Whenever you are about to install a new theme or a plugin on your site, you might have that scary feeling at the bottom of your heart.
What if that installation broke something on your site?
That’s a million dollar question that no one can answer correctly. The most accurate answer would be – it depends.
Yes it depends on a lot of stuff – you have many plugins and themes which are “alien” to WordPress in the sense that when they are uploaded, they might conflict – in full or in part.
They might not agree well. And this can cause anything from making your site look ugly, or certain features of your site going haywire to completely bringing your site down.
I know that sounds scary. Which is why it is very important that you always safely backup your site before you install a new them or plugin.
I always suggest my hosting clients to do so, and I personally do the same for my maintenance as well as website design clients.
So how do yo do it?
There are two ways.
Option 1: Backup WordPress using a plugin
The easy way. We have lots of plugins to do the job. I can recommend you two good ones.
These two plugins are great for the job – not just for one time backing up, but for regular backups too.
Highlights of Backup WordPress:
You can set automated, scheduled backups. You have the option to have the backup file emailed to you when it is done.
The plugin does not require high memory so it won’t get you dirty warnings from your hosting provider if you are in a shared environment.
You can exclude certain files and folders from backup.
Highlights of BackWpup:
This plugin is free, but has a pro version which means the pro has many additional features than the free.
This plugin helps you take backups and store them to external services like Dropbox, Sugarsync, Google Drive (pro), S3 services etc.
Here’s an intro for the plugin by the developers:
So before you are about to install a new theme or a plugin, use any of these plugins and back up your site first (it is good to have a plugin for back up always on site in place – for regular backups).
Option 2: WordPress backup via the cPanel’s Backup Wizard
If you don’t want to install a plugin for this purpose, you can backup your site using the cPanel.
If you have access to your site’s cPanel, go to the backup wizard.
And then you can take your backup from there.
Option 3: WordPress backup via the cPanel manually
In this method you need to go to your cPanel > File Manager and locate the Public_html.
Right click on it and select Compress. The file will be compressed and added as a zip file which can be downloaded.
What if you want to backup WordPress database alone?
If you want to take a database backup, go to cPanel > PHPMyAdmin, and see if you are on the “Databases” tab.
Select the database you want to backup and click on “Export” from the top.
If you’d rather want to see option #2 and #3 here’s the video where I explain it.
Hope this helps!