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4: BackWPup

Running Time:  12:23

Backing up your WordPress site is something you need to pay attention to and not just blow it off. Remember, there is no copy of your web site on your computer. If your site is hacked or in any way compromised a backup will be the only way your site can be restored.

BackWPup is one of the many plugins you can use to make a copy of your site (a backup) automatically.

This plugin does not require a lot of special configuration to make it work.

Always have 2 locations where the backup (it can be a .zip file) will be stored.

Links In This Video

Transcript Of This Video

If there’s one thing that you’ll take away from this course, and I hope you’ll take away more than one thing, it’s that your site needs to have a backup and you need to know where that backup is in case the worst should happen. Now, there’s a high probability that nothing bad will ever happen but if something bad were to happen–Let’s say your site is compromised, it’s hacked, then the only way to restore that site is through a backup. Many web hosting companies will do this for you automatically, but I wouldn’t count on them. My feeling is that you should do your own backup unless you know for certain that they’re doing a backup. OK, so if you need to do a backup or you need a plugin for a backup, then I’ve recommended WackWPup. But there are certainly other ones, I’ve recommended others like Backup Buddy, and– There’s a whole lot of other ones out there, so this is the one that I’ve used, and I’ve demonstrated for years. Let’s go through this.

I’ve already installed it, and there’s no little link over here for settings, so what do you do? In this case, I’m going to head down over here in my WP admin sidebar, and it says “BackWPup” and I’m just going to click on “Dashboard.” This plugin has its own dashboard, and it doesn’t have a whole lot going on.

If I scroll down here, it’s got some videos, and that’s good to help me understand how to use this plugin. I like that a lot. Then I scroll down a little further, and it starts talking about the fact that there’s a commercial or a paid version of this plugin. There’s a high probability that you won’t need to have the commercial version, that everything that you’ll need will be in the free version. So, let’s take a look at how to set that all up. I’m going to go over here to where it says “Jobs” and click on “Jobs,” and there’s no jobs. What’s a backup job? A backup job is just a set of instructions that says “On such and such date, backup such and such thing.” That’s it, and “Store it in such and such place.” OK, that’s what a routine is, or a backup job is. Since we haven’t defined the parameters for that, let’s do that right now.

I’m just going to click on “Add new,” and one thing I love about this plugin is that it’s got the hallmark of any good plugin, that you don’t have to do a lot of configuring. I’m just going to rename this, or name this something over here. I’ll give it a name, let’s call it “Full backup.” OK, we’ve got the full backup. I just gave it that title, and you could call it whatever you want, so that way it will be easy to identify. Then I’m going to leave this pretty much alone as I see it. It says this job is going to back up the database, and it’s going to back up files and so forth. I’m just going to leave it over here. This is some technical stuff, and I’m just going to skip right through it– Like I said, it backs it up without a whole lot of understanding every little detail.

Yes, I do want to have it in a zip file, so all the files in my database and everything is going to be backed up into the zip file. Fine. Now, here’s an important part. Where do you want the backup to go? All right, I always tell people, “Have it go into two different places just in case there’s a problem.” I want to back up to a folder, and I’m just going to leave it like that. OK, back up to a folder, and then I have all these other options over here. We’ll configure this in a second. You can see that it just put this in over here, and we’ll get to that in a second. “Backup to folder–” All right, that wasn’t there before. I’m just showing you.

The other one I’d like to do is do “Backup to Dropbox.” But you can see all these different options here. Here’s what I wouldn’t do, don’t back it up and send the backup to your email. That’s just crazy. You want to leave the backups on the internet, but you want to know where the backup is going to be. So, in two different locations. One would be to a folder which will not be on my computer, and then one will be in my Dropbox account. If you don’t have a Dropbox account, it’s very simple to set up. You get 5GB of space for free. I have the commercial version, but it doesn’t matter. Chances are the free version will be fine. That’s it. OK, so we’ve done that, and I see that not only do I have the “To” folder, now I have the “To Dropbox.” Great. Those are exactly what I need. Now I go over– Before I do that I want to save any changes that I made.

OK. One other thing, make sure that you have the address you want. Any emails that this plugin may generate, for example, if the backup is not made correctly, you’ll get an email that says, “The backup wasn’t made.” Let me make sure I saved. Now I’m going to go over to schedule, and this is a little geeky stuff because it says something about cron jobs. OK, I don’t know what that is– But I do know actually what that is. That’s the option I want to check. The reason why I want to check that is I don’t want to have a manual backup, and a manual backup means I have to go into my WP admin to do a backup. That’s not what I want to do, and I want to have it done automatically. I want to set a schedule. So, with the cron job, I scroll down over here, and I can see that I can schedule a time when I want backup to take place. This is final, every day at 3 AM. If you have an active site, that would be good. If you don’t have a very active site, maybe once a month or once a week would be OK. There’s different ways of configuring exactly what time of day you want it to be backed up. So, I’m going to save because I did make a change there.

OK, That’s good. Now I’m going to click on this over here. So, every WordPress site has a database, and the database consists of data tables. If you don’t know what a database is, think of an Excel spreadsheet that has rows and columns, and those rows and columns have formed cells. A cell is what you can put information in, it’s just a way to store information, and WordPress is run that way. It’s not exactly an Excel spreadsheet where the information is stored, and it’s a little more sophisticated than that. But the bottom line is all of the content that you create, all the settings and changes that you make in your WP admin they go into the database. The database is the single most important part of your WordPress site. It’s what distinguishes your site from all other site, for that matter. By default, the plugin has selected all of the data tables that make up the database, and I would leave it the way it is. I wouldn’t do anything unless you don’t want a particular data table to be backed up. But this is the right way to do it. Then I’m going to go over here to “Files.”

In addition to your WordPress site having a database, it also has various files, and the files are PHP files or CSS files or image files, and you can go through this and decide which files to include or exclude from your backup. Again, because I love this plugin so much I know that by default this is going to be set up pretty much the way I want. I’m not even going to make any changes at this point. So, “Database” is fine. “Files” is fine. “Plugin,” I never even do anything with this over here. I don’t want my plugins to be backed up because that’s silly. I can always get my plugins anyway. “None” is OK. Then the “To” folder, this is going to indicate on my server– That is, where my WordPress site is located. I happen to have an account– I have various accounts with various servers, and I happen to have different web hosts for different kinds of websites. But anyway, this is the location where this backup is going to go, and it’s going to back up. Or, it’s going to keep the last 15 backups. You don’t want the server to have 100 different backups, especially if you’re backing up every day it doesn’t make any sense to do that.

This is good. I want to leave it just like that. The only one that you have to do any real configuring is the Dropbox account. So currently, I’m not connected to the Dropbox account. I need an API key to connect my site with a Dropbox account, so that when the backup is made that zip file will go automagically to my Dropbox account. To do that they give you two options. I’m not sure which one is which, or what the difference of them is, but I always use the second one. It will take me to my– It will ask permission from my Dropbox account to connect the two. I’m going to say, “Allow.” OK, so it gives me my API key, which is just a series of digits. I’m just going to copy these, and now I’m just going to go back– No, I don’t have to go back. I can go like this and then paste it right into here, Command-V. That’s good. And again, the “15” will– That’s fine. By the way, you might be wondering about the “15.” So when it gets to number 16, it’ll just delete the oldest backup, and we’re done.

Not really. I save the changes and make sure we’re good with that, and I’d like to check to make sure everything is going to be good. Go back to jobs, and now we see I do have a job. Yes, it’s called “Full backup.” If I need to make any changes, let’s say I want to include something– It took me back to the setup page. OK, that’s fine. I don’t want to make any changes I just wanted to let you know that you could change the parameters of the job or the backup routine if you need to. You can also delete it, and if I go over here, it tells you the type of backup. I’m just going to back up my database, going to backup files, plugins– That’s fine. Also, where the zip file is going to go, it’s going to go to the Dropbox account, and it’s also going to go to a folder on my server. So all the basic, main, key information is stored over here.

It’s never been run, that is a backup has never been created, but we’re going to test it right now. So, I’m going to do “Run now,” and run we go, and it probably won’t take that long because there’s not much of a website here. If you have a really big website with lots of pages and posts and images and all that, it would take a little bit longer to back it up. I’ll see if I am going to wade through this.

Sometimes I say, “No. I don’t want to wade through it.” It’s done, OK, how exciting was that? It was perfect. All right, and now it’s 100% complete. You do want to test it to make sure that it’s going to work. The other thing I might want to check too here is called “Log.” I’m going to click on that, and this really gives you a whole bunch of technical stuff, and it just says that it was successfully completed. That’s the key thing. If there was a problem, there’d be an error message in here that might be a little difficult.

The single biggest hangup that you’ll have is that the connection won’t be established between your site and Dropbox. So, that may or may not be a problem. Sometimes it’s just a temporary thing to clear up by itself. Usually, it is. OK, and we might wonder, “Where do you get the backup?” I’ll show you. I’m going to take you over here to jobs. Good, now it has “Download.” If I clicked on this I could download, and it will tell me– I’m just going to click on this, and I could download the zip file. Now, in all probability, if your site were compromised, you wouldn’t be able to log into your WP admin and do what I just did. Then you would have to go use a program called FTP or have somebody do this for you to get it from your server, and/or if you send your file– Your zip file to Dropbox then all you have to do is log into your Dropbox account, and your zip file would be there. This is very important to know the location of where your backup is, just in case that rainy day happens.

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