You Can Never Have Too Many Backups!

As the title says… you can never have to many backups. Most of the WordPress sites we do are hosted with Bluehost and they do routine backups of their servers, but they also don’t make any guarantees:

“For its own operational efficiencies and purposes, Bluehost from time to time backs up data on its servers, but is under no obligation or duty to Subscriber to do so under these Terms. IT IS SOLELY SUBSCRIBER’S DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY TO BACKUP SUBSCRIBER’S FILES AND DATA ON BLUEHOST SERVERS, AND under no circumstance will Bluehost be liable to anyone…”

Ultimately, as a website owner, you should know how to backup your own website. So if you want to be sure to have a backup when you need one you should log into your site’s control panel and download a backup. The instructions that follow are for Bluehost but they should be very similar for most other hosts.

Go to click on the blue “Control Panel Login” button in the top right corner. After entering your username and password, or domain name and password, you’ll be in the Control Panel.

About half-way down under the heading “Files” is an icon and a link to “Site Backup and Restore”.

Now you’ll see a number of backup choices, some of which are “Pro Only”, for an annual fee you gain a little more flexibility, but if you just want to backup everything it’s not necessary. Click on “Full cPanel Backup”

Next you’ll see a couple different versions of your site, daily, weekly or monthly. Most likely you’ll want the most recent, so click Daily.

Next you’ll be asked to select a “Archive Type”, .tar or .zip, either will work. Click “Start Archiving”, after it’s done you’ll get a link to download the file.

Depending on the size of your site and your connection speed downloading the file could take a little while.

That’s it, now you just have to remember to do it, regularly.

How to Update Your Site to the Most Current Version of WordPress

We recommend keeping your version of WordPress current, mainly for the security fixes.

There’s a good article on the WordPress site with instructions for Updating WordPress.

There are a few main points in the article that need a little more explanation.

Check Requirements

Most of our wordpress sites are hosted with Bluehost and currently they meet the system requirements for the most current version of Worpdress, and I would imagine they will always meet the system requirements. If you’re not sure check with your web host.

Make a Backup

In the Control Panel of your web host download a backup of both your database and your website files. In Bluehost’s control panel it’s under Files > Site Backup & Restore you’ll want to download “Website Files” and “MySQL Databases (All)”, or alternatively you could just download the “Full cPanel Backup”, although it might take a little while longer.

Disable Plugins

In the wordpress dashboard go to plugins. Select all and disable. You might make note of which are currently disabled already so you don’t inadvertently enable them later.

Ready to Update

After clicking the update button in the wordpress dashboard you’ll see information for upgrading WordPress and down below information on upgrading your plugins. Update the plugins first, and then wordpress. You’ll want to do the automatic update. If you are unable to continue because wordpress is requiring ftp connection information, you can often use your control panel user and password but it would be more secure to first create a new ftp user and password in your host’s control panel and to then use that connection information to upgrade wordpress. Once wordpress is updated go back into plugins and activate those plugins which were previously active.

If You’re Feeling Lucky

You can always just click the “Update” button, and ignore these instructions.  We are not recommending this, however we have clients that do it all the time.