How to Back Up a WordPress Website and How to Restore It in a Crisis

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform, and for good reason. Launched in 2005, WordPress now powers 25% of the world’s websites. It’s extremely popular across all industries, from large organizations like the Washington Post to small businesses like Kate’s Coffee Shop in London.

Whether you’re a business or a blog, if you use WordPress to store and publish content, you’re in luck because there’s fantastic support available for WP users. Today, we’re going to focus on two key areas of concern for any WordPress user: backing up your site and restoring your site in a crisis.

How to Back Up a WordPress Website

You spent a long time building your WordPress website. You poured your heart and soul into it, and you probably even paid for professional design services. It’s taken you a while to gather all that content, and now that you’ve done it, you don’t want to lose all that work. That’s why you need to take care of backups.

Backing up your WordPress site means taking copies of your content (like articles and photos) and storing them in a safe place (like the cloud). So if your website were to suffer some sort of catastrophic failure (for example, a server goes down or your web host decides to shut down your site for some reason), you’d have the option of retrieving all your content from a previous date.

How to Restore a WordPress Website in a Crisis

Restoring a WordPress site in a crisis means getting your content back online as soon as possible after a catastrophic failure. To do this, you’ll need to perform some basic WordPress maintenance (such as keeping up with the latest security patches and performing routine backups), and then you can begin the process of restoring your site.

If you’ve ever tried to install WordPress on your own computer, you may have encountered the error message “Table ‘wp_options’ is already defined.” If so, don’t worry; this is an easy mistake to correct. Simply visit your site in your web browser, and from the address bar, click the X to the right of the URL to enter the Dashboard. From here, you can click the Settings icon (it looks like a gear) and enter your settings. Once you’ve done that, click the Update button on the dashboard to propagate the changes.

Now, to restore your site, click on Tools in the upper right corner of the dashboard and click the Export button. Navigate to the folder where you’ve stored your backups, select all the files, and click the Download button to create a ZIP file of your entire website. You can then upload this ZIP file to your server using FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Finally, login to your WordPress dashboard, and from the left-hand side, click the Tools icon and the Import button to initiate the restoration process.

When you click the Import button, WordPress will walk you through the process of setting up your site from the backup you created. If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for information on WordPress, check out their online documentation, which is full of helpful examples.

WordPress has you covered when it comes to backing up and restoring your website. Never fear; when bad things happen, they happen, but you can recover quickly and put the pieces back in place.