How and Why to Backup A WordPress Website

Laptop showing WordPress Dashboard to illustrate how to backup wordpress website

Backing up your WordPress website is crucial for ensuring the security and continuity of your online presence. A website backup is essentially a copy of all the website’s files, including its database, which is stored separately from the website. The backup serves as an insurance policy against data loss or website downtime due to unforeseen events like hacking, server crashes, or human errors. If you are an active Sumy Designs client, then we probably have a recent backup of your site from sometime within the last 30 days (and daily backups if you are subscribe to Sumy Support), and trust me when I say this has been a life saver more than once.

Manual Backup via CPanel

To use cPanel to make a WordPress backup, follow these steps:

Step 1: Log in to cPanel
Log in to your web hosting control panel (cPanel) using your username and password provided by your web hosting provider.

Step 2: Locate the Backup Section
Once you have logged in to cPanel, look for the “Backup” section. Depending on your web hosting provider, the Backup section may be located in different places, but it is usually found under the Files or Tools sections.

Step 3: Click on “Backup Wizard”
Under the Backup section, you should see a button labeled “Backup Wizard.” Click on this button to launch the Backup Wizard.

Step 4: Select “Backup”
Once you have launched the Backup Wizard, you will be prompted to select whether you want to backup your entire website or specific parts of your website. Select “Backup” to create a full backup of your website.

Step 5: Choose Backup Destination
Next, you will be prompted to choose a backup destination. You can either download the backup to your computer or store it on the server. If you choose to store the backup on the server, make sure to select a location that is not publicly accessible.

Step 6: Select Backup Type

You will then be asked to choose a backup type. You can choose either a full backup or a partial backup. For WordPress backups, it is recommended to choose a full backup to ensure that you have a complete backup of your website.

Step 7: Initiate Backup Process
Once you have selected the backup type, click on the “Generate Backup” button to initiate the backup process. Depending on the size of your website, the backup process may take a few minutes to complete.

Step 8: Download Backup
Once the backup process is complete, you will be prompted to download the backup to your computer or store it on the server. If you choose to download the backup to your computer, make sure to save it in a secure location.


Automated Backup Using Plugins

Another popular method to backup a WordPress website is through plugins. Many WordPress backup plugins offer automated backups, so you don’t have to worry about scheduling backups manually. The plugin will create a copy of your website files and database at the frequency you choose and store it in a secure location. This method is more convenient and can save you a lot of time, but it requires a small fee for premium features. Here are some of the popular backup plugins for WordPress:

UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus is a popular backup plugin for WordPress with over 3 million active installations. It offers both free and premium versions that allow you to backup a WordPress website and store it in a remote location like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Amazon S3. The plugin also offers scheduled backups, incremental backups, and the ability to restore your website from a previous backup.

Jetpack Backup

Jetpack Backup is a backup plugin developed by Automattic, the same company that created WordPress. The plugin offers daily backups, unlimited storage, and one-click restores. It also includes security features like malware scanning and activity logging to keep your website safe from cyber threats.

BackupBuddy

BackupBuddy is a premium backup plugin for WordPress that offers a complete backup solution. It allows you to backup a WordPress website files and database, migrate your website to a new host, and restore your website in case of an emergency. The plugin offers scheduled backups, offsite storage, and a range of customization options to suit your needs.

BlogVault

BlogVault is a popular backup and security solution for WordPress websites. It offers a range of features, including daily automatic backups, easy site migrations, and one-click site restores. The plugin stores the backup data in its own servers rather than the website’s hosting servers, providing an additional layer of security. BlogVault is known for its user-friendly interface and excellent customer support.


Cloud Backup Services

Cloud backup services are another option to backup a WordPress website. These services allow you to store your website backups in the cloud, which can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Cloud backup services are reliable and secure, but they come at a cost. Here are some of the popular cloud backup services for WordPress:

  • Amazon S3
    Amazon S3 is a cloud storage service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It allows you to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere in the world. You can use Amazon S3 to backup a WordPress website files and database, and access them from anywhere using the AWS console or API.
  • Dropbox
    Dropbox is a cloud storage service that allows you to store your files and folders in the cloud. You can use Dropbox to backup a WordPress website files and database, and access them from anywhere using the Dropbox app or website.
  • Google Drive
    Google Drive is a cloud storage service that allows you to store your files and folders in the cloud. You can use Google Drive to backup a WordPress website files and database, and access them from anywhere using the Google Drive app or website.

A plugin called BackWPup can be used to save your WordPress backup to many different cloud services including all the cloud options above.


About Hosting Company Backups

Don’t assume your web hosting company is doing backups of your WordPress website. If you don’t see where they are, how often they are being backed up, and how to restore both the files and the database, then you’ll definitely want to make sure that you are doing your own backups. Some hosts are really good about providing you with anywhere from fourteen to thirty days of backups, and some don’t give you backups at all. If you are using an economy host, be sure to check on if this is happening.

It’s also important to have backups stored somewhere other than your web host, because that way if your server goes down, you can quickly restore your site to a new server. If all your backups are on your server and your server is down, you no longer have access to your backups.

Support Plan from Sumy Designs

One other option for getting a backup of a WordPress website is purchase a Sumy Supportplan. Each plan comes with daily backups of your site’s files and database that are stored off-site, away from your web hosting. We offer a variety of other benefits with our plans as well, but the daily backups mean we can always access, download, and restore a copy of your site at any time.


Backing up your WordPress website is an essential task that should not be overlooked. A backup provides a safety net for your website, ensuring that you can restore it in case of an emergency. Whether you choose to backup your WordPress website manually, using plugins, web hosting, or cloud backup services, the key is to have a regular backup schedule and a secure backup location. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your website is always protected and ready to face any challenges that come its way.

This content was originally published here.