How to Backup WordPress

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A step-by-step guide on how to Backup your WordPress blog or site using the BackupBuddy plugin. You can backup your database or your full site and can schedule your backups for full automation.
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Backing up your WordPress site with the BackupBuddy by iThemes is suprisingly easy.

The Scenario

As an example, let’s say that you have one or more WordPress blogs or sites that need to be backed up. You would like to automate the process and want like to backup the whole shebang.

Therefore, we need a system that:

  • Backups up your databases.
  • Backups up the files included in your WordPress site.
  • Does this automatically at set intervals.

Step 1 – You need some hosting space

If you want to make a full backup (database + site files), I recommend purchasing some hosting space from a company that allows backups to be stored on your account. A good choice would be Amazon S3. Some shared hosts also allow backups but check before you buy as most hosts do not like backups being stored on their servers, due to they typically consuming a lot of bandwidth and storage space.

Step 2 – Enter BackupBuddy

You can now purchase BackupBuddy, no it’s not free unfortunately, but you will be glad you bought it as it’s 100% worth the cost. They have several plans:

Personal Plan – $45

This is ideal for the personal blogger or single website owner. It includes:

  • Automatic upgrades: 2 sites
  • Support (provided through our online forum): 2 sites
  • Membership length for support and updates: 1 year from time of purchase
Business Plan – $75

This is ideal for the bloggers and website owners with multiple sites. It includes:

  • Automatic upgrades: 10 sites
  • Support (provided through our online forum): 10 sites
  • Membership length for support and updates: 1 year from time of purchase
Developer Plan – $150

This is ideal for the WordPress developers and designers seeking to use the plugins on personal, business and client websites and blogs. It includes:

  • Automatic upgrades: Unlimited
  • Support (provided through our online forum): Unlimited
  • Membership length for support and updates: 1 year from time of purchase

According to our scenario, if you have a couple of WordPress sites (up to 10), you would be covered by opting for the Business Plan.

Follow the normal steps for installing the plugin, then access the BackupBuddy admin panel in your Wp-Admin.

Step 3 – Time to setup BackupBuddy

Click on BackupBuddy > Settings. The most important settings here are those related to where you will be backing up your files to. So enter your FTP details if you are using normal hosting, or fill in the Amazon S3 options if you have opted for that. Make sure to click the button to test your settings. Also make sure you enter a valid email address to use for notifications. I like to tick the option for enabling scheduled notifications, as this will let you know when each backup has run (successfully or not). You can leave the rest of the settings on this screen as they are.

Click on BackupBuddy > Scheduling. I like to take a regular database backup and a more sporadic full backup. The reason for this is that the database backup eates up less space than the full backup, and the database changes more frequently too. Therefore we need to schedule two backups, a database backup to be taken every week and a full backup to be taken every month.

Name the first backup ‘Database’ and select ‘Database Only’ for the Backup Type option. You can then set a backup interval of ‘Weekly’. Most importantly, use the dropdown on the last option to instruct BackupBuddy to send the files to your FTP account. Tick ‘Delete local backup’ as this will only bloat your local installation. Lastly click on the ‘Add Schedule’ button.

WordPress Database Backup

Next we need to set up the Full Backup. We follow the same procedure as before, naming the backup ‘Full Site’ this time round, setting the backup type to ‘Full Backup’, with a backup interval of ‘Monthly’. In the screenshot below I selected the option for uploading the file to Amazon S3, but you can choose whatever applies to you. You can also send the file via email, but this will practically only work in the case of database backups (for small sites) as backup files are usually too big to pass through most email systems.

WordPress full site backup

That’s it! You have successfully setup an automated WordPress backup system. You can now repeat this process on all your sites. Remember to keep the plugin updated, and you can keep track of your backups by checking under Backupbuddy > Backups every now and then, to see whether everything is working fine.

Before ending this post, there is one more backup tool, I think is worth mentioning – BlogVault. It’s one of the most reliable WordPress backup solutions and I use it for taking real-time backups for a number of my websites and eCommerce sites.

BlogVault has a comprehensive approach to backups and therefore offers a set of useful features. It takes daily automatic backups that you can also schedule as per your convenience and even take on-demand backups whenever you need. For large websites, it takes incremental backups and for WooCommerce sites, BlogVault offers a real-time backup feature. Users can go back in time and access up to 365 days of backup and choose which one you want to restore with their one-click auto-restore feature. Not just that, there are options for off-site storage, and even staging and migration of sites.

Let us know if you found this post helpful in the comments below.

Jean Galea

Jean Galea is an investor, entrepreneur, and blogger. He is the founder of WP Mayor, the plugins WP RSS Aggregator and Spotlight, as well as the podcast. His personal blog can be found at

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