How to Backup Self-Hosted WordPress Site

How to Backup Self-Hosted WordPress Site?Making the regular backup of your WordPress site is an important step when maintaining your website. After all, no matter how hard the efforts you have made, you cannot make sure that there are no security issues happened on your website.

Once your website is hacked, the backup file can put to use so as to restore your website and prevent the data loss. Due to the importance of this step, we’d like to tell you how to backup a self-hosted WordPress site in the following article.

Here, you can choose to back up via the special plugins or just manually. In addition, you can get some tips about WordPress backup as below.

Top 5 Tips to Backup Your WordPress Site

Tip 1: Don’t Only Rely on Your Web Host to Back Up Websites

Almost every web hosting company will provide you with a backup service, whether charged or free, and promises you that the backup is complete, safe, and will occur automatically on a frequent basis. If you fully believe them and haven’t found out how often they back up your website and how to retrieve it, then you may suffer a great loss.

Generally, web hosting companies will back up your files every week on a random day, but may not be able to run their backups as often as your situation requires. Therefore, if you constantly make changes to your website, update with new content, or add fresh elements, then solely rely on your web host for your backups will never be a good idea.

Besides, these backup files will not be kept for more than 30 days, so if you forget to download it before it is overwritten with a newer file, then you will probably be unable to retrieve the most valuable data.

In one word, backing up your WordPress site is not the responsibility of your web hosting company, so you have to set up your own backup plan to make and keep copies for your website.

Tip 2: Back Up Your WordPress Site Thoroughly

There is a misunderstanding that backing up the website is just saving the page content. In fact, a good backup should include all the pages, images, textual contents, and any other files located in your database, as well as all the programming files on the web host server. It is true you can get the information from your hosting server after your computer crashes, but what if the webserver goes down? Therefore, you have to keep the backup thoroughly in case any data gets corrupted or lost.

Tip 3: Back Up Your Site According to the Changes You Have Made

In fact, there is no need to back up your site every day or every week if you haven’t made any changes to your website. But if your website is constantly being updated with new content, then you’ll need to run a lot of backups. In fact, how often you should back up your site depends on how frequently and how much new data you have added to your site, and how much data you can afford to lose.

Tip 4: Choose a Good Online Backup Provider

There are so many useful backup providers available like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and SkyDrive, but once you want to store your website files into one of them, you need to take the following factors into consideration.

  • Security – Make sure that the provider can offer you a secure backup environment, and transmit the data over 256-bit SSL encrypted connection.
  • Data Size – Some backup providers or web hosts claim that if your site exceeds 20 or 30 gigabytes in size, your backup will be skipped. So make sure this won’t happen with the provider you choose.
  • Redundant Data Center – Remember that no server is 100% safe and sure, so check out whether the provider has multiple data centers with redundant server spaces to store your data.
  • Data Transfer Speed – A good backup provider should be able to transfer your data quickly and smoothly, with a view to offering the highest level of protection to your site.

Having introduced so many useful tips on backup your WordPress site, we would like to introduce you the details on how to make a backup copy of your site files. We have listed the steps of backing up WordPress files and database manually or automatically as below.

Backup a Self-Hosted WordPress Website Manually

There are a total of four steps to backup WordPress files.

  1. Use an FTP program to connect to your website with your FTP username and password.
  2. After finishing the connection, select a local directory to save your backups and then select all the files on your host.
  3. Transfer the files from your host to your local directory and make sure that you save all the files and folders in the directory that WordPress is installed in.
  4. After your files have completed transferred, you can compress the files by using a compression program. This step is not necessary, but it can save you a lot of disk space.

In the meantime, there are a total of three steps to backup WordPress database.

  • Log in to phpMyAdmin that is a web interface for MySQL administration. If you have no idea how to get to phpMyAdmin, you should ask the technical support team of your web host for help.
  • Select your WordPress database that you would like to backup from the database menu. If you have multiple MySQL databases and have no idea which one your site is using, you need to open the wp-config.php file in the WordPress root folder and you will see the database name saved next to the DB_NAME option.

select database

  • Click on the “Go” button to start the backup procedure for your database.

Use Web Host Backup Service

This can be called as the automatic WordPress backup, which is the service offered by your hosting provider. You can use this method but not rely on it fully. Most web hosts will offer the basic backup service on a regular basis. However, if you pay the extra money, maybe you can get the premium backup service.

BlueHost, for instance, provides the daily backup for free. However, if you purchase the add-on service of Backup Pro, you can enjoy the more convenient and efficient backup and restoration solution.

Here, we need to note that all your backup files are stored at a separate web server but not the one your site lives on. This makes sure that your backup files can be safe when your site server is hacked.

Use Backup Plugins to Backup WordPress Website

A great WordPress backup plugin enables you to make a backup file of your website effectively. Having reviewed hundreds of WordPress backup plugins, we have selected the best 5 that are rich-featured and easy-to-use, but won’t slow down your website. In the following, we have displayed major information about the winners.

1. UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus is one of the most reliable backup plugins available in Since now, it has been downloaded for more than 300,000 times all over the world. It simplifies the backup process by offering super simple tools. Besides, this plugin carries out the backup automatically on a repeating schedule, which can be adjusted to suit your needs.

Feature Listing

  • Backup automatically on a repeating schedule
  • Database backups can be encrypted for security
  • Files and database backups can have separate schedules
  • Quick restore (both file and database backups)

2. BackUpWordPress

BackUpWordPress is designed to back up your whole site, including your database and all of your files on a schedule that suits you. This plugin enables you to use zip and MySQL dump for faster backups if they are available, manage multiple schedules, and work in low memory. In addition, this plugin works excellently on both Linux and Windows servers, with which your backups can be sent by email selectively.

