How to backup WordPress using Total Upkeep
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Total Upkeep WordPress Backup Plugin

Keeping regularly scheduled backups is vital for any website. There are two main components of a WordPress website that you need to back up— the database and the WordPress files.

Your database contains all of the text on your website, including posts and pages, as well as all information about your users, theme options, and even data from plugins such as E-Commerce transactions.

Your WordPress files contain the core of WordPress, as well as the wp-content directory, which stores your themes, plugins, and media.

Keeping both your database and WordPress backups with the Total Upkeep plugin will allow you to rest assured that if anything happens to your website, you’ll be able to recover.

Select Backup all files and Backup all databases

Backup WordPress with Total Upkeep

  1. Log into your WordPress Dashboard and navigate to Total Upkeep.
  2. Click on Backup Site Now.
  3. Make sure that both Backup all files and Backup all tables are selected.
  4. Optionally, name your backup something so that it’s easier for you to remember.
  5. Click on Backup Site Now.
  6. Once your backup completes, make sure to move it to a third-party location, such as Amazon S3 or Google Drive.

Excluding Files or Database Tables with Total Upkeep

The Total Upkeep WordPress backup plugin allows you to exclude WordPress files or database tables when taking a backup. This is helpful in many cases, including being able to take a quick WordPress database backup, or excluding parts of your media library. The following guide will walk you through the steps to exclude either.

Excluding Files or Folders

  • In the Dashboard, navigate to Total UpkeepBackup Archive
  • Select Backup Site Now
  • In the Files section, select Custom Backup
  • Use the Include and Exclude fields to adjust which files are included in your backup.

Excluding Database Tables From your WordPress Database Backup

  • In the Database Section, select Custom Backup
  • Deselect any tables you do not wish to include in your Backup

Download a WordPress Backup

  • In the Dashboard, Navigate to Total Upkeep → Backup Archives
  • Select View Details to the right of the backup
  • Select Download to Local Machine

Troubleshooting

My backups don’t complete

Backup Logs

If your backups are not completing successfully, the first thing you should do is review your Backup Logs. You can find them in Total Upkeep > Tools > Logs.

The following video shows you how to find your Backup Logs:

Sanity Check Backup

If a backup does not complete, and you don’t get any error messages in your log, there’s a good chance that your hosting provider / server may have auto killed the backup process. Usually this happens with the backup takes too long.

One thing you can do is run a “Sanity Check Backup” – which is only backing up .txt files, to make sure the backup process can complete successfully. If it does complete, this helps to further indicate a possible server intervention.

Please see the following video for more help with running a sanity check:

Running Total Upkeep on CGI / DreamHost

Over the last several weeks, we have been troubleshooting an issue with Total Upkeep where the backup .zip files were never being created fully. After reviewing the issues, we noticed a majority of the users having the issue were hosting with DreamHost.

When reviewing the logs created by Total Upkeep, we noticed that closing the zip file was not completing.

DreamHost was able to help troubleshoot

We got in touch with the support team at DreamHost, and they were very helpful in troubleshooting. We weren’t able to get a definitive reason for the backups failing. We didn’t have any error messages to actually highlight for us what was going wrong. The BoldGrid team had a strong inclination that the server was killing the backup processes, but we weren’t able to confirm that.

We added System Zip to Total Upkeep!

One thing we did try was to create backups using the server’s zip command (rather than php’s ZipArchive or PclZip). We released a new version of Total Upkeep with this new feature, but after testing, it did not help. On the bright side however, system zip is faster than ZipArchive and PclZip, and so our users now have the ability to create backups even faster!

A possible solution may have been found

After much troubleshooting, DreamHost was able to find a solution that seems to be helping. The main change is to use PHP 7.3 (without FastCGI active). Initial testing shows that this seems to be working, and so if you’re having a problem with backups not completing, please try this approach.

Why might this help?

According to DreamHost, FastCGI has some limitations that CGI does not in their system (such as an idle timeout and a maximum limit of processes that can be opened). They have an article about FastCGI vs CGI here. To test the change, DreamHost says that users can switch between PHP with or without FastCGI at any time, and they have a support article with more info on this.

If you are running Total Upkeep, are having issues with backups completing successfully, and you’re hosting with DreamHost, please try using PHP 7.3 (without FastCGI active) – setup guide. If you’re still having issues, or need help with another item, please feel free to post a question in the WordPress.org forums!

 

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2 thoughts on “How do I backup my WordPress website?

  1. When I do a backup, where is the backup stored as a default? On the BoldGrid server or cloud? How do I access a backup stored on the server or cloud.

    • By default, backups are stored in your home directory, in a folder called boldgrid_backup. You can browse files from your backups or download the .zip files directly within the plugin in the Total Upkeep > Backup Archives section. In order to store your backups in the “cloud,” you’ll first need to configure Google Drive, Amazon S3, or DreamObjects storage.

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