How to backup WordPress Website

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Many websites and blogs are WordPress based, like this one.  Most people assume that with the “Cloud” there is no need to backup.  Wrong!  Your websites and blogs are merely hosted on someone else’s computer.  That computer can die.  You may be paying them to host your website, but they are not responsible for your data (your website or blog content).  Many web hosts do their best to have fault tolerance but if something happens, the responsibility usually falls back on you to have your own local backup.

In the past, websites were designed and stored on your local computer, then uploaded.  If your computer died, just download from the website.  If the website dies, just upload from your computer again.  Today, with WordPress, it’s all online, so if it dies, you’re screwed!  But maybe not, if you are still reading…read on.

I write alot of blogs here and it would be a lot to rewrite if I had a sever crash, virus wipe everything, or I simply tried something different and inadvertently lost everything by my own doing.  🙁  To avoid this costly mistake I take regular backups of my blog.  Many people will have a hard time finding how to backup WordPress because it’s not called “Backup”, it’s called “export”.  Here’s how to do it.

How to backup your WordPress Blog or Website

  1. Sign in to your WordPress site.
  2. Go into your Dashboard (if you’re using a WordPress based blog of website you have to know where this is).  Usually when you login to www.YourWebsite.com/wp-admin (“YourWebsite.com” being your actual website address or your blog or website) you will have a link to view dashboard at the top of your screen, if you’re not already directed to the dashboard immediately upon login.
  3. On the side menu, select Tools then Export
  4. You are now in a screen to choose how you want to export/backup your WordPress.  As you can see in the image below, it gives you the option to choose “All content” which is basically a full backup, or just your posts, or just your pages.
    Select the “All Content” if not already selected and click “Download Export File”.
  5. You will be prompted for a location where to save your exported file.  I recommend creating a folder named appropriately “WordPress backups” and save it there.  You have now successfully backed up your WordPress site.
  6. Each time you do your regular backups going forward, it  saves it with the current date/time stamp so you can restore any backup at anytime after certain changes were made.  Feel free to rename your backups for special adjustments you make such as “Before trying new theme”, “before updating wordpress version”, “Before screwing around with editor”, etc.

Good luck and don’t forget to backup regularly.

About Daniel Gauthier

work as a peace officer in various forms. Daniel wrote a book in 2009 called “Tech-Knowledgy” which got him on television and radio a few times. The concept behind the book was “to level the playing field between computer techs and non-techies so they don’t get take advantage of”. Daniel has a couple certifications including MCP and A+; he is preparing to write the Network+ exam and has studied CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) and CHFI (Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator). Daniel has run his own computer service business “TwinBytes” since 2004. He has done a few talks on cyber security and generally enjoys training, educating and helping others.