I've tried a few third party plugins for backing up my site, with some working well and others not so much, so I'm trying out backing up the site manually. Is there anything I'm missing here or is this the proper way to manually back up?

  1. In the Wordpress folder on FTP copy the following folders and all of their contents: wp-admin wp-content wp-includes
  2. Export the Wordpress database through PHPmyAdmin
  3. Download the Wordpress version the site is built on
  4. Store them all in a secure location

Also, does anyone know of any great automated ways to completed back-up your site?

Thanks, Jay

  • You can write a shell script to do everything automatically with cron job. BTW do you have SSH access to your website?
    – Robert hue
    Jan 12, 2015 at 15:16
  • I have been using BackupBuddy to make my backups. It works great, but it's not free. You can also use other services such as ManageWP.
    – gdaniel
    Jan 12, 2015 at 15:18
  • I will second gdaniel's Backupbuddy recommendation. We're using it on roughly 60 sites currently. UpdraftPlus is a good free alternative. Another common route is using a backup via your web host. Storing a copy in an external location is smart as you mentioned. Both of these plugins provide a method for uploading to external location.
    – jdm2112
    Jan 12, 2015 at 15:31
  • My hosting provider doesn't give SSH access unfortunately. I've used UpdraftPlus before but I'll try out Backupbuddy as well. Thanks.
    – Jay
    Jan 19, 2015 at 14:37

1 Answer 1


The way that I backup our site is two-fold. Via our web host (rackspace) and manually every time I write any code for the site. DISCLAIMER: this is just what I do by habit, I don't claim it's the best or only way to do it. Just sharing.

Firstly your provider may have an automated way to create a server image schedule.

Look into your server settings on your Server Control panel or contact them directly. It may be a paid option but often means you can schedule a weekly /daily / monthly image (like a snapshot) of your server which you can easily restore from.

Secondly you can do it through your (S)FTP program & terminal.

I usually just make a compressed .tar.gz version of my wordpress root folder, rather than the individual folders as is easier to copy across. You can use your (S)FTP client for this.

Once that is done I log into the CMS on my terminal using:

ssh -l cms IP ADDRESS like (

Put your password



Which puts a nice .sql file into your CMS folder to copy across in the (S)FTP client.

  • Thanks for all the replies! I contacted my hosting provide to ask about the SSH but they don't give access to it. I tried doing it the manual way I mentioned above a few times and it seemed to work - I tried it out just to be sure I had a backup while figuring out a more permanent way to do it. Thanks for the tips Bysander, I'll have a look into seeing do my provider do an automated back-up.
    – Jay
    Jan 19, 2015 at 14:31

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