How to update and backup your WordPress site | WordPress for beginners

How to update and backup your WordPress site | WordPress for beginners


In the previous video, you learned about
the importance of updating and backing up your site regularly. In this video we
will explore some of the ways you can backup your data and perform updates in
WordPress. More precisely, we will show you how to backup your site using
plugins and how to update your WordPress version, your themes, and your plugins.
Note that we will not go over how to backup your site through your host. This
is because backing up differs per host so it is likely that the way we can
backup with our hosts will not be the same as you can do it with yours. Another
note before we go on: so far we have been using a local test site, which was not
live or it wasn’t visible to the public. However, to most effectively show you how to do backups, we will now be using another site, which is a test site but it
is live and it is functioning. Since it is a test site you may notice some
clutter here and there but please pay no mind to that. Okay, now that we have
everything out of the way, let’s start. We start with backups
because before doing any updates, especially major ones, like updating to a
new version of WordPress, it is highly recommended to do a backup first. For the sake of time and convenience, we will show you how to do backups with two
different plugins: UpdraftPlus and BlogVault, but be aware that these are not
the only plugins you can use to backup your sit. We have chosen these particular
two based on their popularity and our own positive experience. However, if you
know of other plugins, do feel free to use them. First, we will see how to backup
a site with the UpdraftPlus plugin. We already showed you how to find and
install plugins, so we will go through this quickly. To save time, I already
installed and activated the plugin. Once activated, this particular plugin creates a tab in the Settings menu item. So let’s go there. You see the tab is created here, and I will click on it. Again, for the sake of time, I already performed the backup, but we can still check out the options here. In this screen, you can
choose to backup straightaway by clicking the ‘Backup Now’ button, but let’s
first see what else is there. In the first tab, there is an overview of the
scheduled backups as well as a list of existing backups. To schedule a backup
and adjust the settings, we need to go to the Settings tab. I click on the tab and
we see that we can schedule backups for files and database separately. What’s the
difference between these two? Well, files form the core of your site
and make sure everything works. For example, files govern what happens with
the different WordPress features in your back end and with the plugins you have
installed. A database, on the other hand, stores files associated to your site in
a structured manner. The files stored in the database are, for example, a comment someone left on your site, the time and date that comment was published, and the IP address of the commenter. The information on your posts, pages,
categories, and tags and how everything relates to each other is also stored in
the database.To be safe and secure it is best to backup both the files and the
database. The frequency of your backups that you can set here will depend on the
type of site you have. If you post regularly or if you have an e-commerce
site, for example, it may be advisable to backup very regularly. Very regularly, as
you can see if you click the options here, can mean as often as every two
hours. If, on the other hand, you write posts once a week or even less
frequently, you may choose to do backups weekly or bi-weekly. Here, you also choose how many backups you want to save. The number of backups you save will depend on your needs and how active your site is. Now, where do these backups go? In the
case with this plugin, the setting below lets you choose where to store the
backups. Out of all these many options, I chose Google Drive, again out of
convenience, since I already had a readily available account. Below this
option, there is a list of things you can choose from and I will choose all of
them and then click save. Now, if you also choose to
store your files in Google Drive, you will first need to go through an
authentication process and the plugin will guide you every step of the way, so
that will be easy. Once you are done with that, you can go back to the first step
and just click ‘Backup Now’. Once the backup is done, you will get a message
that it was successful. And you will be able to find your files here in this
screen. Since I chose Google Drive, if I go to my Google Drive, I will see the
backup files are also available there. Back to the backend, the options now are
to click on each of these buttons and download the files to the computer. This
is recommended, since in that way, you will have the files stored in multiple
locations. The reason to save files in multiple locations, for example, your
computer, a hard drive, the cloud, is to make sure that your backups will remain
accessible if one of the locations becomes corrupt or inaccessible. There
are some remaining options in the plugin that allow you to choose to restore this
version, delete it, and view a log. So, that was the basis of what you can do with
this particular plugin. I will stop here because, as I mentioned, this is not an
advertisement but an illustration of how one particular plugin can help you
backup your site easily. Another widely used plugin that provides backups is the
BlogVault. As with the previous plugin, I have also already installed and
activated this one. I can find this plugin in the admin menu, and I will
click on it. Now you see here, I already provided an account and linked it with
the site. When you provide the account, you will see a drop-down menu, where you will be able to choose to backup your site. It is all very simple and you will
just need to give an email address and go through a few easy steps. Since
already connected the account, we can go straight to the BlogVault dashboard. We
have mentioned this before a lot of times: how things appear differ per
plugin and here you see a living proof. While with the first plugin, we did the
backup with the backend in the settings menu, with this one, we need to go
to an external site to access the plugin dashboard. And what we see here
is, in fact, the BlogVault dashboard where we see an overview of the website.
The first box here shows the backups which is what we will focus on. I will
click on the backups number. A new screen opens with details about the backup and
here we see that actually there is a backup currently in progress and the
option in the right corner here allows you to migrate the files, upload them to
Dropbox, download them, and test the backup. Finally, you can choose when the
next backup should be performed with the sync options. So that’s it for the
backups, it’s pretty simple really, if you use a plugin. Now that we saw how we can backup a site with some plugins, let’s check out the updates. WordPress does
quite a good job at making sure to remind you of any available updates. If a
new version of WordPress is available, you will usually be notified right here
in the dashboard. When you have the dashboard open, you can also see the
notifications in the Updates tab, right here, in the admin menu. Let’s click on
that and see what’s there. First, you see the most critical issues WordPress wants to
draw your attention to. There is also a reminder by WordPress that it is best to
do backups before moving on to updating. We already did that, so we should be fine.
You see here, there is also a button to check for available updates. WordPress
does it automatically but if you want you can do it manually by clicking this
button. Now, the available updates are listed
under different headings. You can update WordPress, as well as plugins, and themes. We see here that actually all our plugins are up to date so we will update
only the themes. But it actually works the same so there is no problem there. I
will click ‘Select All’ and click ‘Update Themes’. I will be taken to a new screen
where I will be able to see the progress of my updates and once the update is
done I will go back to the updates screen. Okay, we have the plugins and
themes updated. Let’s just update WordPress now and we are done. All we
have to do is click the ‘Update Now’ button and we will be informed that the update is done and in this case we also see
that a database update is also required. So let’s just click that as well, and
that is done, and now we can go back, and that is it actually. Now it may happen
that you will run into errors or issues when doing backups and updates. One way to control what is happening on your site is to go to the Tools menu item in
the admin menu, then click on the ‘Site Health’ tab. You can see any issues that
have been detected and if you need to do something about it. We will go into more
detail about this in the reading materials. In addition to the Site Health,
you can also install a plugin called Health Check and Troubleshooting. We will also see a bit more about this in the reading materials. Finally, yet another
way to make sure things will not go south, is the first deactivate your plugins before updating WordPress. Of course, all
of these things are optional and it is your responsibility to decide what you
will do with your site. So that is it! In this screencast, we saw how to backup
your site with two different plugins and how to update WordPress plugins and
themes. Hopefully, you noticed that it was not very hard so we do encourage you to
regularly update and backup your site and keep it safe.


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