When Hackers Attack – Backing Up A WordPress Database

in WordPress Tutorials

The internet is not the safest place in the world, especially for completely online hosted content such as a WordPress blog. It is indeed possible for hackers and unwarranted sources to gain access and wipe all site content. Thus resulting in a completely useless site, especially if the site database was never backed up.

If you are working with an extensive WordPress blog it is very important that you ensure the entire database is backed up CONSTANTLY. If your site is ever attacked (lets hope it never is), chances are you will lose everything. To put it quite bluntly, losing everything is BAD. If you have no site backup, then you will have to start fresh- just like when the site was brand spanking new.

It won’t help to restore the site content to a database copy that was done over a year ago either, because everything that happened on your site after that will be lost.

So a great habit to fall into would be to perform daily, or weekly, backups of your site- just in case. Luckily WordPress has an integrated content backup feature which is accessible via the dashboard.

In order to do a backup within the WordPress application you simply need to login to your site with an admin account and navigate to:

Tools > Export

This will export, or download, the entire WordPress database of the related site including posts, comments, trackbacks, pages etc.

In many cases however this process can get old fast, and can easily be forgotten especially in times of stress. So, to further increase backup support several developers have designed WordPress plugins which will perform automatic backups of the content and database.

WP-DB-Backup is a WordPress compatible plugin which allows site admins to schedule a complete database backup. Use and installation of the plugin can be found on the official information page. After WP-DB-Backup is installed you can set automatic site backups to happen on a fixed schedule, thus allowing you to go about your blogging business.

If your site has recent backups and an attack happens the process of fixing any issues or restoring the site is much simpler. You can simply import the backup file or transfer the files to the host server and the site is up and running in no time!

So remember folks, always backup your database whenever possible because you never know when something may go wrong!

For more information on protecting your blog or site, check out this related post on security plugins for WordPress.

Comments (2)

  • Comment by Briley Kenney
    Briley Kenney

    Thank you Dalton, I will certainly check out “Automatic WordPress Backup” for myself as well. No doubt in this day and age good security is a necessity, especially for smaller consumer based, and personal web sites.

  • Comment by Dalton

    Agreed, but your database isn’t the only thing that should be backed up, though! I have seen hackers leave particularly nasty things inside theme & plugin files, too. A comprehensive backup solution is a bit more work to set up but makes a lot of sense.

    I was searching for a solution and tried a bunch of backup plugins (I even almost purchased Backup Buddy, but iTheme’s sales department never returned my email) and finally came across Automatic WordPress Backup: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/automatic-wordpress-backup/.

    It connects to an S3 account (reliable, cheap cloud storage) and backs up your complete installation, database, plugin & theme files, etc, on a regular schedule. I’ve only been using it for a couple of weeks and it’s already saved my neck once. I’m officially setting this up for all of my clients.