Backup and restore: the ultimate insurance for your website

Backups help you restore your website to a previous version in case of bugs, updates that failed, hacks, and other issues. However, restoring WordPress from a backup file is not accessible if you are a beginner. This article shows some quick methods to quickly restore your WordPress website from a backup.

Online security, stando ai dati, is at greater risk every year due to increased cyber-attacks. Proteggere un site web, for anyone who owns it, is, therefore, an increasingly important activity. And among the many ways to ensure Sicurezza al tuo sito webbackup is undoubtedly one of the most effective.

Why create a backup

The backup di un site WordPress consists of a copy of the database and system files that allow the site to function. 

You’ll resort to backing up your data with some relief if you’ve lost content that you can’t restore via the proper WordPress features, if you’ve installed a theme or plugin that has damaged your site, or if your website is no longer visible due to a system crash, bug, or hacker attack. In other words, cybersecurity sees backup as a security certificate for your website.

There are several ways to back up a website: automatic backups, daily backups, and occasional backups. Depending on your security needs, you’ll be able to determine the right frequency to protect the personal data and system files that underpin your webspace.

What does a backup include? 

To fulfill its function of saving the most essential information of a site, a backup must include several elements, which are not only those visible to the user (such as content, photos, or videos) but also all the files and settings that allow the actual operation of the site (including the WordPress configuration, if you use this CMS).

Backing up a WordPress site should therefore include:

· a copy of the WordPress database,

· a copy of the files in the plugins, mu-plugins, themes, and uploads directories,

· a copy of selected files in the wp-content directory.

Only by having a backup of all the elements of your site will you be able to restore a fully functioning previous version that users can view and use.

WordPress restore: the various methods of restoring from backups.

There are several solutions to restore a website’s data through backup. The type of restore depends mainly on the method chosen to create the backup. 

For example, if you have used a plugin for backup, it is better to use the same add-on for site restoration.

In the case of manual backup, instead, it might be convenient to use cPanel for restoration (unless you are dealing with large sites).

What to restore: full or partial backup?

Fully restoring a site is more challenging, resulting in more downtime. 

In this sense, a partial restore can be more performant but requires exact knowledge of the element that caused the error (e.g., a new plugin) or of the moment when the problem occurred (e.g., when the site theme was updated). 

From the database point of view, with a partial restore, you also save the changes made during the update process (while with a full restore, these may be lost). 

Restore a WordPress site from a backup with a plugin

If you used a plugin to backup your WordPress site, you could probably use the add-on for restoring. Most of the backup plugins, in fact, also allow the restore operation: follow the instructions. 

There are different types of plugins, some with the free version, and some with the premium version. Let’s see some examples.

UpdraftPlus Plugin

Questo plugin allows you to create a full backup of a WordPress site, save it to a computer or cloud (taking advantage of storage services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Amazon S3), send it via FTP, SFTP, and email, and quickly restore backups from the WordPress admin panel.

BackupBuddy 

Plugin WordPress is very popular, which allows you to perform backup and restore operations quickly and easily through the ImportBuddy tool. By uploading the ImportBuddy file and the backup zipped file, you are guided by the agency through all the steps to restore the entire WordPress site, including content, plugins, widgets, and themes. You can also restore individual WordPress files.

BackWPup

BackWPup is a free plugin that can be used to save your complete WordPress installation, including /wp-content/. It allows you to create complete WordPress backups for free and store them on the cloud (Dropbox, Rackspace, Amazon S3, etc.), FTP, email, or your own computer. With a single backup .zipper file you can easily restore an installation. 

The Pro version allows you to restore backups with just a few clicks from the WordPress backend, encrypt backup archives and restore from encrypted backups.

Restore WordPress backup using the web host 

Many web hosts provide backups as part of their hosting package or as an add-on. These backups run regularly as snapshots of your site so that you can restore the site to specific recovery points. 

Typically, to get your site restored from backup, you’ll have to contact the host (the process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days). But some web hosts allow you to restore WordPress from backup by logging into your hosting account’s dashboard. 

Manually restore WordPress site from backup.

The manual procedure has the disadvantage of human error, but if you don’t want to use a “backup and restore” plugin and your hosting service doesn’t provide the function to restore the site from backup, you can use cPanel or do a restore via FTP, after downloading the backup to your computer (or a local server). 

Manual restoration with cPanel requires two separate tools: 

· phpMyAdmin to restore the database,

· File Manager for restoring WordPress files.

Both tools have a maximum file upload limit of 500 MB. If the backup file exceeds this limit, as in the case of large e-commerce, it is better to use the FTP method instead of cPanel, employing an FTP client such as FileZilla.

How to restore WordPress site without backup

Ominous but not unlikely scenario: your site may no longer be visible due to an update gone wrong or a hack, and you may not have a backup copy of your site to restore it.

In this case, there are some solutions that allow you to save, at least in part, your site.

Through the web cache

Search engines usually keep a cached version of your site to allow users to view the latest version stored in their cache if the site is down.

Through the Wayback Machine

The Wayback Machine is the most prominent digital archive of the World Wide Web. The project was born to solve the problem of the disappearance of the content of a Web site when it is modified or closed.

If your site has been online for several years and receives a lot of traffic, there’s a good chance that the Wayback Machine has archived some version of it.

Conclusions

Backups are crucial for any website: they save you from evil hackers, and loss of essential content, and save you a great deal of time that you would have to spend recovering your WordPress site data.

As an online business owner, you need to be prepared for the possibility that a problem may prevent users from viewing your website or interacting with it. In this case, only a good backup and recovery solution will save not only your revenue but also your reputation as a brand.

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