Updated June 2011: It is extremely important that we keep our work backed up and I have found a video that shows us exactly how to carry out the same instructions that Jeffrey has given us here. I have also found a second video showing us how to restore our blogs from a back. Both videos are by Dee Ann Rice and links to both are now at the bottom of this post.

Earlier this week I wrote a blog post entitled The Simple Solution To Every Bloggers Worst Nightmare in which I advised you to download and install a plugin that will back up your WordPress Blogs automatically.

I use the plugin myself and have always thought it was very handy, however I received a comment from Jeffrey Morgan pointing out a couple of glitches that may occur during the download process. Jeffrey explained that he had used the process I was mentioning and that when he came to use the back up zip file he found it was corrupted. Imagine that for a minute 😥 yes exactly!

As a result of Jeffreys comment I asked him if he would be so kind as to write a blog post detailing the way that he carries out his back ups. Jeffrey has very kindly agreed so I will hand you over to him:

The instructions below are carried out in your hosting C-Panel.

Backing-up WordPress quickly can be done without the use of resource-consuming plug-ins. It really takes just two steps: 1) Back-up your server file system, and 2) Back-up your database.

Let’s look at the file system first. Navigate to your root directory or what is better know as the “/public_html” directory. Choose the Blog that you wish to back-up and right click on that folder. Left click on “Compress” and choose “Zip Archive” as your compression type in the “Compress” dialogue box. At the bottom of the box you will see the name of the Blog that you are trying to back-up “/public_html/myblog.com.zip” Replace this name with “/public_html/.bak_11-10-2010.zip” and then left click on “Compress File(s)” You will now see a “Creating Archive” dialogue box with the “Compression Results” soon to follow. Close the “Compression Results” dialogue box. Now double click the compressed file, which should be at the bottom of your root directory, and you will be provided with a “Save File” dialogue box. Just click “save” and wait for download to complete, and remember to keep your eyes on your modem.

The beauty of this type of download is that if you have several Blogs, as I do, you can backup and download all your Blog file archives at once, in a snap, giving you greater speed and control than any plug-in ever will. However, if you have more than a dozen Blogs, it will benefit you greatly to invest in and learn how to use “Filezilla“.

CAUTION: Do not compress and leave a copy of the archive on your server. This is a violation of your host TOS ( Terms Of Service ). If everyone backed-up their website and left a copy on their server, it would take twice the hard drive space to host everyone’s site. Hosting companies don’t like this waste of hard drive resources and will stop you. Once downloaded to your computer’s hard drive, delete the archive on the server side.

Now let’s look at the database. Most WordPress Blog databases use “MySQL” as their database software. You will have to navigate to your hosting control panel and click on “phpMyAdmin” to take you to a list of your Blog databases. Here you will see two choices on the top left hand side of your screen. One will be: INFORMATION_SCHEMA. Under this you will see your hosting account name, and under this you will see the list of your Blog databases.

Let’s take a look at the “INFORMATION_SCHEMA”:

INFORMATION_SCHEMA is the information database, the place that stores information about all the other databases that the MySQL server maintains. Inside INFORMATION_SCHEMA there are several read-only tables. They are actually views, not base tables, so there are no files associated with them. We will not have to worry about doing anything with these tables.

Let’s now look at your database tables. In the drop down list to the left of your screen you will see a list of your Blog databases and the number of tables associated with your Blog. This is the information that we want to export to our computer’s hard drive. Let’s now choose a database from our list on the left hand side of your screen by left clicking once. You will now see all the tables associated with your Blog. At the very bottom of that list you will see in blue type Check All / Uncheck All You want to select “Check All.” Now look for the small box to the right named “With selected” and click on this box, and then left click the option “Optimize table”. You will now be taken to a screen that shows which files were optimized with the words at the top of your screen “Your SQL query has been executed successfully” Just above this, click on the tab “Export”.

Here we go. Now this process is very simple, however you must be paying attention while you are doing this. Do you see the Select All / Unselect All under the table “Export”? Check on “Select All” Make sure you check “SQL” in this same box.

Under the “Options” box click on “Comments” and click on the two sub-boxes. Check “Structure and “Data” and nothing else for right now. Make sure that “SQL compatibility mode” is set to “NONE”. Let’s look at the “Structure” sub-box. Check everything in this box but “Add CREATE PROCEDURE / FUNCTION / EVENT” and you also don’t need to bother about “Add into comments” below. Lets look at the “Data” sub-box. Remember to check the box “Data”, but you need to leave everything else in this sub-box unchecked. You will not have to worry about “Maximal length of created query”. Leave it set at 50000 and “Export type” as “INSERT”.

We’re almost home. At the bottom of the screen you will see “Save as file”, and you will check this. Leave the file name as ” __DB__” and leave the quotation marks out. Check on “remember template”. For “Compression” check “None”.

NOW CLICK “GO”. Remember to keep your eyes on your modem.

Importing the file back into your “MySQL” is as simple as navigating to your database name in “phpMyAdmin” and clicking on the “Import” tab, and then selecting the “Location of the text file” (this would be your database file on your computer hard drive) and clicking “Go”. You do not need to worry about any other settings as you have already managed settings on the “Export” side of the database.

CAUTION: Whenever you compress your file system, download your archive to your computer’s hard drive, or back-up and export your database, always divert your eyes to your modem to make sure you do not have an interruption in your “DSL / ISP” service at the exact moment of the operation. One moment’s interruption in your Internet service and your files and or database “WILL BE CORRUPTED”. If Corruption takes place you will have to start your downloads over.

Some people were a little concerned about going into technical areas of their websites that they’re not familiar with so Jeffrey has kindly written an additional post detailing how the back up process can be completed using Filezilla.

Backing Up with Filezilla

Please Note: I have followed Jeffreys detailed yet simple instructions and have backed up my complete blog using Filezilla. It took a maximum of 35 minutes, including reading time and was very straight forward to complete.

Jeffrey: I know you’re extremely busy at the moment so on behalf of myself and my readers I would like to thank you for taking time out to write the two posts for us.

Readers: Please read both of Jeffrey’s posts prior to choosing which method is best for you, please remember it is vital that you make back ups of everything before disaster strikes. Please show Jeffrey your appreciation and pay him a visit at Bloggers Market as you can he is extremely good at what he does and very very helpful, he also has a live support desk and is willing to offer support on this and many other topics.

Thanks again Jeffrey.

As part of the update from June 2011 please find below the 2 links to videos showing you:

How to back up in C Panel

How to restore our blogs from our back up

As always I welcome your comments below and will reply to them all.

Until next time, be sure to back up your blogs

Filed under: WordPress

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