Feature Listing

  • Manage the backup schedule freely
  • Super user-friendly
  • Zip and MySQL dump utilization
  • Works properly in low memory environment
  • E-mail the backup file automatically
  • Exclude files and folders from your backups

3. WP-DB-Backup

WP-DB-Backup is a powerful WordPress plugin used to back up the core database content and tables. It is relatively easy-to-use as compared with many other plugins available online and can work properly in a shared web hosting environment. Besides, it pays much attention to database backup, ensuring the highest level of website security.

This is an excellent plugin because you are capable of scheduling it to back up your WordPress database automatically.

Feature Listing

  • Database backup focus
  • Ultimately easy-to-use
  • Multiple options for backup schedule

4. Simple Backup

Simple Backup is a user-friendly WordPress backup plugin, just as the name suggests. With it, you can carry out a comprehensive and regular backup practice to your site easily. It utilizes MySQL dump for automatic and reliable database backups and is able to perform some common optimizations to your WordPress sites and MySQL Database before backup.

It stores the backup files in a directory called “simple-backup”, which is located at the root of your WordPress directory. If Simple Back cannot locate that directory, you will receive an error message and need to create one manually.

Feature Listing

  • Manage automatic WordPress backup schedule freely
  • Proper WordPress site and database optimization
  • E-mail notification for backup process
  • Easy to understand and manage dashboard

5. Online Backup for WordPress

This plugin enables you to back up your content with ease. The backup files will be stored in one of the 3 places according to your needs: folders on your server, email inboxes, or Backup Technology’s secure data centers with up to 100 MB free online storage space. One of the shining features of this plugin is that it encrypts the backup files for security.

Feature Listing

  • Schedule backups available in daily or weekly schedule
  • Backup into a local folder
  • Full AES encryption support
  • Download on-demand backups as a ZIP file

Back-Up WordPress Using the BackUpWordPress Plugin

Among the above-mentioned WordPress plugins, we’d like to take this one as an example for website backup. As compared with the other options, this plugin works in a simpler way so it is suitable for newbies who require the basic and quick backup process of their WordPress sites.

After the installation, you can click the Tools > Backups button, and then, hit the Settings option. Here, you just need to decide some simple configurations.

  • You can choose to back up database only, files only or both of them in one time.
  • You can schedule the backup process on the hourly, daily, weekly and monthly basis.
  • You can decide the backup period of a day based on the 24-hour format.
  • You need to provide your email address. If the backup file is small, it can be attached to the email along with the backup notification.
  • You can decide how many backup files can be stored on your website servers.

Now, this plugin will start the backup process for your website based on the settings you have decided. If you need to back up the website right now, you can hit the Run Now button. Once finished, you can check the file from the bottom section. Here, you’d better click the Download button to save the file in a safe location. If you fail to do this, the file can be stored on your server.

Simple Tips to Restore WordPress from Backup

In addition, we are to further explain how to restore WordPress from back in detail, mainly from three perspectives including restoring the database backup of WordPress with cPanel, using phpMyAdmin to restore WordPress database, and restore a WordPress site manually. Just keep scrolling down and then learn how to take some precautions.

Option A > Restore the Database Backup of WordPress with cPanel

This choice is the one requiring the least endeavor and time. The reason is that you can restore the database directly within cPanel provided that you have already manually used cPanel to create the WordPress database backup previously. Specific steps are as follows.

  1. Log into the Control Panel and Click Backups
  2. After you have entered the page of Backups, you are able to restore your MySQL database backup by clicking the Choose File and select the backup file from your hard disk. Afterwards, just click the Upload button.

Option B > Use phpMyAdmin to Restore WordPress Database

The database includes almost all momentous raw data for your WordPress website, including pages, posts, comments, settings and so forth. Hence, obviously, it is the most crucial part. And phpMyAdmin refers to a program designed to remotely manipulate the databases via a web interface.

Option C > Restore A WordPress Site Manually

Initially, grab your backup files. Afterwards, upload your database. Finally, use FTP to upload files to your website. Please read the detailed description below.

Snatch at the Backup Files

Exactly, the first thing you need to do is to get command of the files and folders you want to restore. This part turns to be quite easy if you have set up scheduled backups regularly. Firstly, click “Backups”. Then, there is a list of backups for you to choose from. At last, download the necessary ZIP files to a manageable location on your computer.

Upload Your Database

We have emphasized the significance of database previously. Thus, it should be prioritized to get the database run and backed up. To do this, you should access phpMyAdmin which is available in the control panel. Log into your control panel and find out whether the database is unwounded or not.

Use FTP to Upload Files to Your Site

We have already backed up and uploaded the most important database before. The rest parts can be simply uploaded by FTP. So exactly how to do it? Do a backup first. Then, log into your website via FTP and navigate to the root directory. Finally, upload files and folders you need. The key point is that you will need to transfer the whole backup folder by FTP if the site has been entirely wiped.

With the above step by step guidance, we have showed you how to restore a site from backup. However, for some WordPress newbies, they may need some technical support at times.

Since some top-notch web hosts offer 24/7 technical support with which users are able to reach responsive and helpful assistance, we recommend the following providers which are famed for their services of affordable prices, rich features, outstanding performance and prompt technical support. Please note that this is based on our real hosting experience and hundreds of customer reviews.

Rick Hammond

I'm a marketing consultant by trade and also own a portfolio of over 20 websites. Over the years I have tested most of the well know hosting companies for my sites and therefore can give insight into which are good and which are not from my personal experiences.

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