How to Protect Your WordPress Website With Two Simple Clicks

Making regular backups of your WordPress website is the best way to protect your hard work. Fortunately, backing-up is one of the easiest WordPress tasks—it requires only two clicks from your WordPress Dashboard. Unfortunately, those two clicks aren’t obvious.

Although making regular backups should be part of everyone’s routine, WordPress doesn’t have a big Backup button positioned front and centre on the Dashboard. (For new WordPress users: the Dashboard is the page you see when you login to your WordPress account to write posts and make changes.) Instead, WordPress users backup their websites by exporting them to an XML file. Don’t worry—it’s easier than it sounds.

To backup your WordPress website, go to your WordPress Dashboard. Find the Tools panel on the left-hand sidebar of the Dashboard. Click Export to open the Export page. On the Export page, click the Download Export File button. That’s it. WordPress will create your backup file and your web browser will download the file to your computer.

The name of the XML backup file is a combination of wordpress and the date on which WordPress made the backup. For example, a backup make on October 12, 2009 would be stored in the file wordpress.2009-10-12.xml. Because each backup file is dated, you don’t need to worry about over-writing backups made on previous days. However, if you make two backups on the same day, both files will have the same name; you’ll need to rename one of the files if you want to store both in the same folder or directory.

Now that you’ve backed-up your WordPress website in an XML file, what can you do with it? Actually, WordPress backup files have several uses.

You can restore your WordPress website to the way it was before you accidentally deleted a post or a page. Restoring your WordPress website from a backup file is called importing. To import your WordPress backup file, go to your WordPress Dashboard again, find the Tools panel and click Import. On the Import page, click WordPress in the table of publishing systems. On the Import WordPress page, click the Choose File button to locate and select the WordPress backup file on your computer that you want to import. When you’ve selected the backup file, click the Upload file and import button. As long as you backed up your WordPress website before you deleted the posts and pages you want to recover, those posts and pages will be restored.

If you’re self-hosting, you can use your WordPress backup file to move your WordPress website if you change your web hosting.

You can also use your WordPress backup file to duplicate your WordPress website on your computer. Having a local copy of your website enables you to experiment with new themes, widgets and plugins that you’re not yet ready to use on your public WordPress website.

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