- How often should you back up?
That depends on how often you blog, how often you want to do this, and how you would feel if your database were lost along with a few posts. It is your decision.
- Can you use this method to back up other data?
Yes. And you should. Backups are good.
- How many backups should I keep?
Excellent question. Most people make a backup and then just replace it every time. It saves space and is less to worry about. But what if that backup file is corrupted or lost? Then what? The general rule of thumb is to keep at least three backups and keep them in three different places or forms, like floppies, CDs, different hard drives, web disk, your e-mail account, etc.
- My database backups are huge! Can I do anything about that?
Possibly. Typically, anti-spam and statistics plugins can add large amounts of data and because they are constantly gathering information, the database can swell significantly. When backing up the database, such information is probably not important to keep. Do not mark those tables for backup when selecting them during the backup process.
- Can backups be automated?
Yes. There are several methods of automating the backup process available, but back up those auto backups with a manual backup every once in a while to guarantee that the process is working.
The following are general documents for helping you to backup and restore your WordPress data.
- Backing Up Your Database
- Restoring Your Database From Backup
- Backing Up Your WordPress Site
- WordPress Database Backup Instructions
Backing Up Your WordPress Site
There are two parts to backing up your WordPress site:
Database and Files.
You need to back up the entire site, and you need to backup your WordPress database. Below are instructions for backing up your WordPress database for various server programs. We will start with backing up the rest of your WordPress Site.
Your WordPress site consists of the following:
- WordPress Core Installation
- WordPress Plugins
- WordPress Themes
- Images and Files
- Additional Files and Static Web Pages
All of these are used in various combination’s to generate your website. The database contains your posts and a lot of data generated on your site, but it does not include the above elements that all come together to create the look and information on your site. These need to be saved.
Most hosts back up the entire server, including your site, but it takes time to request a copy of your site from their backups, and a speedy recovery is critical. You need to learn how to backup your own site files and restore them. Here are some methods.
- Website Host Provided Backup Software
Most website hosts provide software to back up your site. Check with your host to find out what services and programs they provide.
- Create Synchs With Your Site
2Bright Sparks’s Synchback and WinSCP are programs which allow you to synch with your website to keep a mirror copy of the content on your server and hard drive updated. It saves time and makes sure you have the latest files in both places.
Remember, keep at least three backups on file, just in case one is corrupted or lost, and store them in different places and on different mediums, like CD, DVD, sticks different hard drives, etc.