Backing up your blog is essential. Your host (hopefully) conducts regular backups of the server your site is hosted on, but if you backup yourself, you have the ability to restore your site quickly if needed.
There are two things that need to be backed up regularly:
- Your database (your posts, comments, etc.)
- Your files (your theme, plugins, images and various other items that make your site work and look nice)
How to Backup your Database
- The easiest way to backup your database is to install a plugin which automates the process. I personally use WordPress Database Backup, but there are many available. (Simply search the Plugin Directory as I described in How to Install a Plugin.) Note, this will not back up your files (see below).
- Find your backup plugin's settings. In the case of WordPress Database
Backup, go to Dashboard–>Tools–>Backup. (If you're using a different plugin, you might also find the settings in Dashboard–>Settings–>name of plugin.)
- Configure your settings. It's pretty self-explanatory. Here's what mine look like. (Click any image for a larger view.)
Choose the items you want to back up:
If you want to do a backup immediately, you'd choose the place to send it and click "Backup now!" Like this:
Schedule a regular backup by choosing how often and which items you want backed up. Enter your email address and then click "Schedule backup". Like so:
As you can see, I get a backup emailed to me daily. In order to save time and not have to deal with it coming to my email inbox, I set up a filter so those emails get automatically archived in Gmail. No hassle.
How to Backup your Files
- There are various ways to do it, but I'll show you how to do so via FTP. (Here's how to access your FTP.)
- Then transfer your blog's files from your server to your computer. This process is just like I described in How to Install a Plugin or Theme Via FTP, except instead of moving your files from the left (your computer) to the right (your server), you will transfer the opposite way. Like this:
How to Zip Your Files to Save Space
Want more detailed information about backing up? Here's more from WordPress.