I've written this post as a cautionary one – also to emphasise the value of good techniques and best practices for your WordPress site when it comes to protecting the valuable content you have. Whilst WordPress remains a solid web publishing application, things do go wrong and as it is an open source system managed by volunteers, you may not get the help you need when you need it so it is best to know what to do from a best practice point of view. In my view there are at least three areas you want to back up which will prepare you for the worst case scenario:
1. Database backups
This is critical to do. Backing up your database manually ( where your content is stored)will be a lot of work, and as I am a big fan of lazy I suggest you install the WordPress database back up plugin by Austin Matzco which you should be able to activate through your admin panel. By default this will back up your entire database – including your spam although you can specify for it not to back this up. I suggest backing up the whole lot. You have two options, you can back up immediately or you can schedule your backups to fit the frequency of your posting. In my case my back ups are scheduled weekly as I post weekly – but this really is up to you. You can do both in fact- have it back up straight away and schedule your back ups. A tip here is to set up a dedicated gmail account for your backups to be sent to to avoid cluttering up your regular email account. This enables you to archive your backups and gives you the peace of mind that should anything go wrong, you have the entire database backed up in an account.
2. Back up your Themes, Plugins and Uploaded files stored in your wp-content folder
This is simpler than it may seem. Using your FTP client, all you do here is copy by clicking and dragging your wp-content folder from your server over to a folder specially created in your My Documents folder on your computer, which you could, for example call " My WordPrss back up" ( if you are feeling as uninamaginative as me!). Job done.
3. Back up your Access Information
If you are anything like me then you will often despair of not having access to oru most iimportant server information to hand when you need it. For that reason I suggest you copy your FTP and MYSql information over onto your text editor and rename it "Important access info". Then,save this file within your "My WordPress back up" folder
4. Back up your wp-config folder
I did say at least three areas. Therea are four. Your wp- config folder in simplest terms is the fodler which decides how WordPress communicates with your database so in my view this also needs to be backed up. If for instance everything was deleted in your server you could feasibly get back everything except the wp-content and wp-config folder. To that end it makes sens to back this up, just as you did with your wp-content folder; ie drag and drop it into your " My WordPress back up" folder in your computer's My Documents.
Those are my four tips- if you have any other tips we can add to this list please let us know.
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