How to backup (or migrate) your WordPress website

A few months ago, I crashed a MacBook Pro and lost everything I owned. It was tragic, but luckily I had a backup from a week earlier and the crisis was avoided. The same can’t be said about the average website. When people lose their websites, there often isn’t a backup, and there’s nothing your web developer can do to save you.

Instead, let’s look at a handful of methods for avoiding loss and how a few simple steps can save you a lot of pain if your website is hacked, or lost.

Backup plugins

There are a handful of backup plugins out there, and WP-DB-Backup which, as the name implies will backup your WordPress database but what it won’t do is restore your WordPress backup. For that, you’ll need phpMyAdmin or a similar SQL tool.  This is great for technically focussed WordPress users but a little too complicated for the average user.

Another great plugin that I love is WP-DB-Migrate-Pro by Delicious Brains. This is a paid plugin, but it’s excellent for syncing two WordPress databases. On a practical level, this is more of a migration tool than a backup tool but it accomplishes both so well that I love it.

Backup services

Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com has a service (bundled with Jetpack) called VaultPress which will allow you to backup your WordPress database to their cloud services.

ManageWP has a powerful backup solution as part of their hosted maintenance service, it’s one of my favourite features and I’ve written about ManageWP before.

Hosting backups

Some hosting companies, such as ManageWP include a comprehensive backup service for your WordPress website.

When it comes to WordPress backups, what really matters is that you’re confident both in your website backups, and your ability to restore those backups after something has gone wrong.

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