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I'm learning how to backup right now and I'd like some validation.

From what I understood, to fully backup my Wordpress I need two things. One backup for my database and another for theme files.

The database contains all my blog posts and uploads.

Theme files include plugins and theme settings. Which means if I update my plugins or restore those files my configurations will stay.

So yeah, my question is simply: is this correct?

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There's 2 steps required to take a full backup.

  1. Backup your content
  2. Backup your files

Backup Content

To backup your content, you can use the WordPress export tool.

Or you can take a database dump or export copy of your database directly from phpMyAdmin which is the best method.

Another way to backup your content is to install a plugin which also copies your database in a SQL file format and some plugins also copy your files.

Backup Files

You can do this manually using FTP or using a plugin.

If you manually download a copy of your files, you would be advised to download the entire folder which includes your WordPress installation, themes, plugins and uploads folder which includes all your images/media etc.

Some themes also enable you to backup your theme settings which isn't a bad idea as well.

Note: Its suggested you store your backup away from your server preferably on your local system or an external hard disk.

If your server gets hacked, you can lose everything and most hosts don't guarantee backup.

Another option is to use a backup service like Vaultpress who specialize in WordPress.

  • Any backup plug-ins you have personal experience with and that you would recommend? – Alfred Myers May 20 '15 at 13:45
  • Plugin recommendations are off topic. – Brad Dalton May 20 '15 at 19:54
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In essence: This is almost correct.

Exporting/Saving your database handles all options, settings, configuration, and content.

The other thing is saving all the neccessary files. In general, all you need (unless you have altered anything else) is:

  • wp-config.php file;
  • /wp-content folder.

Just the theme is not enough, as you also might want to backup the installed plugins uploaded files etc.

  • 1
    Right, the files! So the other thing contains plugins and files, but their settings are stored in the database? – Tony Fire Jan 1 '14 at 12:55
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    It depends on the plugin and whether you delete the plugin but generally, yes, if its a well written plugin and you haven't deleted it, the settings should be saved correctly in your DB which is saved when your export the DB. – Brad Dalton Jan 1 '14 at 14:17

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