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How To Backup Your WordPress Blog In Three Easy Steps

A guest post on backing up your wordpress blog by Jason Tarasi

Do you want to see your blog on the side of a milk carton? No? Then keep reading because…

It is very likely this will be the most important article you read all year. Of course you can choose to skip this article, but you will regret it, especially since I am such a groovy kind of guy. Ok, I hate bellbottoms and green furniture, so maybe I’m not so groovy. However, I am going to show you an easy way to protect your most valuable marketing asset – your WordPress blog.

If you understand the difference between how to backup both your MYSQL database and your standard Word Press files, congratulations! You don’t really win anything, except peace of mind, which I consider invaluable. However, there are literally thousands of WordPress users who are in the dark about the proper way to backup their blogs (yes, I’m probably talking about you).

Unfortunately, even experienced online marketers are making this same mistake. My partner, who makes hundreds of thousands of dollars every year online, was also totally clueless. When I asked him to backup one of our membership site blogs, he sent me a zip file that just included the main WordPress files. When I asked where the database file was, he got a look on his face like he just French kissed Jabba the Hut. Since I couldn’t stand the look on his face for a minute longer, I had to explain why it was so important to have the database file.

Now this is where you should start to pay attention *cough*

Your Word Press blog is powered by a MYSQL database. This database stores all of your content and the settings for your blog. Without this database, your blog would essentially be a black hole lacking any content. Now what most people don’t know is that this database resides on another part of the hosting server. Since the file is in a different location, it needs to be backed up separately from your standard Word Press files.

So here is what all of this means; if your host has a server crash, you will not be able to restore your blog without the MYSQL database. Basically, you will be up a creek without a paddle, a boat, any food, no mapÖ you get the idea, right?

At this point you are probably telling yourself that your hosting company will backup this file for you, right? Not exactly. Many hosting companies are not responsible for backing up your files. I found this out the hard way several years ago, and it could easily happen to you next. So don’t be foolish enough to rely on your Website host to do this for you.

Now here is the good news – you can backup your MYSQL database in three easy steps by following this simple plan:

Step One:

Go and download the “Word Press Database Backup” plugin here.

Step Two:

Install the plugin on your blog.

Step Three:

Set the plugin to your desired specifications. It really is quite straightforward to setup, but you can always refer to the plugin documentation for help.

I personally set the plugin to make either a daily or a weekly backup for each of my blogs. If I post to a blog frequently, I make a daily backup. If I post infrequently, that blog is backed up on a weekly basis. I then have the backup file sent to my email. However you wish for the file to be saved is entirely up to you though. Simply use the method you are most comfortable with.

From start to finish, the entire process takes about 10 minutes per blog. That is of course if you grab a snack to slow you down. So there is absolutely no excuse not to set this up today. I would think ten minutes of your time is well worth the peace of mind you will feel when it’s done.

Now you could be lazy and find out the hard way how much fun it is to have your entire blog wiped out, with no hope of ever seeing it again.

Is ten minutes of your time worth going through that?

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About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. sony says:

    Also download export xml file from wp-tools.

  2. I’m so clueless too. It’s one of those things you realise you don’t know enough about, until after having the site for a while. Then a friend of mine lost their site through screwing around in the DB, so I use the above plugin. Scary to think about losing one’s blog *shudders*

  3. Excuse my ignorance, but how do I backup the WordPress Files then?

    I’ve been using the plugin for a while, but it sounds like this is not enough?

  4. Thanks for the walk-through. I’ve been putting off setting up back ups until now but it seems easy enough.

  5. Rocky Garcia says:

    One. Two. Three. Then your blog is secured. Why don’t you use these steps in order to keep your blog’s security? There are so many technical problems your blog may encounter in the future, so you should back it up regularly. Maybe once a week, or depends on your own scheduling. How often your back up your blog?

  6. Word press blogging is the most popular blog site. It so easy to plugin.

  7. Well this is very handy one and I am sure people who internet business but do not know anything about this can get benefit easily.

  8. I’d like to join Tony, Michele and Jon in asking for instructions on restoring the database from the backup. Like many other tasks, it’s probably “easy when you know how” but it’s not exactly the type of thing you can learn by trial and error.

  9. Excellent Advice! So many people wait until the dreaded has happened and then, after they pull all their hair out, they have to start over from scratch!

  10. work at home says:

    Thank you Jason Tarasi for this great infomration about backup wordpress blog. Although I am using blogger blog afterall I like this blog post very informative and helpful.

  11. Great plugin helpful for myself and my friends

  12. cjwright says:

    I’m an amateur here and a bit confused. Do we need to do this for our free wordpress blogs?

    cj

  13. It’s a great plugin. I’ve been using it for a few years now… nice and handy to always get a backup e-mailed to you every week. :)

  14. Vongoda says:

    Thanks for the tips but I think backup by using cpanel is little easier.

  15. Roger Duck says:

    Backing up your WordPress data is critical and this plug-in provides an easy solution. Knowing that your WordPress blog is protected from the ultimate blogging disaster lets you sleep at night. Well worth the investment in time and research.

