WordPress Files You MUST Backup

Posted on in University

No matter how much emphasis is put on it, many people still don’t realize the importance of backing up their files and database. Sure if you haven’t been hacked already that doesn’t mean you won’t be hacked in the future. Also, unexpected server failures and malware can happen anytime, destroying years of hard work and precious data.

WordPress files

Why Should I Backup My Files?

Every single website on the internet is vulnerable to hacks, data theft, DDOS attacks, malware, data loss, and data corruption. Setting up a backup for your WordPress is like having insurance against everything wrong that can happen to your website. From keeping content safe to restoring operations within a few minutes, your backup setup is essential to website sustainability.

Which Files Should I Back Up?

There are three types of files and one database on your WordPress site. These includes:

1. WordPress Content Files – Files in the wp-content folder contain all the images, themes, plugins, and media on your site, which is why it is essential to back these files. However, some people can be savvy when it comes to backing up by choosing to avoid backups of themes and plugins folders since fresh copies can always be downloaded. However, custom themes and plugins must be backed up. WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, and similar plugins can also be ignored as they are created by the framework.

2. WordPress Configuration Files – These include wp-config.php and .htaccess, two of the most important configuration files in WordPress. While these can be recreated manually, it is always safer to add them to your backups.

3. Database – Last but obviously the most important is the database backup, which should be frequent. This is because all the data pertaining to a WordPress site from posts and pages to comments and everything else is stored in the MySQL database. Hence, it is strongly advised to backup the database frequently, ideally every day to ensure minimum downtime when an emergency arises.

What About Core WordPress Files?

Core WordPress files are all the files that run your site. Core WP files are found in the wp-includes root folder and wp-admin folder. As core WordPress files remain the same in all the sites on WordPress regardless of the type and scale, it is safe to ignore backups of core files. In the case of an emergency, server failure, or hack, the core WP files can always be acquired by contacting the customer support team of WordPress.

What Is the Ideal Backup Schedule?

Having multiple schedules for your WordPress site backups is a great strategy, for instance:

– Have full site backups once a month
– Have partial site backups every week
– Have database backups every day

One of the best ways to get started with backups is to make use of the plugins available. There are various plugins that let users automate backup scheduling and operations. While free backup plugins are always great, paid ones offer more functionality and features.

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