Prevent disaster: Backup your Wordpress install


One of the biggest horrors of maintaining a website is losing it all by some error you can do nothing about. Backing up your wordpress install, therefore is one of the most crucial things you must do.  Just installing a wordpress plugin might not be enough to do this. These amateur plugins are good, however there is always a chance there goes something wrong with the plugin, since it is programmed by people for free in their spare time. It might not be as good as a professional back up service.


Your wordpress install contains a lot of files. This varies depending on the size of your website, but in most cases it can contain 1000 files or more.  However much of those files are not mandatory to back up. These files are standard to wordpress. Nonetheless, there are files that are specific to your particular website. Those files are crucial to backup.


All the files that make your website unique are stored in this directory. This is the most crucial map to backup.


This file holds the database connection settings for your site.  This file is less crucial than WP-content, but if you change things in the Authentication Unique Keys section, it can be very problematic to restore your old website without this file as a backup.


The most important is your database. If you lose this, you are truly out of business. Your database will store all your posts, comments and settings. If you backup only thing, let it be your database. Without the database, all other backed up files are useless.

Running and storing backups

There are a few ways to run and store backups of your website:

  • Do it yourself. Use FTP to get into your website. Then download all the files needed, such as the database and WP-content. The best thing about doing it yourself is that it is free and you do not need any software.
  • Use a plugin. Plugins can automatically do this process for you. They are most of the time free and will work decently. However the problem is there is no support for free plugins and if you have problems you will have to figure it out yourself.
  • Service. The same as a plugin, however location and security of the backups is set.  This is the safest way to make backups, because the people behind the service have to do this on a daily basis and are more knowledgeable on this subject. Moreover there is great support if things go wrong.