How To Backup Your WordPress Blog To Prevent Losing All Its Contents

How would you feel if you woke up one morning and discovered that your WordPress blog had been deleted or that most of your content had been lost?

It’s a scary thought, and probably the worst kind of nightmare situation for many bloggers.

WordPress has a process that allows all its users to backup the contents of their blog. 

Today, I’m going to show you how to backup your blog without going via the ‘WP Admin’ button on the dashboard of your blog. 

Not only is it a straight forward process, but it’s the quickest method of performing a backup of your blog. Plus, since I last wrote about this, you can now also backup all your media, images and photos.

Let’s start.

  • In the lefthand menu of the dashboard of your blog, click on Tools, then on Export.
  • You’ll be presented with the following choices.
  • Let’s start by looking at exporting the content of your blog. 
  • You can either download all content by clicking on Export All – 
  • Or, by clicking on the arrow next to the Export All button –
  • You can select which specific content to download. 
  • I recommend that you download all the content.
  • Click on the Export All button.

As soon as the download has finished, you’ll get a message saying the ‘download’ file is ready for downloading. A copy will also be emailed to you. 

Warning – Make sure WordPress has your correct email address.

  • Click on the word ‘Download‘ in the message. 
  • The file will be saved onto the hard drive of your computer. In my case, it was saved to my ‘Download’ file, although I was given a choice to save it elsewhere.
  • It’s also recommended that you save the file on an external hard drive or on a data saving site such as iCloud or Dropbox. If the hard drive on your computer fails, you’ll then still have a place where you can retrieve the file.

Warning – the file is only available to download for seven days. I recommend that you download it as soon as you receive the email. 

  • If you want to download all your media files (photos, videos, images, pictures, etc.), click the download button in the Export Media Library box. 
  • Again, the file will be saved onto the hard drive of your computer.

Warning – Downloaded files can take up a lot of space on your computer’s hard drive. Therefore, as soon as you have the new updated download of your file, remember to free up some space by deleting any previous versions of the file.

In the unfortunate event of you needing to use the files to upload your blog, follow these instructions. 

  • Click on Import in the lefthand menu of your blog.
  • Click on the Start import button of where you want to import your file. In my case, I’m importing the file to WordPress.
  • Drag the exported file to the box, or click in the box to find the file on your computer. 
  • The import will start, and your blog will be restored.
  • Remember to do the same with your media file (if you have backed it up).

How often should I backup the contents of my blog?

It depends on how often you publish new blog posts, but here’s a guideline.

Publish every dayOnce a week
Publish two to three times a weekOnce every 10 days
Publish once a weekOnce a month
Publish less than once a weekOnce every three months

If you’ve never backed-up your blog, or have not backed it up in the last three months, do it now.

Any questions? Leave them in the comments box. I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.

Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

131 comments

  1. Thanks Hugh. I’ve sent this to my drafts to include in a future writers tips posts. And my question: Would you happen to know roughly how many gigs your saved import file is? My hardrive is running out of space and so is my Drolpbox 😦 Being self-hosted, my host saves a copy nightly to their server should the misfortune ever occur. I use to back up to Dropbox but it was eating too much of my allowance of gigs. 🙂 x

    1. It will depend on much content there is on your blog, Debby. Images, videos, and pictures can take up a lot of space. In my last backup, I backed up 488 blog posts (I do a lot of housekeeping and delete blog posts which no longer attract any traffic or comments) which took up 9.8MB of space on the hard drive of my computer. Of course, those of us who publish multiple posts per day will use up far more space when backing up content. Also, as I don’t reblog any posts (because reblogging uses up a lot of space in the media library of our blogs), my backup did not have to take into account any reblogs that includes photos and images not belonging to me. The most important thing to remember is to delete the previous backup file after performing a new backup to free up the space it took up.

      Another way to save space on your computer or to Dropbox is to save the backup file onto an external hard drive or a memory stick.

