Step Eleven – Backup Everything

You may not think this is important but it is. The first question any IT expert will ask when you go to them pleading for help because everything on your website is gone or broken will be:

“Where are your backups?”

Don’t panic

Weirdly enough, the Internet is kind of always backing up your website for you. It’s called the “Wayback Machine” and it’s pretty awesome to see what some websites looked like 10-15 years ago.

https://archive.org/web/

BackWPup

Always back up your website.

  • Don’t backup thumbnails. That’s a waste of time and space.
  • Edit the filename the zip file is saved as to reference what it is that you are backing up: eg: files, database, images, everything, etc

There is a bug with Microsoft IIS, if you’re using that, there is a checkbox that can fix the bug, but nothing can fix the unfortunate reality of using Microsoft IIS. I feel sorry for your server…

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Actually backup your website on a regular schedule

Installing a backup plugin is one thing, but you MUST schedule regular backing up. You can do this with what is known as a “cronjob”.

  • WP-Cron
  • EasyCron
    • You’ll be given an API key to copy/paste into some field somewhere.
    • The free account is pretty useless, it expires each month.
    • https://www.easycron.com/
  • Linux Cron Jobs (my favourite, and free, if you have access)
    • Require root command line access to the webserver – or ask me
    • Replace [website] with your actual website, just for easy locating, it’s not important
    • Replace [copy/paste BackWPup url] with the URL you copy from BackWPup.
sudo echo "wget [copy/paste BackWPup url] > /dev/null 2>&1" > /etc/cron.weekly/[website]; sudo chmod 755 /etc/cron.weekly/[website]

Dropbox

Keep a copy of website backups somewhere that is not the webserver, ie: the cloud.

If you already use dropbox, register with a different email, perhaps an email address linked to your domain?

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Moving from one website to another.

You might do this if you’re a developer and are creating a sandbox environment to play with the website safely before possibly breaking everything on the live production site.

“I don’t always test my code, but when I do, I do it in production.”

Or you might do this if you’ve changed your domain name or web server.

First step, is getting those pesky files. Technically, all of WordPress is the same except for the content, expecially images. But sometimes, it’s better just to grab everything.

One of those BackWPup backups usually does the trick.

Or you can try importing the content to a fresh install of WordPress.

None of these plugins should be left active. Disable them when you are done.


WordPress Importer

Written by the guys that wrote WordPress, this usually can copy over all your posts, pages, comments, attachments, etc

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WP Optomize

Before you start duplicating a website, I suggest cleaning it up a bit first.

  • Delete transient options
  • Delete all revisions
  • Delete spam
  • Delete trashed posts and pages

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WP Migrate DB

Moving the database from one domain name to another is tricky. Even for BackWPup.

If you still have access to the original. Use this plugin combined with regular expressions (or basic strings) to make transitioning from one webserver to another much easier.

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Regenerate Thumbnails

Because when we do our backups, we don’t (or at least we should not) save the thumbnails in order to save a bit of space, we’ll have to regenerate them on our new site.

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Customizer Import/Export

When moving the database, or the files, somewhere along the way, in all the json (special formatting) saved options, everything you just spent hours customising in your theme disappears.

  • Install it on the old website
    • export through Appearance -> Customise
  • Install it on the new website
    • import file through Appearance -> Customise

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