Books, movies, reviewage and other mixy things

Back up your shite!

Recently one of my good friends, lost her site to a phishing hack and nearly lost ALL of her posts, comments, etc… However she was smart and had a back up of her site. Saving her from much grief. It’s easy to think “it won’t happen to me”, or, “but I am hosted on a major server!”, or, “it’s too complicated!” Having developed websites for over a dozen years, I can tell you, having a back up is absolutely necessary. Not just for the random phishing hacks, but for those times your little sister figures out your password and totally breaks your theme or your new foray into PHP gives you massive errors. Or, even worse, your hosting company goes belly up and shuts down without notice (true story, happened to me). Regardless, there are a million reasons to protect your IP (intellectual property), and thankfully there are some super easy ways to back your site up, most of which do it automatically.

With WordPress, it’s more than just saving your files (wp files, themes folder, images, etc…) that only gets you half way there. Your posts, comments, pages and content are all saved in your WordPress databases, so it’s just as important to save these as well.

Here are a couple of different ways you can easily back up your files and databases. These are automated and once set will take care of it for you.

WordPress Backup to Dropbox: Easily allows you to backup your site including all files and databases to your Dropbox account. This is the plug-in I currently use and I love it. I set it to save every night and having my files stored at another location means if this site goes down all of my files are saved and I have access to them. No need to download from the FTP.

XM-Backup: This plug-in will back up both or your files and your database to a safe location. You can even have your backups emailed to you. It also gives you the option to save your files to your drop box account.

As great as these plug-ins are, I am a big fan of having a redundancy plan. Every so often I make sure to update my local copies of all my files and my database. While doing things manually is a bit more technical it is worth it for your peace of mind.

Filezilla and CyberDuck (Mac) are fantastic FTP clients that will let you grab your site files and save them on your computer.

Backing up your database is a little more involved so I hand you over to the fine folks at WordPress.

You can also use a plugin like WordPress Database Backup (WP-DB-Backup) to download a back up of your database, a simple and effective solution.

Finally, you can also export an XML file of all your content and best of all it’s built in to WordPress.

  1. 1. Head to your Dashboard on the left hand side under Tools, select Export.
  2. 2. You can then choose what types of posts, pages, etc… you want to back up.
  3. 3. Hit Export and you’re done!

This XML file can easily be re-uploaded to another WordPress site, however it isn’t considered a complete back up.

Questions about how to back up your site? What plug-ins have you successfully used? Have other technical Blog Dev questions for me? Ask on the left or leave a comment!


  1. Mandi Kaye says:

    Thanks for the heads up about the WP to dropbox to plugin. I’ve already installed it and have my first backup running right now!

  2. Great post! I’m glad to have inspired a “backup your shite” post, LOL! I love the backup to dropbox plugin!

  3. Margie says:

    My WordPress.com site is a photoblog. In addition to using the XML export, I do a good old fashioned backup of each post individually by copying and pasting into a Word File. One file for each post. This gives me lots of options to publish my stories in another format for friends and family without using the internet. PDF files and good old fashioned scrapbooks are a few of the ways of reformatting and sharing stories.

    • Good ol’ copy and pasting into an external document is always a great way to ensure you’re saving everything. And you’re right, from there it is much easier to switch to other formats.

      Saving a web archive is another way to save your pages. I’ve done this with mass posts (like my hundreds of movie reviews in their archive pages). They’re small files and are easy to stash somewhere.

      Thank you for the comment! I totally agree.

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