How to Backup Your Website Content

To recap the How to Break-up with Your Web Host series, you should have discovered the 4 Signs You Need a New Web Host, as well as Where to Find Your New Web Host, and finally,  What to Look for in a New Web Host. Today’s post will go over how to backup your content. (Super important!)

By now, you know you’re moving your site(s) to a new web host. You’re stoked but not sure how to get started.  The very first thing you should do is backup your website content. In an ideal world, you’d do this before you even begin hunting for a new web host. If you’ve never backed up your site, here are a few tiny tips to get you started.

Save Your WordPress Content

If your site is running WordPress, it’s a good idea to periodically backup your content. To do this, login to your dashboard and look for the “Tools” menu on the left hand side of your screen. Click it and then click on the “Export” option.

When you get to your handy-dandy export screen, you can pick a full backup of all the things or just specific content. Since you’re moving the whole shebang, you want a full backup. So, pick “All Content” and then click “Download Export File.” Save this download to a folder on your computer. You’ll probably need it later.

Download Your Other Files

If you’ve got other files hosted on your site (like opt-in reports or your favicon) then you’ll want to download those, too.  How you do this differs from web host to web host depending on which control panel they use.

For most people, you can open cPanel and look for the “File Manager.”  Browse until you find the files you want to keep and download them to your computer.  In a perfect world, you’d save them in the same folder as your WordPress backups so that everything is kept together.

Export Your Database

If you’re using WordPress, it’s not enough to do an export via your WordPress admin dashboard.  You’ll need a copy of your database, too.  To do this, login to your control panel and look for the PHP Admin section.  Then find your database and click “Export.”  Where do you save that file? With all the other stuff you backed up!

If you don’t want to do the database backup yourself, you can use a WordPress plugin that does it automagically. A good plugin for this job is the UpDraft Plus WordPress Backup Plugin. It will create a copy of your WordPress files and database and will save it to your computer or to several different cloud hosting sites. I use this plugin to automagically backup my sites weekly so that if the worst happens and my site dies a fiery death, I always have a copy ready to restore.

Other Software

Some authorpreneurs use scripts other than WordPress (gasp). If you want to backup the data from those scripts then please, please, please reach out to the individual software companies or do a google search to find out how to back them up. It might not be as easy as WordPress and a little bit of googling can save you a headache later.

Backing up your website can be a big job. If you have a website designer or virtual assistant that is familiar with WordPress, then you can easily outsource this challenging task.

Looking to find that new hosting now? Download your free content backup worksheet and a list of recommended hosts!

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