How do I perform a backup?

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Importance of backing up 

Creating a WordPress Backup is an important part of running WordPress.
WordPress is a powerful website builder featuring both back & front end functionality through a CMS. Many different CMS-type website builders exist but WordPress is, without doubt, the most popular

There are many reasons to deploy a backup of your site, the main being: user error (accidental deletion) or an issue with a plugin or theme. 

Because of its popularity WordPress also comes under lots of pressure from bad actors such as hackers, spammers, scammers, etc.
To protect WordPress users. The WordPress foundation releases regular updates, patching known security issues.

This is why keeping either scheduled backups or manual backups of your site is important. As it provides a safety net in the event your website becomes compromised.

If you’re operating your business through a WordPress website it’s important to have minimal downtime. 
Downtime can severely impact a customer’s opinion of your business.

This ensures that your customers continue to have a positive user experience on your site and consider your organisation as professional, which in turn drives overall customer satisfaction. 

Create a WordPress Backup

There are 2 different ways to create a backup. 

As a hosting company, we take backups seriously which is why we run automatic daily backups for all of our shared services up to a 14-day period.  These backup archives cover both files and databases. It’s important to note that whilst this service exists you should not rely on it. We (Unlimited Web Hosting) will not be held responsible if a requested backup is not available. 

  • Manually 

WordPress uses a theme, plugins to determine how a site looks and its functionality. Content is stored in the backend. o manually backup a WordPress site both the WordPress files and WordPress database must be restored. This can be done using an FTP client like Filezilla. And the phpMyAdmin tool found within your cPanel or Plesk Control panel. 

Manual WordPress Backup

  • To manually backup your WordPress site you will first need to get your FTP access details. With these details you can establish an FTP connection to the server letting you download the website contents. You can retrieve these details from your welcome email.
Welcome email with FTP details highlighted
FTP Details
  • Create a folder on your desktop. This will be used to store the backup files. By storing the backup locally you’re operating within our general terms.
Backup folder on windows desktop
Your backup folder
  • After you have established an FTP connection. Select all of the files within your sites directory.
    If you have a multi-site cPanel, ensure you have the correct directory (default is public_html).
  • After selecting all of the relevant files, drag them into the folder on your desktop. This may take a while, depending on the size of your site.
WordPress files selected in FTP
WordPress files in FTP client
  • Sometimes, a duplicate file warning will appear. The files transferred are correct. This error appears because duplicates at the destination need to be overwritten. This will ensure the correct content is displayed.
    To do this select overwrite >> tick “Always use this action” >> tick “Apply to current queue only” >> and Click Ok.
Filezilla showing overwrite warning
Filezilla overwrite warning
  • Once download is completed, open the folder and navigate to the “wp-config.php” file. 
    This file provides you with information on the adjoined database, including its name, prefix and user credentials. Without these details your WordPress site wont function correctly.
wordpress wp-config file important sections need for wordpress backup
The WordPress (wp-config) file

cPanel

  • Login to your cPanel control panel.
  • In cPanel, under the databases section click phpMyAdmin. This will load the phpMyAdmin dashboard.
cPanel databases section
cPanel Databases section

Plesk 

To backup your WordPress on Plesk you will first need to conduct the same initial steps as shown in the above guide. Following on from

  • Login to your Plesk control panel. 
Plesk login shortcut
Unlimited Plesk Login
  • From your domain overview (main area) in Plesk >> Click “Databases” in the right sidebar area. This will take you to the database area were you can enter phpMyAdmin.
Plesk databases
Plesk features sidebar
  • Check the database name against the one in wp-config and enter the phpMyAdmin dashboard area.
Plesk databases tool
Plesk databases tool

phpMyAdmin

  • From within the phpMyAdmin dashboard. Using the database name shown in the wp-config file, select the correct database.
phpMyAdmin dashboard
phpMyAdmin Dashboard
  • Whilst keeping the correct database selected, using the top control bar.
    Click the export tool >> click Go.
phpMyAdmin Export tool
phpMyAdmin Export tool
  • A file explorer or pop-up notification might appear. From here you need to choose the location in which to save the exported database. Find your backup folder and save it inside.