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Backing up your data

In this video, we’re gonna take a look at how to create backups for your WordPress blog.

[evp width=”640″ height=”480″]tutorials/wpvideos/wp-backup.swf[/evp]

Now, a very, very common mistake a lot of people make when they start a WordPress blog and start adding content and getting traffic to the WordPress blog is that they fail to make regular backups of their content. Now what happens is that all your content links and every other data is stored in a database. These pages don’t really exist, but all information is stored in a database, and every time you are viewing a page on WordPress, the information is actually extracted from the MySQL Database and presented on your browser screen. So if anything happens to your MySQL Database – for example, if your database is corrupt or if you are moving web hosts, or if you accidentally deleted the database – then all your content will be lost forever.

So in this video, we’re going to take a look at how to install the WordPress database backup plugin and how to schedule regular backups to your email address or to your web server.

The first thing you need to do is make sure that you have installed the WordPress database backup plugin, and to do that, you can either install a plugin manually, or you can just install it automatically. So I’m going to install it automatically right now. I’m gonna click on Plugins, and I’m gonna click on Admin.

And in the Search box here, I’m going to simply type in “database backup” and click on Search. And you may see a few different types of database backup plugins, but I guess the most popular one and the most reliable one is a plugin called WP-DB-Backup. So I’m gonna click on that.

And in this pop-up screen here, of course, I’ll see some information about the WP-DB-Backup WordPress plugin, and most importantly, of course, you gotta make sure that this plugin is compatible according to the WordPress version that you are using. So it says here that it is compatible up to 2.8, and right now, this particular WordPress blog that I’m using is 2.7.1. So since it’s compatible, I’m gonna click on “Install Now.”

And once that’s done, I’m going to simply click on “Proceed.” So my WP-DB-Backup plugin is installed, I’m going to activate this plugin. And now, my WordPress database backup plugin is activated, so I’m going to simply go to the Settings page, and you will probably see a link here that says “Tools Backup.” I’m going to click on that. The most important thing here is to select which tables you want to backup. Now, all your information on your WordPress blog is stored into your database in the forms of tables, and therefore it’s all categorized into rows and columns, and that’s how it stores all the information.

So when you want to backup, you need to select what are the tables that you want to backup. Now, these are all the default tables, and if you have installed other plugins that also add information to you database, then you’ll see additional options here and you can just check those options if you want to backup those options as well.

So by default, you would back up all the comments, and I’m gonna click on “exclude spam comments” because it’s pretty much pointless to be backing up all spam comments which you don’t wanna use anyway. And then you can also exclude post revisions, which means that you will only be backing up posts that you have actually saved as a draft or published, and you would be ignoring any automatically saved revisions.

So you can either check this or leave it unchecked, and then as I scroll down the page, I’ll be able to see some of the backup options. Now, the three ways you can backup your WordPress database file: Number 1 is you can save it to a server, and this is the exact location where those backup files will be saved. But in order to save to a server, you need to make sure that your wp-content folder has the correct permissions. In most cases, you need to edit permissions to “777,” and in some cases, you need to edit it to “755.” So if you don’t know how that works, you can always get a backup to your computer, or you can even email a backup to your email address. Now, I’m gonna show you how to create an instant backup of all existing content and download it to your computer.

So I’m just gonna click “Download to your computer” and click on “Backup now.” And as you can see, the backup process is shown here in your WordPress dashboard so you’ll know when your backup has been completed. Now, if your blog has a lot of content, a lot of plugins, etc., etc., you may take a much longer time. In this case, it’s a relatively new WordPress blog, so it’s pretty fast.

And my backup is completed, and I’ll see a new window open up here with the actual backup file in the form of SQL, and I can just save this file to my computer and put it in a place where I probably would not delete it. So if something happens to my WordPress blog, I can always get this backup file and restore all the information.

So that’s how you backup your MySQL Database for all information on your WordPress blog. Now, you can also create scheduled backups which are automatic in nature, and I prefer to do this because it’s probably impossible, if not very difficult, to regularly remind yourself to backup all the information in your WordPress blog. So you can just schedule an automatic backup, and you can select once hourly or twice daily; once daily; or once weekly. Now, what you select here really depends a lot on the amount of content that you actually publish in your WordPress blog and the amount of comments that you’re getting on your WordPress blog. So if your WordPress blog is relatively low-traffic, you may want to select “once weekly.” But if you’re getting a lot of traffic and you’re publishing a lot of posts, and you’re also getting a lot of comments, then you may want to select once daily.

You probably would not need to select “twice daily” or “once hourly” unless your WordPress blog is really, really, very, very big and very, very popular. So in this case, I’m going to select “once weekly,” because this is a very new WordPress blog. And then you can enter the email address if you want to backup, too.

Now, although you can enter any email address that you want here, but if you have several WordPress blogs running and you are doing scheduled backup for all those WordPress blogs, then you’ll probably want to register for a new Gmail.com account strictly for the purpose of getting all your backups in one place. Now, the good thing with Gmail is that, number one, it has virtually unlimited space, so you don’t need to worry about not having enough space in your email account, and the second good thing about Gmail is that all of your backups will be easily sorted, easily labeled, etc., etc., so it’s pretty easy to manage if you have a lot of WordPress blogs which are running on scheduled backup.

So I’m just gonna enter my email address I created specifically for the purpose of backup, which is a Gmail email address, and click on “schedule backup.” And I can see here the schedule backup options have been saved. So I can check from time to time in my Gmail account to see that I’m getting all the scheduled backups.

So with scheduled backups, you are virtually guaranteed that all your information is always saved and stored in a secure location in your Gmail account. So if anything happens to your WordPress blog, then you can just easily import your backup files into your WordPress blog and have all your posts, your content, your comments, etc. restored immediately to your WordPress blog.