An old popular adage says “forewarned is worth two”, and this applies to everything in life. In the same way, if you are the proud owner of a website built with WordPress, it is better that you keep at least one backup of it. Accidents happen and it is better to be prepared for whatever it is than for someone to have to tell you “I warned you” and regret not having prepared for the worst.
Keeping a site running and updating it constantly, requires a lot of work and dedication as well as patience, so all this work and time invested is better to protect it or otherwise it could happen the least thought, and you find that some error of a plug-in I left your site inoperable, or a hosting crash completely disappeared your page, or a malicious user left your site inaccessible, or etc etc …
Maintaining backup copies of your site is a very simple way to get ready to restore your page in case of any incident, or even as a mechanism to migrate your site to a new hosting; so The following guide explains how to create a backup of your page in WordPress using a free plugin and how to schedule periodic Jobs that update the backups and store the copy in an external location external to your hosting such as DropBox. In the article that I will publish more next week, we will see the steps that must be followed to recover a WordPress site using a previously saved backup.
Make a WordPress backup with backWPup
The first thing we need to make a WordPress backup is to install a plugin to help us with this task. In the catalog of plugins for WordPress there are many that can do this task, some of them are free and others are paid. Generally, those that are paid offer one-click restoration tools, while those that are free require a little more work on our part to do the restoration manually.
I’m going to focus on this guide on the backWPup plugin which is quite popular, and has a free version that makes a full copy of your site, which is more than enough for most users. The list of functionalities of this plugin is quite complete and even in its free version it allows you to automatically export your backup to your dropBox account which in many cases is sufficient. Additional functions such as restoring a WordPress backup in one click, or the ability to save copies to other locations such as Google Drive, are limited to the PRO version.
Before going on to explain the steps to make the backup, it is important that we know some basic aspects about the files that are part of a backup of wordPress.
- Database: the database is backed up in a compressed file, which contains a copy of your page’s SQL database. This file is the heart of your WordPress site, and despite not being very heavy, it contains all the information about the structure of your site, articles, users, permissions and registered visitors among others.
- Files: It contains all the other files that are part of the installation of your WordPress site, as well as the installation files of the plugins, the image files of the articles, the videos and audio that were hosted on your hosting, etc. This information can weigh hundreds of MB or several GB depending on the size of your page, so it is important that you have plenty of space in your
Install and configure backWPup
- In the administration console of your WordPress site, access the plugins menu and press the “add new” button, then search for the backWPup plugin and install the one that appears in the first search result.
- Go back to the installed plugins menu and active backWPup in order to start backing up WordPress.
- As soon as bacWPup is installed and activated, in the right menu bar and above, 2 plugin icons will appear that will allow you to configure the backup copies.
- We already have our plugin ready to make backups, now we can make manual copies of our site at any time or schedule a periodic task to do them for us.
- We access the plugin menu and click on “add new“
- In the tab “general“We give a new name to our job, and in the job destination section we mark” dropBox “. We can also configure some additional options such as sending a confirmation that the backup was successful by email. If you have enough free storage space on your hosting, check the box “backup to folder”To save a local copy of your backup in the hosting.
- In the scheduling tab, we must define a schedule with a WordPress cron, here we can define the periodicity with which we want our site to be backed up.
- The “DB backup” and “files” tabs allow you to configure the parts of your page that you want to backup. In case you don’t want to exclude anything from the copy, you can leave everything as it comes by default.
- Finally, in the tab “A: DropBox” is where you make the pairing of your DropBox account with the job and configure the maximum number of old copies that you want to keep active in the cloud.
Create a job that makes a periodic backup and uploads it to DropBox
Having done the previous steps, you can have the full satisfaction that you have taken a correct step, guaranteeing a little more the security of the information on your page. In the next guide we will see the steps that must be followed to manually restore a backup made of your WordPress page.
I hope you find this guide very useful and can apply it to your own pages. Discuss what other backup alternatives you have used and how easy or complex they are to implement.