Has your WordPress site ever crashed or given you a white screen of death? It doesn’t matter how good your content, marketing, or products and services if your website crashes. I recently responded to a Tweet requesting help for a broken WordPress site. I regularly see frantic tweets from people who broke their website and who don’t have a backup. Every website needs a backup and restoration plan because eventually your site will go down. If you are prepared for this eventuality, you have little to worry about. So let’s go over how to implement a simple and effective back-up and restore plan your website so that you never lose any of your data.
Before we cover the backup plan, if you already broke your site, don’t have a backup, and need a solution right now, contact your hosting company. Most hosting companies periodically run back-ups and they should have one for your site. But many hosting companies charge to restore your site and their backups are infrequent so you would lose anything you have worked on since the date of the last backup. My hosting company does weekly backups so I could lose up to a week of data.
If you have multiple sites and shared hosting this is an even bigger problem because when your hosting company restores your site, you will need to tell them to restore only the database that corresponds with the website that is down. Otherwise your hosting company will restore all your databases on your shared hosting account. If the backup they have of your database is 7 days old, this will cause any changes to all of your websites over the past week to be lost.
There are several different types of website backups so you will need to know the differences so you know what type of backup to have available:
- Full backups create an archive of all the files and configurations on your website. You can only use this to move your account to another server, or to keep a local copy of your files. You cannot restore full backups through your cPanel interface.
- Database Backup-Used to restore your website from you cPanel. Read the details instructions below.
- Posts, Pages, and other content-You can manually export all of your content from your WordPress Dashboard/Tools/Export. While you can export all of you content, your theme and settings are not contained in the export.
You need to always have a fresh database backup of your website available so can have your site back up and running in just minutes. The only way to ensure you have always have a current backup is the set up automatic updates. The easiest way to accomplish this is to install the DB Backup plugin. The plugin will install the backup menu in your WordPress Dashboard/Tools. Configure it to backup your entire main database and set it up to email you the file automatically.
When disaster does strike, you can restore your website from your hosting provider’s cPanel. Go to Backup icon in you cPanel and upload you database file.
From the cPanel of your hosting account, click on the Backup icon.
After you upload your database backup, your website will be back up in less than a minute.