I have WordPress installed on my server for my blog. I back up all the files from the server on a schedule. But this is just the files--not the database. Ideally, I'd like to automatically save a database dump on the server periodically so that it gets backed up along with all the files. What's the simplest way to do this?
There is a plugin called WP-DB-Backup http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-db-backup/
You can configure it to email you a backup of your blog at a specific interval.
There are several back-up plugins. The simplest procedure is for the back-up to include the xml export file as then it can easily be imported into another WordPress installation.
One plug-in that does this is BackWPup (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/backwpup/). You can set it to email you a back-up at regular intervals. It is highly customizable.
Plug-ins that return only the SQL file are more difficult to restore as you have to go via phpMyadmin rather than simply through a WP backend.
BackWPup http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/backwpup/ will run on a cron job to backup just the database and/or wp-content or any other folders and files.
If you have access to any FTP accounts (or amazon S3 bucket, etc.) other than where your site is, the plugin can also send the files there; very good for security to have a completely separate place for your backups.
Maybe not the simplest, but other way to do it is with wp-cli, if you have SSH access to the server:
And you can do a cron file to fire and schedule your wp command from the server.
Plugins are not reliable for backup, in my opinion, because should your site fail to function, there is no way to use the restore feature of your plugin.
If you have cPanel on your host server, there is a simple tool in the Backup section which allows you to "Doownload a MySQL Database" as a compressed .sql.gz file.
If you don't have cPanel, you can do this through phpMyAdmin.
Select the WordPress database you wish to back up.
Click the "Export" tab.
Choose the "Quick" export method and click go.
You can check the "Custom" options if you think you may want to change anything, such as adding compression.
Both of these options have a simple restore/import feature and can restore compressed databases of they in the same compression format used during the export process.