how to backup your WordPress site

how to backup your WordPress site // tiny blue orange

but fear not, my friend, because i have 3 backup options for you — and one of them is free!

option #1: the free plugin backup

if you are looking for a free option to get a site backup right away, look no further than BackWPUp. i’ve been using this plugin for site migrations + for clients that didn’t budget for a premium plugin.

once you’ve installed + activated the plugin, click “add new job” to create your site backup.

there numerous settings to choose from, but here are the basics to create a backup that you can use to clone your site, if you ever need to.

how to backup your WordPress site // tiny blue orange

then run your backup + download it to your computer, you’ll only need to migrate the wp-content folder + any webfont folders you may have. you’ll also get a .sql file that you can use to upload to an existing or new database.

but again, that’s only if you need to use your backup to restore. otherwise download the file for safe keeping + move on to your to do list’s next task.

this plugin is great, but it does require some nerd powers to use because you’ll need to upload the sql file + overwrite the wp-content folder on any WordPress install that you set up.

but it is free, so there’s a bit of give + take.

plus, finding someone that can help import your backup is easier than finding someone that can build you a new site because yours is 100% gone since you weren’t backing it up.

option #2: the paid plugin backup

if the notes above felt too nerdy for you, this option is perfect! i’ve been using BackupBuddy for years + love how user-friendly it is for clients to take over once we launch a site.

after you purchase a copy + install it, head to BackupBuddy > Settings.

  • enter your email address for the error notification recipients
  • limit the total number of local backups to 10 or less (i like having a few on hand, but there’s rarely a need to have more than a handful)
  • check the “all tables” radio button to ensure you backup your entire database
  • click “save general settings”

then you’re all set to backup your site.

start by going to BackupBuddy > backup + click “database only”. let it run + then go to the same area to click “complete backup” after the database backup is complete. the complete backup includes everything that exists on your site, so that’s the one you’ll want to download for safe keeping.

option #3: daily hosting account backups

if the thought of one more plugin has you going cross-eyed, i get it.

you can likely turn to your hosting company for help with backups. some will charge you an additional fee + others have it built into the hosting price.

for example, WP Engine + Flywheel (aff link) offer daily site backups automatically. you do not have to do a thing for this to be running behind the scenes — which is awesome!

otherwise check your hosting company’s site or call their support team to find out what your backup options are.

psst! we take care of our hosting clients by providing scheduled nightly backups that start the day their site is migrated over.

now go back that shit up so you don’t have to fear losing all of your content + hard work to one unfortunate moment of your site getting hacked!



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