So, you've got your perfect website, everything is up to date and working smoothly, and you've just published your latest blog post..
How would you feel if you lost all of that time and hard work?
Most likely, the answer is that you would be utterly devastated, and it could happen for any number of reasons, so backing up your site should never be overlooked, as it will make recovery simple, rather than losing everything and having to start again from scratch.
Don't assume that it won't happen to you, servers can crash, sites can be hacked, updates can go wrong and people can simply make mistakes.
For these reasons it is extremely important to make regular backups of your site, don't assume that your hosting provider does this for you, most likely they do not!
Backing up your site usually takes less than 30 minutes and in this post we will show you how.
In this guide, we will be working on cPanel hosting, if you are not using cPanel, you will probably still find that your hosting platform is very similar but the options may vary slightly.
Before beginning to create a back up of your site, we recommend creating a folder named backup or something similar which includes the date, as you should be keeping regular backups, this will allow you to easily see when the back up was created.
Inside the folder, create another folder named db or database, and one called site. The first will be where we back up our database and the second will hold our website files.
WordPress like many websites and content management systems, stores your data in a database. This will include everything from your page and post data, to configuration and user data.
To back up the database, the first step is to log into your web host and go to phpMyAdmin.
Once you are in phpMyAdmin you will see a windows on the left containing the information_schema and your WordPress database. If you have multiple databases, they will all be listed here.
Select you WordPress database by clicking on its name in the left hand window.
This will expand the database in the left hand window, so that you will now see the tables within the database, and the database will now also be displayed in the main window, again listing all of the tables contained in it.
You do not need to expand or do anything to the tables, at the top of the main window, there are a number of tabs, simply select the export option.
You can choose to leave the export method as quick, then select Go and your database will be exported to your downloads folder. Simply move this file from to the db folder in the backup folder that you created earlier.
Your database is now backed up
Next you need to back up your files, these are the files and folders which are in the public_html directory of your site, you can use your FTP client or the file manager function in your webhosting to access the files.
In this article we will be using FileZilla to connect to the server via FTP.
Before downloading your files, you will need to connect the FTP client to your cPanel or webserver.
Once you open the FTP client, you will need to enter the server address, login username and password, then click on Quickconnect.
You will then be connected to the webhost and be able to view the files on the server as well as on your computer.
Double click on the public_html folder, which is the folder you will need to download your website files from.
To backup your website from the server to your computer, simply drag the contents of the public_html folder from the server window on the right to the site folder we created in the backup folder earlier.
Once the files have downloaded successfully, your web site back up is complete.
Remember, it is important to make regular backups of your site, the more often that you update your site, the more often you should perform a backup.
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