Backing up WordPress

You will put in a lot of effort in setting up and posting to your WordPress Blog.  You want to make sure that a glitch in your hosting computer does not wipe that all away.  For this reason you should be making periodic back-ups of your Blog.

There are three ways to make a back-up of the database that holds all of your pages and posts.  The first method (that I recommend only to those of you that are highly tech savvy) is to use the phpMyAdmin utility that is found in most hosting control panels.  This utility is capable of fully manipulating the mySQL database that is working behind the scenes supplying WordPress with all of its information.  It can add, delete, and modify any table in the database in addition to performing the export operation that you would use to back-up the data.  One false operation though and you can corrupt the database and then you are in real trouble.

The second option which is far safer is the WordPress Export function that comes built-in with the WordPress installation.  The configuration as installed will export all of the information for your posts and pages.  All you have to do is go to that page from the WordPress dashboard and hit the export button at the bottom of the page.  While this is fine for backing-up most of your information, it does have a couple of drawbacks.  First, it only happens when you manually go into your WordPress dashboard and command it to export the information.  Secondly, it only backs-up the basic WordPress post/page information.  It does not save any database tables that were added for and used by your plug-ins.

My recommendation is to use the free WordPress Database Backup plug-in.  The advantages are that you can schedule it to perform a backup on a regular schedule and to email the back-up file to you.  This way you never forget to make the backup.  By default it only saves the same information that the WordPress export function saves.  You can configure it to save from every database table that is being used by your WordPress site.  If you add any plug-ins to your site, you should go back and check the settings for this plug-in.  You may need to add some new tables that the new plug-ins are using.

If you have any “war stories” or your own suggestions for backing up WordPress, please use the comment box below to share them with us.

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  1. Reply

    Great tips on backing up your installation – nothing worse than a server crash or WordPress hack to send you back to square one.

    I use Back-Up Buddy:

    http://pluginbuddy.com/purchase/backupbuddy/

    It’s premium, but worth it. Not only does it save databases and posts, etc, but also your styling, design elements, SEO and more. Well worth the investment.

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