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How To Backup WordPress

Learn about a few different ways to backup your WordPress website.

Question: What’s the best way to backup my WordPress blog?

Answer: Through hosting or a few select plugins. Let’s dive in.

If you don’t think of Ron Popeil when you hear the phrase “Set it and forget it” then you have never stayed up to ’til 2 am channel surfin’… in the 90’s! Shame on you.

Mr Popeil was the original master of the infomercial and the Showtime Rotisserie, one of his most popular inventions, was billed as an easy way to cook a chicken. In fact, all you had to do was…”set it and forget it!” I will use this famous slogan at least two more times in this post.

Segue Please!

Right. Backing up WordPress regularly is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself against ignorance, laziness and hackers. By ignorance I mean not knowing that installing a simple plugin can “break” your website and cause you all kinds of frustration. Yes, installing plugins and themes are some of the most common actions that cause WordPress sites to go haywire. By laziness I mean knowing what I just wrote and still not backing up your site before installing a plugin.

Can I get a show of hands of those who have been ignorant and lazy?

Totally raising my hand right now.

With the amount of time it takes to actively manage and grow your website, worrying about backing up your site or how to fix an issue with your website if you mess something up, is a burden you can do without. You need to do yourself a favor and find an easy backup solution that runs automatically, performs as intended and makes it easy to both backup and restore your website. Put another way, a solution that allows you to quite literally “set it and forget it.”

Do Yourself a Favor and Get a Solid Backup Solution

Backup with a managed WordPress hosting company

wp engine

There are some great hosting companies that provide some great additional features including website backups. With that said, the only companies I would recommend would be those that offer managed WordPress hosting like WP Engine, Pagely or Synthesis.

I use WP Engine to host Wpresstic (read my WP Engine Review) and utilize their backup service which comes standard with all of their packages. They automatically do a full backup every morning and I have the ability to do a manual backup whenever I want with a simple click of a button.

Restoring you ask? click of a button…seriously. If I get lazy and screw something up then I can select any restoration point I want and have my site restored in a minute. I don’t have to call tech support to do any of this and this piece of mind is damn near priceless for me. Of all of the backup options I have used (many plugins included), this is the best solution I have used to date.

Backup Buddy

backup buddy plugin

You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable plugin for backing up your WordPress site. Backup Buddy was created by iThemes and is an extremely reliable backup and restoration solutions as well as for site migration. I have used it on client websites and I highly recommend it.

With Backup Buddy you can schedule backups however you see fit and have them sent to Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace cloud, email, FTP or your personal computer. You just need to decide what your schedule is and just… “set it and forget it!”

At the time of this writing you can get a personal license for $80, which gives you use on two computers. They also have some developer options for those who build client websites and need it for more than two sites. Check out their video for more details on the latest features:

You can check out several more of their videos on Backup Buddy here

BackWPup Plugin

back wp up

BackWPup is the only free plugin I would recommend. It has been downloaded almost 1 million times (for good reason), is consistently managed and updated and has been developed by some reputable developers.  It is similar to Backup Buddy in that you can schedule backups and have them pushed to external services like DropBox, Amazon S3 and a few others. They also offer a Pro version for $75 that comes with some added bells and whistles that you may or may not need.

In summary, If you are open to all three of these solutions, I would recommend using the backup feature of a managed WordPress hosting company. I have used several plugins (including both Backup Buddy and BackWPup) and I simply love the worry-free feeling I get with the …”set it and forget it” backup feature WP Engine provides me. Aside from this wonderful feeling, their backup process flat out does what it says it is going to do. I’ve had to call upon it on a few occasions and I have been very pleased with how quickly the restoration process is…again a click of a button is all it takes.

If this is not an option for you right now, then you will be just fine going with either of these two plugins. Having a a rock solid backup process is right up there, in terms of importance, with having reliable hosting and a well built/coded/designed /actively managed WordPress theme .