I know. I know. You are ready to get to the fun stuff about how to make your blog look pretty right? But I know you have some incredible stories to share and the last thing I want to happen to you is for you to lose all that you’ve written.
Manually backing up WordPress
The first method is better than nothing. Seriously. To backup your WordPress php files, you’ll need an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client (software that runs on your computer). I recommend downloading and using FileZilla. You need the client software only — not the server software. Your web host should have sent you the information you need to login via FTP. It’s most likely the same as the login username and password as your control panel. The host is generally ftp.yourdomainname.com.
Once you put that information into FileZilla, you’ll see a list of the files on your computer on the left side and a list of the files on your web host on the right side. If you were to click and drag a file from the left side to the right side it would upload that file to your web server. If you click and drag a file from the right side to the left side, you would be downloading that file to your computer.
Make a special folder on your computer and open that folder on the left side. On the right side you will see a public_html folder. Double-click to open that folder. Here you will see the php files that make WordPress run. The only thing that you need to make sure you backup is the wp-content folder. You can right-click that and select download or just drag it from the right window to the left window. It will go through a long process but it’s copying the files from your web server to your computer. Everything else can really be replaced if the files were corrupted, but there are some things in the wp-content folder we’ll get to in a few days that have to be backed up.
To backup your database, you can install the WP-DB-Backup Plugin. I’ll be going over how to install plugins, but just know this one is pretty crucial. Once you install it, you can immediately download a copy of your database or you can setup a schedule and have a copy emailed to you. I recommend setting up a schedule as it’s well, scheduled and you don’t have to think about it. How often you have the database emailed to you depends on how much you blog. If you blog 5 days a week and would be sad if you lost a week’s worth of posts, setup to email you daily. If you blog once a week or so, have it email you once a week. I’d try to keep at least 3 database backups in your email or on your computer. Things can happen to those files, and it’s better to have a couple of back-ups of back-ups.
I usually don’t recommend paying for plugins, but BackupBuddy has been one of the best purchases I’ve made to date. It will make a backup file containing your database and all the WordPress files that make your site run. You can have it automatically backup your site on a schedule as well as have it email you those backups. It definitely beats having to backup your site manually!
* Note for Blogger users
I hope you’ll forgive me for this, but I feel it’s important. If you are still on Blogger: go login, go to Settings -> Basic -> Export Blog. Save this file to your computer. Do it now. Seriously. If Blogger were to crash and lose your stuff (and are they really going to care? They provide you with a free service), you might just be sick to your stomach — literally.
Check out today’s posts at A Woman Inspired Conference. All of the bloggers who are participating are linked there and you can jump to their blog and back. Or go directly to their blog to catch up on days past: