As a webmaster with over 15 years of experience using WordPress, having solid backups is absolutely critical. According to W3Techs, WordPress powers 43% of all websites, making it the most used CMS in the world.
With WordPress running over 455 million websites, data losses are common issues that webmasters routinely deal with.
Having your own copies of blog posts saved locally provides you with several advantages:
Peace of mind – If your site gets hacked, crashed, or deleted accidentally, you have offline backups to restore from. This gives you significant peace of mind.
Easy migration – When moving hosts, domains, or platforms, saved blog posts make migrations seamless.
Portability – Saved posts allow you to easily share or repurpose your content for different sites. You can also turn them into ebooks.
Redundancy – Storing backups in multiple locations like computer, cloud storage, external drives, etc. gives you redundancy.
As you can see, saving your published WordPress content is a smart strategy for any webmaster. Now let‘s look at the most effective ways to do this properly.
1. Use the WordPress Export Tool
The WordPress export tool allows you to quickly download a backup of your site‘s content. Here are some of its advantages and limitations:
Exports all post types including pages, posts, media, and custom post types into a single XML file.
Downloads media attachments along with the content.
Includes all metadata like tags, categories, featured images, passwords, etc.
Easy to use from within the WordPress dashboard.
Exports only WordPress content, not themes, plugins, widgets, menus, etc.
XML format means posts are not human-readable. You need to import back into WordPress to read them.
No automated scheduling. You have to manually go to Tools > Export and generate the backup.
Overall, the export tool is ideal for quickly downloading a copy of your posts and metadata that you can use for restoring your site‘s content. The process takes just a minute or two.
But for complete WordPress backups, you will need a dedicated backup plugin covered next.
2. Generate PDFs Using a Plugin Like Print My Blog
If you want to save your WordPress posts in a portable and readable format, then generating PDF files is an excellent option.
Print My Blog is one of the most popular plugins for this with over 100,000 active installs. Here are its key features:
Create a neatly formatted PDF containing all your posts, pages, and custom post types.
Easily customizable using filters to select specific categories, tags, post types, status, date ranges, etc.
Control which content and metadata is included like featured image, date, author, comments, etc.
Flexible page layout and formatting options for fonts, images, headers, footers, etc.
Ability to generate ebooks by exporting as PDF and other ebook file types.
Primarily useful for exporting content, not entire site backups.
Need to manually generate each PDF, no scheduling.
Has to be used from within WordPress dashboard.
This makes Print My Blog fantastic for creating an ebook from your content or generating themed PDFs based on filters. The PDF can be shared or printed as a physical book.
But for automated backups, a dedicated backup plugin is better.
3. Automated Backup Plugin for Complete Site Backup
If you want to completely backup your entire WordPress site, then using a dedicated backup plugin is the way to go.
Based on my experience, UpdraftPlus is hands down the best WordPress backup plugin available. Here‘s an overview of what it can do:
Backups entire site including posts, plugins, themes, media, databases, and other files.
Scheduling allows fully automated backups to your preferred locations.
Restore or migrate backups easily with a single click.
Wide range of storage destinations like Google Drive, Dropbox, S3, FTP, etc. supported.
Multiple backup destinations can be used for redundancy.
Retention policies delete old backups saving storage space.
Backups contain entire site, not just exported content.
Restoration is to WordPress sites, not readable formats.
|Local, cloud storage, FTP, emails, etc.
|Set automated schedules for backups
|Multisite network backup
|Backups and migrates full multisite installations
|Only backups changed files saving space
|Encrypts database during backup for security
|Download backups directly from the dashboard
As you can see, UpdraftPlus is a full-fledged solution for easy automated WordPress backups and restoration. I recommend using it on all client sites I build for complete peace of mind.
4. Migrate Sites Using Dedicated Migration Plugins
When moving from one WordPress site to another, you need to migrate your entire site, not just the content. This includes all posts, plugins, themes, core files, databases, media, and configurations.
For this purpose, specialized WordPress migration plugins exist like:
- All-in-One WP Migration
- WP Migrate DB Pro
These plugins create a package file containing everything from your old site. You can easily restore it on a new host, domain, or server location. Some advantages are:
Migrates entire sites, not just content.
Very handy for site transfers between hosts or domains.
Most include useful features like find-replace for URLs, redirected, etc.
Some handle site cloning with staging sites as well.
- Not designed for ongoing backups, only migrations.
So I recommend using a migration plugin when you need to transfer your entire site. And use a separate backup plugin for continued backups.
Here is a quick comparison table of the WordPress backup and migration options I covered in this guide:
|Quick content backup
|Fast export of posts
|Only exports content
|Print My Blog
|Automated full backups
|Full site transfers
|For migrations mainly
As you can see, several great options exist for securely saving and backing up your WordPress site and content.
Based on your specific needs, you can choose the right tool for the job:
Use the default export tool for quickly downloading your posts and metadata.
Plugins like Print My Blog help save posts in readable formats like PDFs or ebooks.
For complete site backups, a specialized backup plugin like UpdraftPlus is best.
And for site migrations, use a dedicated migration plugin to transfer everything seamlessly.
As an experienced webmaster, my recommendation is to use a combination of techniques. Automated WordPress backups using UpdraftPlus give you continuous protection. While the export tool allows quickly exporting just your changed content.
Migrating sites is easy with tools like Duplicator or All-in-One WP Migration. And Print My Blog enables creating nice PDF and ebook versions of your posts to share or sell online.
So utilize the right solutions for your needs and you will have a solid WordPress backup strategy in place!