As a business owner, what is the worst possible thing you can imagine happening? We’re guessing that losing your entire website and having to create it again from scratch would be right up there at the top of the list. Therefore, you need to get familiar with the WordPress backup and restore process right away.
Luckily, even if you do lose all of your data to an equipment failure or virus, it doesn’t have to be that bad. With a recent backup on hand, you can painlessly restore your site and be back up and running in little time.
Here’s what you need to know:
What is a Website Backup?
We’ll start with the basics, just to get you up to speed. A backup is the process of making a copy of all of the data on your website and saving it to an external location, like a local server, the cloud, or even your own computer.
There are different ways to create a backup, but many people choose to use one of the countless plugin options available to WordPress users. Many are free and offer features such as automatic backup scheduling and cloud storage right out of the box.
For the more technically inclined, or those who would rather do things themselves, manual backups are always an option. The steps are fairly simple:
- Open an FTP client, like FileZilla
- Log into your account
- Download the entire WordPress folder to your computer
It is worth noting, as well, that most hosting companies provide backups as part of their services. Check with yours to see how often they back up, what they back up, and where they save it.*
Restoring WordPress from a Backup File
There are several ways you can restore your website using a backup file, including plugins and manual restoration. These are the two most common options:
- Restoring WordPress Using a Plugin
Doing a WordPress backup and restore for your website via a plugin is typically a simple option. Just remember: in order to restore your website using a plugin, you’ll have to have made your backup using that same plugin. You can’t, for instance, manually create a backup and then install a plugin later hoping to use it for restoration. With that in mind, here are some things to consider when choosing the right backup and restore plugin for your business:
- Look for a plugin that offers cloud backup, so your data can be safely stored in an offsite location
- Don’t leave backups to chance: choose a plugin that lets you automatically schedule your backups at certain intervals
- Make sure the plugin you choose is suited to your business: some can only handle smaller sites
- Lastly, make sure it specifically says it’s for backup and restoration: a backup alone isn’t going to do you any good when you need to get your site up and running again
- Restore WordPress from a Manually Created Backup
When restoring WordPress from a manual backup, you have two choices:
- Create a new database and import your backup into it
- Empty your existing database and import your backup
To create a new database, follow these steps:
- login to the cPanel dashboard of your WordPress hosting account and click on the MySQL Databases icon
- provide a name for your new database and hit the ‘Create Database’ button
- add a MySQL user associated with the new database
- go to the cPanel dashboard and click on phpMyAdmin
- click on your new database name and then click the import button
- click on ‘choose file’ and select your WordPress database backup file
- Click on ‘go’
- PhpMyAdmin will now upload your backup and import it into your database
If you plan on keeping your current database, just start with step #4.
Executing a WordPress backup and restore for up your website isn’t difficult, and it provides the safety net you need in case of any catastrophic loss of data. We only went over two of the options for backup, but there are countless different ways you can do it. If you’d like to discuss alternatives, reach out to our friendly service representatives today.
*InMotion Hosting no longer offers free backups. Instead, InMotion suggests that customers take advantage of the backup manager service available at a rate of $2/month. Keeping backups of your site is critical to site security.