How To Backup Your WordPress Site

How To Backup Your WordPress Site

Way to go, business-person!

You had your site built on WordPress, which makes you smarter than 89.3% of your competition.

Now you’re enjoying the benefits of having a simple way to add and edit content to your business website. Not to mention, your blog is fully integrated in your site, which makes you look like a million bucks!

I like to think of WordPress like a fine automobile. It has great performance, and you look awesome driving it. But, it also requires that you take good care of it, or it will leave you on the side of the road, making you look somewhat less than awesome. I don’t want you to look less than awesome, so I’m going to show you my favorite way to keep everything humming along beautifully.

Wait. Don’t Click That Update Button Yet.

If you’ve looked at the admin side of your WordPress website, you’ve noticed that occasionally, WordPress announces a new update, and there’s a button at the top of the screen that says “Update Now.” It’s a very attractive button, and your finger, no doubt, is itching to click it, but have a little self-restraint. There’ll be time for clicking, but first things first: make sure your site is backed up.

Call In Some Backup

You need a backup, and not just when you’re about to update your WordPress site. Really, the point of a backup is that you are ready for the unfortunate circumstance that something awful happens to your site, like, it disappears, or suddenly gets hacked by crazy people, or somehow your logo just doesn’t show up, or your whole site’s copy turns into Pig Latin. Believe me, you don’t want your whole site to show up in Pig Latin. (Unless of course, you are trying to reach the well-educated porcine demographic.) Seriously though, backup is very serious. I’m serious. Really.

There a bajillion tools out there for backup, but I have a favorite one because of its simplicity. And it’s built to back up to an Amazon S3 account. Oh, and one more thing: it’s free. It’s Automatic WordPress Backup.

What’s great about this plugin is that once you set it up, it just runs automatically, silently giving you peace of mind that if something bad happens, you have a plan. A really good plan.

Enough intro fluff, though. Here’s how you set it up.

First, get an Amazon S3 account. Wait. Come back. I know you’re thinking this is going to be difficult, but it’s not. I’ve taken great pains to show you how to install the plugin and how to connect it to your brand-spankin’-new Amazon S3 account in this amazing theatrical production. Go ahead. Watch it.

Are you still there? Ok. Good. Hopefully, now you have your automatic backup rolling. Honestly, if you stopped there, you could easily be proud of yourself for a good day’s work. However, there’s a bigger reason why we’re backing everything up.

Now that you have a backup installed, every time you get that cool message from WordPress that it’s time to update, go to “Volcanic > Automatic Backup” and click the “Save Changes & Backup Now”. Give it a minute or two to work its magic, and then you’re ready for your 5 seconds of fame.

Mash That Button.

Now with peace of mind, go ahead and click that wonderful “Update WordPress Now” button at the top of your page. If all goes well, in a few moments, you will be updated to the latest version of WordPress. If all doesn’t go well, you at least have taken the right steps to keep your site from being permanently damaged.

Maybe you’re thinking you just won’t bother updating to the latest version of WordPress. That’s actually an invitation to hackers to come bust on your site, and you don’t want that. Basically, WordPress has good reasons for updating, and it’s usually to cover some minor security issue that you wouldn’t want to become major. So, don’t ignore it, or procrastinate. Seriously.

Questions? Throw them down in the comments below, and I’ll do my best to answer them.


  • Tiffany N.

    I needed this!! Thank you! 🙂

    • Lance

      No problem, Tiffany. Glad it was helpful.

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