  16. I have 22 blogs to back up…going to do them all now. Thanks for the tips and the link to the plugin!

  17. Word press blogging is the most popular blog site. This is nice tip for wordpress owners in the case when something goes wrong.
    Thank you :-))

  18. Jim says:

    This is a good plugin to have. I’ve used it most of this year, and although I haven’t had to restore from it yet, it at least covers my needs

  19. I have been using this plugin for a while and find it good.

    In addition to this I have a folder for each of my sites and in that folder is a sub-folder called “website backups” – every other day I create a sub-sub-folder in “website backups” and give at a name based on the date created.

    I used this format – YYMMDD – so they can be listed in date order.

    I then use filezilla ftp client to effectively drag the entire contents of my hosts server down to this folder – so therefore I have all the plugins, themes, EVERYTHING!

    I run on a 28 day rotation – deleting the folder after 29 days – I do however keep the folder from 1st of each month indefinitely in case there is a long term problem come to light.

    HTH

  20. wall-e says:

    wow! im glad i read this post, it rattled me for a moment there. this plug in is great by the way.

  21. Most hosting companies also have a one step back up for your databases. This is essentially the same thing except you have to do it manually.

    I prefer to back up my database when I see a new version of WordPress because this seems to be the most obvious time to back everything up.

    Hosting companies also back up their servers on a daily basis, so you should be pretty safe.

  22. Casey says:

    I have read about that plug-in quite a bit, but was finally convinced to install it, haha. Thanks…and more like 3 minutes of your time. Cheers!

  23. Udaysree says:

    thanks for this post. always wanted to know how to do backups. can someone, Darren perhaps?, write a more comprehensive post explaining ALL about backup? reading all the replies i can see there is knowledge about this topic missing…

    i for example don’t know what is the MYSQL database content.

    what are the standard WP files and how can i back them up?

    most important, how can i restore the MYSQL database and the standard WP files.

    please lift the confusion, Darren!

  24. umar says:

    I am also going to install wordpress plugin. It’s really nice

  25. Lots of comments about this plugin and how it backs up the SQL database, but How do I backup the WP files? I’ve seen this asked many times, but no answers. Is there a plugin to backup the WP files?

    Love this plugin…

  26. yoan says:

    thanks for sharing this value info. never backup my wordpress before, it’s a great thing to save our daily works

  27. Marija says:

    Still confused… I go to my WordPress Dashboard, click “Manage”, then “Export”, and then “Download Export File” and as they claim the backup “will contain your posts, comments, custom fields, and categories”. Is that not enough a backup? What is missing in that backup?

    Please advise.

  28. BloggerDaily says:

    Nice steps. Starting to make backup as a habit now!

  29. Matthew L. says:

    Thanks for this post. I feel I can actually do this myself now instead of paying a programmer to back up my blog. I was under the misconception that it took quite a bit longer, too.

  30. Thank you very very much. I’ve never backed up my blog before either.

    I think I probably owe you a steak dinner for this — both of you, Darren and Jason. Or some really really great tofu if you’re vegetarians.

  31. Vincent, there is a separate WordPress Backup plug-in from Blog Traffic Exchange for backing up your themes, plug-ins, and uploaded files.

  32. A good database backup plugin is a must, but so is periodically backing up those WordPress files.

  33. titan says:

    yup. That will save our time.

  34. I’ve been running that plugin for awhile. Haven’t tried a restore yet though, and would love to see further info on that too. I also do the ‘export’ and perhaps once per month do the FTP transfer of the entire site to my ‘puter.

  35. Carly says:

    This was a very helpful post and I’ve downloaded and installed the plugin. I had no idea that exporting the WordPress fies was not enough to completely restore a blog, so thanks!

  36. Carly says:

    This was a very helpful post and I’ve downloaded and installed the plugin. I had no idea that exporting the WordPress files was not enough to completely restore a blog, so thanks!

  37. the db content is not enough for complete backup, you also need everything in the wp-content directory, especially plugins, themes and uploads. a backup copy of your wp-config.php file would also be useful.

  38. Sarge says:

    Sounds so simple! Will definitely be setting this up in the next couple of weeks. Cheers :)

  39. Thanks for the great insights. Would definitely come in handy when I backup my blog http://www.medicalisland.net.

    Thanks again.

  40. Infogle.com says:

    Nice Post – I do appreciate the content written. Keep it up.Thanks

  41. I like the way you present the post.Very clear and useful for a newbie like me. Your way of writing posts is great and I think this was and will be your best strategy to win the attention of your readers. I would like to visit your blogs oftenly. Keep blogging.

  42. Amy Harrison says:

    Love love this. Have been guiltily ignoring it on my to do list but after trying a new method of getting things done today I tackled it and it was painless, nay almost enjoyable.

    Thank you!

  43. Mistral says:

    I would suggest you try also the XCloner for WordPress plugin from http://www.joomlaplug.com/Tools/Wordpress/XCloner_for_Wordpress.html ; well worth the money, it backups both the files and database, and can also be setup for automated cronjobs

  44. Asif Raza says:

    hello
    I will follow the instructions.thanks for sharing information

  45. hostpapa says:

    i’d installed but due to some reason, my drag and drop dashboard not functioning.
    maybe its not compatible with my custom template.

    anyway, ur post really explained. thank you

  46. Sarge says:

    Just installed this and it’s great to be able to back up my database to my hard drive without fear of losing everything.

    It really does take 10minutes too, very simple set up. Really recommend this!