contains your WordPress settings, posts, pages comments etc and the file system stores:
- WordPress core files
- Any uploaded files like images,video, downloads and other media.
When looking for backup plugins you should be aware that many will only backup the database and not the files
However the Updraft plus plugin backups up the database and all of the files, and it is the one I use and recommend.
Complete Backup Using the Updraftplus Plugin
This plugin will backup:
- Uploaded content
and supports scheduled and manual backups. Here is a video I did some time ago showing how to backup WordPress:
To restore WordPress follow the procedure in this video- How to restore WordPress from Backup.
How often you need to backup your WordPress installation depends on how frequently you make changes.
Changes can involve adding new content, adding/updating plugins,themes and settings.
For most Installations the following will be sufficient.
Once a month do a file backup, and a manual database backup and keep the files together.
Do a scheduled database backup at least once per week, depending on how often you make changes.
It is a good idea to retain the files for around 6 months. You may also consider moving older copies to an archive rather than deleting them, but this involves you using FTP to move them.
Manual Backup without Plugin
You can also do a manual backup by using the PHPMYadmin tool on your host to backup the database.
This old video shows how to restore a backup using PHPMyadmin
Files and images and WordPress files can be backed up using FTP.
Resources and Related Tutorials:
- WordPress Codex covers backup and restore using cpanel. This is more complex than using a plugin, and is not my preferred method.
- Updating WordPress
- WordPress Uploads and media Storage
- Monitoring your website using Google webmaster tools and Analytics.