How to Backup Your WordPress Site

All you need is the right product.

Site backups are usually an automated process, so I’m not going to provide a step-by-step guide for backing up your site. Instead, I’m going to show you:

  • The three backup features you need
  • Three great solutions for backing up your site

Once you know how to select the right product, you just set it up once, and you’re done. Then you’ll have an automated solution in place for backing up your site.

The Three Things You Need

When choosing the right solution to backup your site, there are three things you should consider.

1. Automated Backups

Whatever solution you choose, it should have an automated backup schedule. This could be once a month, once a week, or daily.

I would recommend scheduling a backup every day since you never know when you might need to restore your site.

2. Manual Backups

You should always backup your site before updating a theme, plugin, or WordPress core. Sometimes, there will be an error with the update, and other times the update process itself can break your site.

Fixing an issue like that can be challenging for a non-technical user. However, restoring a backup from before the update is usually very easy.

It’s important that the solution you choose allows you to manually create a backup before you download any new updates. Alternatively, an automatic backup before updates works well.

3. Automatic Restores

What’s the point of backing up your site if you don’t know how to restore the backup?

Some solutions require a bit of technical skill involving uploading the backup files via FTP or phpMyAdmin. Make sure you understand the restore process and you are comfortable with it before choosing a solution.

For most users, one-click automatic restores are easiest.

Three Solutions to Backup Your Site

Now that you know the three things you need from a backup solution, here are three of the best solutions available.

1. VaultPress

VaultPress is a product by Automattic, the company behind WordPress, that specializes in site backups and security.

screenshot of vaultpress.com

The reason I like VaultPress so much is that they give you a simple set of options and take care of everything else behind the scenes. VaultPress will backup your site every day, and allows you to click one button to restore any one of those backup points.

VaultPress does not have manual backups, but this is okay because of their realtime backup feature. This means you’ll always have a relevant restore point from before any updates.

One last benefit to mention is that the backups are stored on their servers. Keeping the backups stored on a separate server from your site is always a good idea in case of emergency.

2. WP Engine

WP Engine is a hosting company, but they also bundle a number of services that make them a premium hosting solution. One of these services is site backups.

screenshot of wpengine.com

When using WP Engine, you’ll get automated daily backups of your site and the ability to manually backup whenever you’d like. Any of these backups can be quickly restored with the click of a button.

We use WP Engine here at Compete Themes, and the automatic restores have personally saved me a lot of hassle.

3. BackupWordPress

The last solution I’m recommending is BackUpWordPress.
screenshot of BackUpWordPress plugin

This plugin allows you to backup your site and schedule automated backups. It’s easy to setup and works very reliably. Perhaps more importantly, unlike VaultPress and WP Engine, this is a free solution.

There is just one issue with using this plugin: the restore process is a bit technical and could be frustrating. For an overview of the restore process, check out the section on restoring your site with FTP in this tutorial. If you are comfortable with restoring your site this way, BackUpWordPress will be a great solution.

I should add, it is much better to backup your site and be unsure exactly how to restore it than to have no backups at all.

Conclusion

Regardless of the solution you choose, it’s important that you backup your site. All the hard work and money you put into your site(s) needs to be protected.

Knowing you’ve got daily backups and the ability to restore from any disaster will give you great peace of mind, not to mention, potentially save you a ton of time, money, and stress in case of disaster.

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