Backup and Migrate Your Wordpress Site Using a Plugin
Wordpress is the most popular CMS with advanced capabilities that allow even new users to blog with ease. The Wordpress plugin repository includes a vast number of dedicated plugins to make almost any task in Wordpress simpler. From SEO to Speed, Security and Backups, there are dedicated plugins to make your task simpler.
If you are using Wordpress CMS for blogging, security is an important concern since Wordpress websites which are made with php and mysql are a frequent target for the hackers. While a security plugin plays a critical role in helping you manage the security of your wordpress site, you also need to download regular backups to stay on the safe side. Some website hosts provide regular backups including daily or weekly backups.
However, if you prefer to self host Wordpress like I do, taking regular backups or snapshots is a critical task to keep your website up and running. You can always use a backup to bring your website back online if there is any problem with your Wordpress installation.
There are several backup plugins available in the Wordpress repository to safely download backups, migrate your website and even restore your website from back up. While most backup plugins offer several free features and are generally suitable for handling smaller installations, you may need to buy the premium version if your Wordpress installation has grown too large.
It is why I suggest using Backup Bliss, which allows you to download even larger installations with its free version and makes the entire backup process very simple.
You can use this plugin for carrying out regular backups and to download and store backups on your local machine.
Install and Activate Backup Bliss Plugin
The free version of Backup Bliss is generally sufficient for most users. Unless you want to change specific configurations, which is possible with the premium version, the free version will be sufficient to download and restore a simple Wordpress backup in a zip file.
However, to manage backups using Backup Bliss, we will first need to install and activate the plugin. To activate the plugin, we will first need to install the plugin from the Wordpress plugin repository. Go to the plugin repository and search for backup.
Backup Bliss is a very popular Wordpress backup plugin with 4.9 star ratings out of five from more than 800 ratings. What makes the plugin popular is the availability of so many features in the free version. The plugin makes the process of creating backups easy and a seamless process. You can also install the plugin and set regular backups and the plugin will automatically create backups at regular intervals for you.
Backup Bliss allows for superfast backups and migration. The premium version comes for only $19.98. With the premium version, you can create backups of unlimited size.
Install the Backup Bliss plugin for the Wordpress plugin repository like you install any other plugin and then activate it.
Now, your plugin is ready for creating backups and there is nothing else to do. You can change configurations and include or exclude files based on your needs. Following the activation of the plugin, you will see a new backup migration tab active on your wordpress dashboard under Wordpress settings.
Create, Download and Restore Backups with Backup Bliss
If you want to just download a simple backup of your entire website, just go on and click on create backup on the plugin page. However, if you need to regularly create backups of your website and store it on your server (you can also download them to your computer), then you can set automatic backups by clicking on create automatic backups.
Now, you can select to create daily, weekly or monthly backups from the list. Apart from that you can select how many previous backups you want to keep alongwith the latest backup.
In case, you want to create and store a backup right away, then click on ‘create backup now’.
You can also select which files you want to be backedup and the ones you want to be excluded. If you simply want a backup of the entire website, you can continue with the default settings.
you can exclude files by file size like you can exclude any files that are above 50 or 100 mb.
Otherwise, you can also exclude files and folders by their name.
Below it, you will find the settings for the database. If you do not want the database included with the backup, you can uncheck the file or continue with the default settings for a complete backup.
At the bottom of the ‘what will be backed up’ tab, you can see the size of your backup. The final backup will be in the form of a zip file and therefore, it will be much smaller.
By default, the backup is stored locally on the server inside the wp-content folder. However, with the premium version, you can also directly upload the backup to google drive. The plugin authors are planning to include more features soon with the premium version so that users can directly upload the backups to the Amazon S3 Bucket, Azure, Google Cloud or even FTP and other resources.
If you scroll down, you will see the settings for how the backup will be stored, which includes the backup name and the format. In the free version, you can download and store a backup only in zip format. With the premium version, tar.gz version is also available.
Once you have reviewed all the settings, save them.
To download a backup right away, click on create backup now. The plugin will show you the size of unzipped data that will be backed up. Click on create the backup to proceed.
The backup process is superfast and you will be amazed at the speed at which the plugin backs up your Wordpress files and folders.
When I tested, it backed up more than 350 mb data in less than a minute.
You will be able to see the live log as the backup process continues and once it is complete, you will receive the success message and the links to download a backup. You can manage and restore backups from the plugin settings. Once you have saved a backup, you can automatically restore from the backed up version.
If you are using the plugin to backup and migrate your wordpress site, then use the link provided by the plugin. Now, go to the target website where you will need to install the Backup Bliss plugin. Once you have installed the backup plugin on the target website, go to manage and restore backups in the plugin settings. Paste the link you have copied and download and restore the backup.
You can see that the plugin makes the entire process of downloading a backup and migrating your website seamless. With just a few clicks you have completed the migration of your wordpress website.
Otherwise, you can also download a copy of your backup to your computer from where you can use a FTP or SFTP client like Filezilla or Cyberduck to migrate the website.
To download a copy of the backup click on the download backup link at the bottom in the success message you received after creating the backup.
You can also download a copy of the backup file from the ‘manage and restore backups’ tab of the plugin. You will see that the zipped version of the site is much smaller. For example, when I downloaded the backup copy for my site, it was less than 90 mb for around 375 mb of backed up data.
Now, if you want you can keep this copy on your local machine or upload it to an Amazon S3 bucket for future use.
A few last words:
The Backup Bliss Plugin makes it very easy to download backups or migrate your wordpress website. Its most important feature is the Superfast Backup Process, which makes the plugin very popular. However, the plugin contains a ton of features that make it super simple to create and download backups based on your needs. The reason I find this plugin better than the others when it comes to backup or migration is because it offers superfast backup and migration on the one hand and on the other, you do not need the premium version for creatign automatic regular backups or even for large size backups. Unless you have a very large wordpress site, you will not need to buy a premium license for unlimited size backup.
When I ran a backup for a website with close to 2000 pages, the entire process was completed within minutes including configuring and downloading the backup. The plugin is very different from the other plugins. You will not need to add your wordpress credentials or provide any other details. Even the free version makes it super simple to create backups for an average or large wordpress website. Once you have created a backup, you can manage or restore it from the manage and restore backups tab. If you are planning to migrate your wordpress site, create a backup and then restore it on the target website using this plugin. Otherwise simply create a backup and download it to your local machine. Now, you can upload it using SFTP to the target server.
Regular backups are super simple with the Backup Bliss plugin. You will just need to set whether you want to save daily, weekly or monthly backups and the number of backups you want to store. Once you have configured the plugin, just save the settings and then forget it. The plugin will automatically create and store backups on your server regularly according to your configuration.
There are more plugins for backup and migration. However, in most cases, you will find that for the backups larger than 50 mb, you will need a premium license.
You can also backup your wordpress site manually. Just SFTP to your root folder and download the contents of the root folder that includes all your wordpress related files in the form of a zip file or tar.gz file. Use a SFTP client like filezilla or Cyberduck and then create an archive of the files in your root folder and download it.
To backup the database manually, login to phpmyadmin and then select to export all tables. Now, you can SFTP to the target server and upload the files you downloaded in zip or tar.gz format. Similarly, you can import your database files and get your wordpress site migrated within minutes. Even the process of manual migration is simple for users with technical expertise. However, with the Backup Bliss Plugin, even new users can easily backup or migrate their entire Wordpress website with just a few clicks.