How To Backup A WordPress Site Without A PluginYou know that having the option to backup files on your WordPress website is incredibly important. By regularly backing up your WordPress site you have a fail-safe in place in case your site is hacked, or you need to restore your site to a previous version. Without a backup system in place, you run the risk of losing all of your hard work. Still, you might not want to use a plugin to backup your WordPress site. If you prefer to create manual backups, you can be sure it’s backing up the right way. Below you’ll learn the pros and cons of using a WordPress backup plugin for your WordPress site. Then we'll show you how to backup your WordPress site without a plugin.
The Disadvantages of Using a WordPress Backup PluginThere are tons of WordPress backup plugins out there. These plugins are generally pretty simple to use and can be quickly configured to run automated website backups for the entire site. For most WordPress site owners using one of these backup plugins will be more than enough. Still, there are some reasons you might want to stay away from a WordPress backup plugin and instead pursue an alternative approach.
1. You Want to Minimize Plugin UseWith multiple thousands of plugins available, it can be tempting to install as many plugins as possible. Even though some are incredibly useful, it’s important to take a minimalist approach to utilize WordPress plugins. The more plugins you have on your site the slower your site will perform, and you have an increased chance of a plugin conflict taking down your site, or a compromised plugin creating a security hole in your site.
2. You Want a Customized Backup ApproachAlthough WordPress backup plugins can be useful, they tend to have a basic file backup approach. This is especially true for free backup plugins. This isn’t always a bad thing if you have a very simple website, but as your site grows more complex you might want more control over what aspects of your site you’ll back up.
3. You Want to Enhance Site SecurityA lot of WordPress users are rightly concerned with the security of their WordPress site. In an effort to minimize the number of third-party plugins and programs that have access to your data, you might choose to conduct backups yourself. That way you’re solely responsible for your website’s data and the secure storage of your backups. Since WordPress plugins have been prone to hacking, by controlling your own backups you improve your levels of security. If you want to avoid using a WordPress backup plugin, keep reading to learn how to backup a WordPress site.
How to Backup Your WordPress Site Without a PluginAs we reviewed above, even though using a WordPress backup plugin might be easier, it still might not be the best choice for every kind of site owner. Below you’ll learn how you can backup your site without the help of a WordPress plugin.
1. Do a Manual BackupA manual backup might sound difficult to do. However, you can create your own manual backups from directly within your hosting control panel. The steps below are for HostGator customers. To do this navigate to your cPanel, and find the tool called ‘Backup Wizard’. Run the tool and you’ll have an entire backup of your site. You can also use this tool to restore your site to a previous version as well. If you don’t want to use the built-in backup wizard and prefer to find and download your site’s files yourself, then follow the steps below:
- Open file manager. Locate the tool called ‘File Manager’ within cPanel.
- Find your site’s directory and download your backup. Locate your WordPress site’s files. They should be under a directory called ‘public_html’. Once you’ve found your site click ‘Select All’. Then select ‘Compress’. You can also chose the type of backup you’ll save, and where you want to save your backup.
- Download your WordPress database. You’re not quite done yet! Now, you'll need to download your WordPress database as well. To do this locate ‘phpMyAdmin’ within your cPanel dashboard. With this tool open, select ‘Databases’ from the navigation bar. Then locate the database that’s associated with your WordPress installation. Open up that database and click the ‘Export’ tab on the top window. Save this file in the same location as your other backups.
2. Backup Your Site via FTPThe second approach to backing up your site is using FTP. This is probably the least frequently used approach, as it’s more technical. But, some users prefer working via an FTP connection. If that sounds like you, then follow the steps below:
- Open up FileZilla
- Connect to your site
- Locate your site’s files
- Download and save