Back up WordPress before it’s too late. Run a scheduled website backup on autopilot using a free plugin to save yourself headaches and sleep easy. Even as a non-techy!
Sitting in the midst of moving boxes with my laptop I heard a very gentle clicking sound. Then the screen turned black.
The laptop didn’t boot no longer. Hard drive crash. A fatal one. My hands started shaking.
I hope that you have never experienced a complete data loss because you did no backup in a while. I did lose all the data from my laptop. Almost every single last image of our time spent living in Morocco. Right when we had packed to leave!
I was down with my luck. Shortly after that, someone hacked a website I had created. Just for fun, she wiped away all content.
Hard lessons stick Or Why You Need To Backup Your WordPress Website
I cried when I found my webspace empty one morning. I still didn’t bother with backups! How stupid.
I don’t want to imagine what it would be like to be hacked again and everything I created so carefully would be wiped out or hold hostage. Or severe technical issues occurs, an update fails, or a virus sneaks in, …
I don’t want to ever start from scratch again.
But how am I supposed to backup WordPress when I don’t even know where to start?
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Free automated Website BackUp anyone?
If you have a website running on WordPress you can easily have website backups running on an automated schedule of your choice.
I show you how I backup WordPress even without any technical knowhow. And if you want to make sure your blogging work gets seen and shared on Pinterest learn how to easily create stunning vertical pin images using free software in this post with pictured step-by-step instructions.
But security first! Let’s back up all that good work.
It’s free, it’s easy and it may save your sanity one day (that hopefully never comes). Do it today because it is only minutes you have to invest. Yes, even do it if your hosting company backs up your website anyway.
Popular WordPress Backup Plugins
There are several free and premium options to do website backups in WordPress. I found a list of seven most popular ones with short descriptions in this post on wpbeginner.com. I decided to go with BackWPup and chose the free basic version. If you like it you can upgrade to a paid Pro version with more features and better support. BackWPup is very easy to setup, runs smoothly and gets updated regularly.
So first, go to the plugin section and download and activate this plugin to backup WordPress.
Where to store Backups
When I was running the first WordPress backup I tried to have it sent to my email address. This was failing because the file was too large. As this is only a small WordPress website with no fancy stuff I would not suggest sending backup files via email. Probably, they are too large.
This is why I created a free dropbox account. That is where the website backup file goes now and I am happy this way. If you haven’t already then create a dropbox account to store your files.
In addition, I store the last two backups here in WordPress directly. Just to have it in some other place, too. But I would suggest storing it outside of WordPress anyway to be sure you can set up everything from scratch when your WordPress board is somehow conflicted.
Create the job and let it work for you
You have the BackWPup plugin activated and a dropbox account. Let’s get to work.
Go to the BackWPup plugin and create a job. To do so you can click “add new job” in the sidebar or go to “Jobs” and click “create new”.
In the general section give this job a name. I chose “reg backup”. Then click the tasks you want to have backed up. You can add all but “check database tables”.
See my screenshots to show you everything I did. I am truly sorry for the rather poor quality of the pictures. You see how non-techy I am?
Then choose the archive format. I go with a zip file which is easy to handle. After that, you can select the storage place(s). As I said before I have the backup file go to a folder in WP and additionally to my dropbox account. Choose what suits you best. I do not recommend sending by email though because backup files will probably be too big for that.
Schedule when your backup is supposed to run. I use a basic schedule type and then “weekly”. If you post a lot you can do a daily or even hourly backup.
Go to the schedule section and then select how the job is going to be started. Use “WordPress cron” to do it an autopilot.
In the database backup section, I use the default setting of backing up all tables with no compression. This goes also for the files. I have all major boxes checked (default setting) and then excludes some minor boxes like cache or themes I don’t use any more.
In section plugin, you can give the list of plugins a name if you want to.
Finally, you have sections for each place you want your backup to be sent. You have to connect BackWPup with your dropbox account here. Click on the link to authenticate your account. Create a folder for your backups and allow BackWPup to only use this folder. It will overwrite other data with your backup files and if you allow it to use your entire dropbox property you might lose anything in there. Choose how many backups you want to keep here, too. Older ones will be overwritten by BackWPup.
You did it! Now you should have a backup job on your board. If anythings goes wrong this is the place where a failure notification will show up. You can also start an extra run manually from here, e.g. before you update your website.
Now you have a website backup running each week. If you want you can manually start a backup anytime. In addition, BackWPup does support one-click-backups. There is a button to do so in the BackWPup dashboard. If you click it a backup file will be created instantly and you will be asked where you want the download to go (or if your browser downloads files automatically the file will be downloaded right away.)
A word of caution: Please be aware that I never tried to recover a website from the backup file. Follow the instructions at your own risk and keep learning. For a tutorial for how to setup a website from the backup file see this post at wpbeginner.com.
puh… that was a lot. But not hard, was it? I’m proud of you.
I understand if you want to do something more fancy now. Maybe get cute custom social sharing buttons on your blog for free?
But first. Let’s have some coffee now. Or Homemade Caramel Frappuccino.
And please share this tutorial on how to make a website backup in WordPress.