From website migrations to simply backing up your data for this week, it is important to do routine backups of your website from time to time. WordPress does not contain built-in backups, so finding the right program to do the job is crucial. You can do a manual backup of your website via the cPanel, but this can be an unnecessarily complicated process (here is a detailed step-by-step guide on how to do manual backups). Fortunately though, there are plenty of backup plugins out there that will do this automatically and most of them work just fine, however keep in mind that some may only do partial backups (eg only backs up files and not whole sites).
One plugin that we recommend is BackupBuddy, as it will backup your complete website including the database, images, theme files, plugins, etc. BackupBuddy is considered one of the most reliable and user friendly backup plugins out there. Keep in mind, however, that it does cost money as it is considered a premium service. If you want to go the free route, then download BackWPup, which will do a complete save of your installation. It also has an additional schedule feature, so you it can automatically backup your site at scheduled periods. This plugin should, for the most part, work just as well! However we will only be looking at how to backup your website using BackupBuddy today.
Firstly, you will need to buy the version of BackupBuddy you want from their website and then download it onto your computer. From there, head over to the dashboard of your website, go to Plugins and select Add New in the sub-tab. On this page, you will need to install your new plugin onto the website so select Upload Plugin at the top of the page. Find the zip file for BackupBuddy which you have just download and upload it to the website by clicking Install Now. After the plugin has been uploaded, you’ll be sent to a new screen where you just need to click Activate Plugin. BackupBuddy should now be installed and functioning on your website.
You will now see a BackupBuddy icon on the left hand side. Hover over to the text and click on the Backup sub-tab. You will first be asked to fill out some necessary information. The password is an additional safety feature, in the case that one of your backups get stolen so that anyone trying to upload your backup onto their own sites will not be able to without the password. You will also need to select where your new backups will be sent to. We recommend that you send your backups to Dropbox or equivalent, as it will be safer if the backup files are sent to a remote location in case your whole system is compromised. Once you have connected the plugin to your backup destination, you will finally be asked how often you would like to backup your website. This all depends on how often content is uploaded to your site. If you have a small or midsize website with not much content change, then a monthly backup will suffice. If you have a large website or an active blog that is regularly updated, then consider going for the weekly update option. Once that is all complete, hit Save Settings to continue.
Now that the settings are completed, BackupBuddy will automatically create your first backup file and send it to whichever backup destination you choose. This may take a minute or two depending on the size of your site. When the backup is complete, check to make sure it has arrived at your chosen backup destination. You will notice that each backup will have the date included on the file, so you can upload which ever backup you want at any given moment. And that’s basically it – BackupBuddy will automatically backup your site weekly or monthly depending on which option you have chosen in the settings. If you would like to change the settings, or do a manual backup with BackupBuddy, then this can simply be done by either heading to the Settings or Backup sub-tab on the control panel, respectively.