If you’re running a WordPress blog or website, be sure to back it up properly. Sure, your host should be running their own back ups but that can’t protect you from corruption or human error plus if something happens, you’ll want to get your site up and running without relying on your host to retrieve your back up for you.

WordPress stores your all important content – posts and comments – in a database, which is stored separately from your plug-ins, templates, images and other files.  Make sure your plan accounts for backing up both types of data!

There are several approaches you can take:

  • Your host should provide a way to push a copy of the database onto the FTP accessible portion of their server so you can use an FTP client to copy everything to your computer or a third party’s server.
  • The WordPress.org codex provides a section on back ups, which includes instructions for using phpMyAdmin to back up and restore the database.
  • You can download one of several plug-ins that will automate the process for you.  Some are free, some are fee-based.  Popular plug-ins include WP-DPmanager or DBC Backup for the database and WordPress Backup for the other files.  EzPz One Click back up and MyEasyBackup can back up both databases and other files through a single interface.
  • You can use a service that will back up and store your WordPress site on their servers for a fee (e.g Vaultpress) or a plug-in like Automatic WordPress Back up, which will back up to cloud storage like Amazon S3

As with all back ups, be sure to follow the 3-2-1 system – 3 copies on 2 types of media with 1 kept off-site and base your back up frequency on how much data you’re willing to lose if something should happen.  And, regardless of the back up approach you decide to take, make sure you understand how to restore your data from your back ups as well.