You wouldn’t think twice about securing your home. You would protect your family with security cameras, deadbolt locks, and any security gadget on the market. 

Keep this same mindset when backing up your WordPress website. In case of an emergency, like a security breach, malware issue, or human error, you’ll need a backup with all your data to get your website up and running again. 

Most hosting companies offer automated website backups. However, if the hosting provider goes down, you won’t have immediate access to your website either.

The solution is to manually backup your WordPress site using cPanel. That way, if anything goes wrong, you can restore the website and your business can avoid lost revenue due to unnecessary downtime.

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In this post, we’ll cover how to backup your website and get tips on how to properly maintain your backup data.

Why Manually Backup Your WordPress Site?

Hacking is an ongoing threat to businesses. In the first six months of 2019, more than 1,400 data breaches were publicly disclosed. Every business industry is vulnerable, including the retail, education, and manufacturing sectors.

Losing access to your website disrupts your users’ experience and your business. If your website goes down, your visitors can’t buy your products and current customers can’t submit support tickets. In return, you lose revenue and the trust of your customers. 

You could back up your WordPress site using a plugin. But some plugins, especially the free ones, don’t back up all your website data. Instead, they just download your database and not your media files and themes. So, what you thought was a full backup ends up being a portion of your site. 

With a manual backup, you have control of all your WordPress files and database. If your site gets hacked, you can take the necessary steps to restore it without a third-party. Plus, the backup process is so simple that even non-tech savvy people can do it. 

Most hosting providers offer cPanel to manage your website. Its intuitive interface makes it easy to backup your files. If you don’t have a cPanel, learn how to backup your website with phpMyAdmin here

1. Log into your cPanel. (Go to

2. Under Files, click File Manager.

File Manager to backup WordPress site using cPanelSource: BlogVault

3. On the left panel, find the public_html folder and expand the folder by clicking on the + symbol. Select the folder with your website’s name.

4. Right-click your website’s folder and select Compress. (Compressing the files decreases the amount of time it will take to save the backup.)

5. Select Zip Archive and click Compress File(s).

Compress files to backup WordPress site using cPanelSource: BlogVault

6. After the compression is complete, select the zip file and click Download on the top menu bar.

7. Now, place your backup in a secure location on your hard drive.

What to Do After a Manual WordPress Website Backup

Now that you’ve backed up your website, the next step is to take a few precautionary measures to maintain your backup. Here are some best practices we found to be helpful. 

Encrypt your data.

Your backup is only safe from potential hackers if it's encoded into a random message with password protection. Secure all your data by using encryption software, like AxCrypt, to keep your information safe. 

Test your backup. 

What if you tried to access your backup file to restore your website and the backup didn’t work? Be proactive and set up a staging environment to ensure your backup actually works. 

Store your backup in multiple locations.

You’ll want to store multiple copies of your backup in different places — that includes local and cloud storage. Some options are Dropbox, Google Drive, or a separate hard drive. 

Update your backups often.

Aim to backup your website once a month or whenever you make major changes. That way, if you need to restore your website, you’re getting the latest version.

Be prepared for anything. Whether it’s a security breach or a mishap with your hosting provider, you’ll want to backup your WordPress site using cPanel. It only takes a few minutes to do, and a backup will give you peace of mind if any issues occur with your website in the future. 

Use HubSpot tools on your WordPress website and connect the two platforms  without dealing with code. Click here to learn more.

 Use HubSpot tools on your WordPress website and connect the two platforms  without dealing with code. Click here to learn more.

Originally published Oct 11, 2019 11:23:14 AM, updated October 11 2019


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