This site used to be based on simple HTML pages with some CSS and Javascript thrown in for eye candy. Then, it was easy to backup everything by simply opening the ftp server and dragging all the files over. In fact, my home PC was usually more up-to-date than the website itself. Now that I have a WordPress blog, though, there are a couple more steps. I’ll walk through them all in case this helps anyone. As a warning, this is all highly customized to my setup: a WordPress weblog hosted by GoDaddy. Your setup will probably be a little different.

The first step is to use the tools provided by the web-host to backup the database (in my case, it’s a MySQL database). 

  • Log in to your hosting provider.
  • These next steps will probably be different for you unless you use GoDaddy, but here’s how it works on GoDaddy
  • After you click on the domain you’re using (above), click on MySQL from the database tab
  • Then click the pencil icon to view the database details:
  • Then you can see the backup button:
  • Finally, click ok:

You might be presented a confirmation prompt asking if you want to overwrite a previous backup file. Say yes. That’s all there is to it, but you’ll probably have to wait a couple hours for the process to complete.

The next step is to download the backup file you created along with all the other files in your website. You can do this with a regular ftp client (In Ubuntu, I just use the Nautilus file browser, and in Windows, I just used Windows Explorer). You can usually just type in your domain like you would in a browser except start with ftp:// instead of http://. You should be prompted for your username and password. If that didn’t work, go back to your hosting account and use their website to get some instructions for using ftp. Anyway, with an ftp client you can simply drag all of the files and directories from your website into a directory on your hard drive. I’ve done this several times. It works fast, but it uses a lot of bandwidth and ties up your web-host’s server.

Instead of the drag-and-drop method mentioned above, you can use Wget, a command-line utility built for such things. This is installed by default on Ubuntu, but you can also install it in Windows (I’ve even seen Windows binaries for it). Here is the command I use:

wget –mirror -w 1 -p -P/home/site/Websites/site/ ‘ftp://username:[email protected]/’

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