This is part five of a series of posts looking at how you can back up your WordPress installation and install it elsewhere for testing purposes. While the steps outlined in the previous posts will get you there, they are quite tedious and technical.
Thankfully there are several options available which automate most of the process. Some of the more popular are:
- Backup Buddy (Premium)
- BackWPUp (Free & Premium)
- WordPress Duplicator (Free)
- BackUpWordPress (Free)
This is by no means an exhaustive list, just some of the more popular. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of them and it is a case of experimenting with them until you find one that does the job you need.
I use WordPress Duplicator, simply because it was the first one in the list when I originally searched for a backup solution! I am going try out each of the above and give an honest opinion, starting with a WordPress Duplicator review.
As WordPress Duplicator is freely available from WordPress.org plugin repository, you simply search for WordPress Duplicator under Plugins->Add new. It should appear at the top of the list. Install and activate.
There are very few settings required for WordPress Duplicator, most of which can be left at their default settings. You may want to tick the Attempt Network Keep Alive and Up options if you have a very large blog, but most people do not need to.
Creating a Backup
Creating a WordPress backup is very simple. Go to Duplicator -> Packages and click on the Create New tab. A name is automatically generated for the package name, but you can always change it to something easier for you. I advise adding a note so you can refer to a specific backup later if things go horribly wrong.
Unless you have files and folders or database tables not applicable to the backup, leave the Archive settings as they are. If that previous sentence did not make any sense to you, definitely leave the Archive settings alone!
You also have the option to modify the Installer settings, but again for most people the default settings are fine.
You have the option to Skip Scan. I recommend against ticking this box. WordPress Duplicator may miss out on some vital file or table if this is enabled.
Click Next. Once the scan is complete, you are presented with a list – check to make sure all the items have a green Good next to them. If all is good, click Build.
It may take a while to create the backup package and you will eventually see a Package Completed notice with two buttons – Installer and Archive. These buttons are links to your newly created backup package. Simply click each button and download the files to a safe location.
Congratulations! You have just created your first WordPress Duplicator backup. If you need to re-download the backup at a later date, you can find them under Duplicator -> Packages.
Now you have your backup package and installer, you need to upload them to a new hosting location. Create a new database for the new website and note the details. Run the installer by going to www.yournewdo.main/installer.php and follow the instructions, entering the database details you recorded earlier.
I created a short video for those who prefer them:
I find WordPress Duplicator easy and straightforward to use. Could it be better? I’m not sure “better” is the correct word. WordPress Duplicator could have more features such as scheduled backups, automatic emailing of backups and even encrypted backups. But WordPress Duplicator is still technically in Beta which means it is not yet the finished product.
I’m sure that some of the “missing” features will make their way into later versions. For the features you do get, however, the price tag of Free is a bargain!