Friday, November 14, 2008

    Automatically Backing up WordPress


    On November 11th McColo was turned off for hosting many spam, child porn, and malware sites (article at Although a small percentage, there were legitimates sites hosted there. And now they're scrambling to rebuild their blogs, sites, and all their content somewhere else. And in thinking about the honest sites that are now down how many are trying to relocate without a good backup. So they're having a really tough time right now.

    But you can get those WordPress sites backing up themselves to email and backup to internet for full coverage. We perused the Net and have boiled this process down to five simple steps that any Wordpress site can use to ensure a solid, safe, and frequent backup.


    Automated WordPress Backup to Internet

    A. First off, choose the email address you want to use to receive the initial backups. Don't use webmail for this. Use an account that you access with Outlook, Evolution, etc. And don't use an address hosted where your WordPress site is.

    B. You can automate the process with WP-DB-Backup and WP-Cron (google and download) or you can set up a CRON job manually (don't do that). Download both of the plugins, unzip, upload to your WordPress plugins folder and in your WordPress plugin management page activate them. A whole bunch of different plugins are included with WP-Cron. Just activate the ones called WP-Cron and WP-DB-Backup.

    C. Click the "Manage" tab in WordPress now that the plugins are activated. You’ll see a menu item called “Backup”. This is the one you want. Manual backups have various settings available. Skip that and go to the section titled “Scheduled Backup” (at the bottom). If you don’t see it, you don’t have WP-Cron enabled, so make sure it is. In the settings for this section, set the schedule to “Daily” (or whatever timeframe is appropriate for your site). Where it says “Email backup to:”, enter the email address you decided to use in Step A. Lastly, you have the option to include nonstandard QWordPress SQL tables. We think that backing them all up is the safe choice. The default is for the plugin to backup all native WordPress tables. After you’ve decided about the tables, if you have any others, hit “Submit”.

    D. Now, the FailSafe part. Grab yourself a copy of OPENRSM CloudBackup. It's the best backup to internet system we've tried. Setting it up is dead simple for Windows, MAC, and Linux systems. Just make sure to select the options for backing up your email folders (different on Windows, MAC, and Linux but it's obvious and easy). Then set the schedule (we backup daily).

    E. All done! Your WordPress SQL backups should be emailed to you and they'll be using the backup to internet features of CloudBackup to make sure you don't lose your site. Check the email account and see the backup arrive. You can now quit worrying and let the plugins, your email account, and CloudBackup do all the work. Just make sure to delete older backups from your email occasionally and your work is done.

    And if your host goes down? Recovery is easy and fast, and your not suffering like the lost souls that were hosting their legitimate sites at McColo.



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