How to backup your WordPress website


“OMG! What happened to my site!?”

Ever gotten the proverbial “white screen of death?” It can happen when you’ve updated a plugin, your theme, or even WordPress core. Suddenly your site disappears with just a blank white screen. No error message. No content. Everything just GONE!

But the worst thing is, you have no idea how to fix it!

Backing up your site is critical. Even if you don’t have a of content. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you how to backup your site and how to bring it back if you’ve experienced a disaster.

What’s a backup?

Simply put, a backup is a copy of your database and all the files that make up your website. Usually it’s stored somewhere safe that you can access easily like a separate location on your web server, your hard drive, or a cloud storage platform like Dropbox.

Losing your data is more common than you think – or why you should backup your site

You should always have a backup that you can restore in the event something goes wrong. Lots of people think their sites are secure once WordPress has been installed and that nothing will happen. That couldn’t be further from the truth!

Here are just a handful of things that happen regularly:

  • Your website gets hacked
  • There’s an outage on your server and your host can’t retrieve the most current version
  • You update something like a plugin or WordPress core and your site completely disappears or you can’t get get into the admin dashboard
  • Mistakes happen and you accidentally delete something important

And if any of those things happen without a current backup file, you’re out of luck and there’s no way to recover it!

Here’s how to backup your site

Backup Plugin

There are many backup plugins available on the market and they are not all created equal! If your host doesn’t offer automatic backups, you’ll need a plugin. My favorite is BackupBuddy.

It’s an incredibly powerful and robust plugin that not only does backups, but also has a migration tool in case you ever change hosts. You can have the backup emailed to you or you can have sent to a remote destination. There are several integrations available from Dropbox to Amazon S3 to Google Drive to FTP.

Right now, BackupBuddy is $80 for 2 sites

The second backup plugin I recommend is Updraft Plus. It’s free in the WordPress repository. Just head to Plugins > Add New in your WP Dashboard and search for it.

Web Host Backups

Many web hosts offer at least some sort of backup option these days. How often things get backed up, what exactly gets backed up, and how long the backups are stored for, varies by host so be sure to check with your hosting provider for specific details. With web host backups, it’s often done automatically for you and is stored in your admin panel. This is one reason I love and highly recommend *Flywheel – a managed WordPress hosting service. They offer nightly backups with one-click restore.

Remember that no matter how proficient you are with WordPress, things can always go wonky for no good reason! Stuff happens. Frequent WP backups are vital to making sure your website and it’s content are around for the long-haul.

See you again soon!
xo ~Annie

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Photo on 6-23-18 at 1.53 PM

Hi, I'm Annie. . .

"Your instructor for How to Build a Course on WordPress as well as the one behind this website. I'm a graphic designer and web developer with over 25 years experience. I've been working with WordPress since 2005, have spoken at WordCamp Seattle and other local venues, and specialize in building course and membership sites for my clients.

Build Your Course on WordPress


You've probably heard about course building platforms like Kajabi, Teachable, Thinkific, and others, but did you know you can also build your course on your WordPress website?

Yes, you sure can! There are a host of LMS (Learning Management System) plugins out there. And in this course, I'll share all my tips and tricks with you to find the right one for your needs and then walk you through building your course from beginning to end.

Join the conversation. . .

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