Backup WordPress Database and Files

A WordPress website consists of two main parts:

  1. Database – stores all of your website content including posts, comments, links and website settings (but not physical files like images uploaded).
  2. Files – where the code is stored to access the database and make everything work. Themes, plugins and user generated files (images uploaded) are all stored together in the wp-content folder.

Backing up just the database will mean you do not have a backup of images and files uploaded which are usually very important to a website.  So for a reliable backup of your WordPress website you need to backup the database and files.

There are a number of plugins available for WordPress that are written to backup your WordPress website. They all work slightly differently and backup different things. We required the following for a perfect backup solution:

  • Option to backup the database and files.
  • Option to schedule backups.
  • Option to email backup files providing us with a remote backup.
  • A free or reasonably cheap plugin.

Unfortunately we did not find a free plugin that will backup the database and website files that matches our other requirements. We did however find two separate free plugins that met our needs:

  1. WP-DB-Backup – backup the standard WordPress database tables and also gives you the option to backup other tables that could have been created by other installed plugins or manually.
  2. WordPress Backup – this plugin will only backup website files but lets you specify three folders and by default is set to the uploads, themes, and plugins directories. You can set one of these folders to the root WordPress folder though and get a complete backup of all the files.

Both plugins give you options to schedule the backups and email the backed up files which really is great. Using two plugins is not ideal but does actually make it easy to disable one of the backups if necessary.

Backing up is very important and these plugins really do make it easy and will help you sleep at night knowing you are ready for when something goes wrong.

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