How To Back Up WordPress

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We’ve covered backing up Blogger (both your posts and your layout) and now it’s WordPress’ turn.

Your WordPress blog is made up of two parts – the files that make the blog (images, layout, etc as well as the files that actually make WordPress work) and the database, which stores the information that you’ve entered into WordPress (so your posts, comments, settings, etc). The files are the items that you can upload/download via FTP, but your host would keep your database elsewhere. You can download your database either from within WordPress, or within your web site host’s control panel. To export your database form within WordPress (which is probably the easiest way), head to Tools > Export. Whether you’re self hosted or on, you’ll see a different screen at first.


If you’re on, you’ll see two options on the export page. The first option offers you the standard free export, the other option offers you the ability to pay someone else to export the data and put it into a self hosted WordPress layout. It’s up to you really, but $129 seems like a lot of money for something you’re able to do yourself easily.


If you choose the free export option, then you’ll see a similar screen to what a self hosted user would see. Self hosted WordPress users will see the following options when they go to export their data.


Self hosted users can also use plugins like WordPress Backup to Dropbox which will run at a specific time each day/week/month and back up everything to your Dropbox folder. This is really helpful if you want something that will just do everything for you – we’ve talked about how awesome Dropbox is.

To save your layout if you’re a self hosted user, the easiest way would be to download everything in the relevant folder via FTP. However, if you’re unable to, or are afraid of poking around in FTP, then you can use plugins like BackUpWordPress or ThemeDownloader.There isn’t really a way to download your theme from, but that’s more because you’re not able to make any modifications (without paying for them)

1 comment

  1. Isabel

    You’re so helpful!
    I’ve been trying to find out for awhile now how to export everything because I’m looking for a new host for my website. You made it so simple now! Thanks!

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