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.

Don’t lose your WordPress content

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.
Click on ‘Tools’ and ‘Export’
  • You’ll be presented with the following choices.
You’ll have two choices
  • Let’s start by looking at exporting the content of your blog. 
Exporting your contenet
  • You can either download all content by clicking on Export All – 
Click the ‘Export’ button
  • Or, by clicking on the arrow next to the Export All button –
More options
  • You can select which specific content to download. 
More options
  • I recommend that you download all the content.
  • Click on the Export All button.
Click the ‘Export’ 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. 

Export completed

Warning – Make sure WordPress has your correct email address.

  • Click on the word ‘Download‘ in the message. 
Click on ‘Download’
  • 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. 
Click on ‘Download’
  • 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 ‘Import”
  • Click on the Start import button of where you want to import your file. In my case, I’m importing the file to WordPress.
Click on ‘Start import’
  • Drag the exported file to the box, or click in the box to find the file on your computer. 
Drag the file into the highlighted box
  • 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.

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Author: Hugh W. Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom. My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my blogging tips posts. If you have any questions about blogging or anything else, please contact me by clicking on the 'Contact Hugh' button on the menu bar. Click on the 'Meet Hugh' button on the menu bar to learn more about me and my blog.

164 thoughts

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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. 🙂

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