      As your blog is self-hosted, you may have a plan where the company who hosts your blog performs backups for you. However, as somebody else mentioned in an earlier comment, check with them what and how often they perform backups. Let’s say that if you are only paying $3.99 per month, then it’s unlikely that the plan will include a full backup (let alone agood customer service). It’s best to check with them and ask if the backup they do also includes media files, images, photos, etc.

      I hope that helps?

      Thank you so much for the upcoming share you’re planning for this post.

      1. Thanks Hugh, you’re tips are always helpful. Yes, my host backs up daily, and I’m going to give your suggestion a whirl and send it to my stick instead of my hard drive!!!! Thank you as always, and my pleasure to share as always ❤

  2. Hugh, this is great information! Thank you. And I intend to start following it tonight. We lose power here all the time and it has me concerned. This is definitely help.

    1. I’m glad it’s been of so much help. It’s such an easy process to follow and definitely helps in knowing that there is a backup file available in case content does ever get lost. Hopefully, that will never happen though.

    1. You can find the email details WordPress have for you on the Account Settings page of your blog. To get to it, click on the Gravatar image of yourself located in the top right-hand corner (next to the bell icon) and you’ll be taken to the accounts settings page. The email box is the second box down (under the username box). I hope that helps?

  3. Hi Hugh, I’ve often thought about doing this but until now I have never backed up my blog. I’m amazed at how easy and quick it was to do and feel better now that it’s done. Thanks so much for the easy to follow instructions and I just hope I never have to use the import button 🙂

    1. You’re welcome. Keeping a copy in Word is a great idea. However (depending on how many posts you have), it could take a long time to load them all to WordPress. With the imported file, it should be done all in one go. Let’s hope we never have to use it, though.

  4. Mine’s backed up but I like the advice on doing it once a week and also about the space on the hard drive which I hadn’t thought about ..Clear and concise as always, Hugh

  5. Hi Hugh! Last spring my entire website crashed! My hosting company (GoDaddy) was able to get it back online, but the scare was real. I was just lucky; I could have lost everything. I decided to have them do daily backups for me. It is not free, but it happens without my intervention and is stored somewhere safer than my laptop.

    I just thought I’d throw that out there as a suggestion for anyone who does not want to manually back up their website and/or does not trust their own resources as a backup medium.

    1. Thanks for sharing the experience with us, Chris. I don’t think many bloggers think it could ever happen to them, but you’ve proved them wrong. Good to hear that your hosting company came to the rescue.

      Thanks for mentioning that the saved file should also be stored somewhere else other than just on the hard drive of a computer. I’ve updated the post with the information.

      1. One more thing…it really matters who your web host provider is. Those $1.99/month places may seem like a great deal, but good luck getting any help if things go wrong. Heck, good luck even getting them on the phone.

    1. That’s a good idea to save the file in another place other than just on the hard drive of a computer, Terri. If the hard drive ever fails, at least we then have another place where we can retrieve the file. I’ve updated the post with the information. Thanks for mentioning it.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this, Hugh 🙂
    It is long time ago, I did last backup, but already now I have made back-up of the blog and now I’m awaiting for the photos to be done, that demands time, I can see.

  7. Thank you for the information. I’ve been wondering about this function. Can the downloaded files be easily read in any other software, maybe to create a hardcopy ‘book’ of your posts?

  8. Is losing your content a common experience? I place all of my photos and documents on an exterior hard drive because my computer HAS crashed before. Dreadful! I guess I never considered WP crashing before. Thanks for the heads up and the info on how to get it done!

    1. I have heard of it happening, but it’s rare. However, it’s better to be safe and do a backup than to lose all your content.

      It’s also a great idea to save the file on an external hard drive or in the iCloud or another place where you can save data (such as Dropbox). Thanks for mentioning it.

  9. Another awesome share, Hugh! I did this before I changed my hosting to Bluehost. I had that nasty dream that I lost everything. lol I now have daily backups with my Jetpack plan and sleep much better now. Thanks again for sharing. Cheers! 🙂

      1. Oops! I meant the daily backups are done with Jetpack, as part of my plan with them. I’m not sure if Bluehost does a backup with their basic hosting. My apologies for any confusion. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.