Quick Tips For Manual WordPress Backups On A VPS

Alright, let’s get straight into it. Imagine waking up one day and finding your entire WordPress site gone due to a nasty hacker or a pesky error. Nightmare, right? This is where the magic of backups come into play. Sure, there are automated plugins out there, but doing it manually on a VPS (Virtual Private Server) offers you more control and flexibility. Trust us; it’s like having an ace up your sleeve.

The Two-Pronged Approach: Database + Files

When we talk about WordPress backups, remember there are two main components to consider: the database and the files. The database contains all your posts, comments, and links. The files consist of themes, plugins, images—basically everything that gives your site its look and functionality.

Step-By-Step: Backing Up Your Database

  1. Access phpMyAdmin: Typically found in your VPS control panel, phpMyAdmin is a free tool that manages MySQL databases. Once inside, select your WordPress database from the list.
  2. Export the Database: Click on the ‘Export’ tab. Ensure the format is ‘SQL’ and hit the ‘Go’ button. This action will download a .sql file, which is essentially your database backup. Keep it safe!

Safeguarding Your Files

  1. Connect via SFTP: Use an SFTP client like FileZilla. Input your VPS credentials and connect.
  2. Locate and Download: In the root directory, you’ll find the ‘wp-content’ folder. This folder is the heart of your site. Right-click and download it. Depending on the size, this might take a while, so perhaps make a cuppa while you wait.

Regular Checks and Storage

Now, it’s not just about taking backups. You should regularly check if your backups are working correctly. Try restoring on a test site or locally. For storage, while your computer or an external drive is okay, also consider cloud storage options. This way, even if there’s a physical mishap, your backup’s safe and sound in the cloud.

Automating Manual Backups

Even if you’re a fan of manual backups, a bit of automation can make the process smoother and more consistent. While we’ve previously looked into the step-by-step of doing it yourself, consider setting reminders or using task scheduling tools available in many VPS environments. For instance, you can utilize cron jobs to schedule backup tasks at regular intervals. This gives you a blend of manual control with the convenience of automation, ensuring your site’s data is consistently backed up without constant oversight.

Understanding the Value of Incremental Backups

When you’ve got a large website, frequent full backups can be resource-intensive and time-consuming. Enter the concept of incremental backups. Instead of backing up the entire site every time, you only save the changes made since the last backup. This method can save a lot of time and storage space. While it’s a bit more complex than a complete backup, using incremental backups can be especially valuable for sites that have frequent updates but don’t want to undergo the full backup process daily.

Security Measures During Backups

Let’s talk about security. When you’re transferring data, especially if you’re saving backups to the cloud, there’s potential vulnerability. Always ensure that your connection is secure, preferably through encrypted protocols like SFTP. When considering cloud storage, opt for services that offer enhanced security features, such as two-factor authentication and end-to-end encryption. Your backup files are like the keys to your kingdom; they need to be treated with utmost caution to prevent any unauthorized access.

FAQ : Manual WordPress Backups on a VPS

1. Why should I prefer manual backups over plugins?

Manual backups offer more control, ensuring you have a complete copy without relying on third-party services. It’s direct, straightforward, and reduces the risk of incompatibilities that plugins might introduce.

2. How often should I backup my WordPress site?

For dynamic sites with regular updates, a weekly backup is recommended. However, if your site doesn’t change much, monthly backups should suffice. Always backup before making significant changes.

3. Where should I store my backup files?

Diversify! Store on your computer, an external hard drive, and even cloud storage. The more places you have it, the safer it is.

4. I have my backup files. How do I restore them?

For the database, use phpMyAdmin’s ‘Import’ function. For the files, simply upload them back using your SFTP client.

5. Is there any downside to manual backups?

While manual backups give you more control, they lack the convenience of set-it-and-forget-it solutions. It requires discipline to maintain a regular backup schedule.

You’ve got the power to safeguard your site now! Remember, a little time spent on backups today can save a heap of regrets tomorrow. Safe webbing!

Follow Us

We absolutely love creating articles that help people get to where they want to go a little faster. Quick Help Support designed to do just that. If you would like us to write a specific guide please feel free to contact either Doug or Steph directly on our contact form or join our forum to ask the QHS community.