In light of recent events, I decided to create this tutorial on how to back up your blog using FireFTP, a free Mozilla add-on.
I figured, I’ll be explaining to many people how I did this, when I did not have access to my website or plugins. Some hosts have the ability to back up from the back end, some don’t. FireFTP allows you to place it in any folder you want, as long as you can login to your website. You do not have to have access to WordPress to do this.
I use FireFTP primarily because that’s what I was taught to use when I studied web design. There are other options, but I find this one very reliable, easy, and convenient.
Yesterday, my host suspended my account, due to some infected files. That means, that I was not able to reach my WordPress dashboard to find my backup plugin. I wanted free access to my files, to back up my blog before I removed those files to make sure they wouldn’t affect my site. They are now safely removed. But having the ability to create a totally new update of my blog, including the post I had published the day before, and the draft I had written five minutes before, meant the world to me.
How to back up and restore your blog using FireFTP:
1. Download FireFTP FREE here. Follow the instructions to add it to your browser, and then restart it.
3. Connect your blog! In the top left corner, you should have a drop down menu. Click on it, and choose the option to add your blog. The account manager screen will pop up.
Name your blog (this doesn’t really matter – it’s for you.) Your host should most likely be ftp.your blog name. Fill in your username and password. This is the one assigned by your host, not your WordPress account. Click OK. In the white area at the bottom, with the blue and yellow text, you will see updates.
4. You have a split screen. The left side is your local folders on your computer. The right is your website. Be very careful – don’t delete or modify anything from the right side!
To back up your blog, create a new folder somewhere you’ll find it on your computer. Find it among the local folders. Click the TOP button (should say “download” when you hover) to download your entire website build to that folder.
If you need to restore for whatever reason, click the upload. But be wary of deleting everything on your site. Only upload a clean copy if you need to!
You’ll see the status of your backup on the bottom. Note: it takes a VERY long time, as your website is full of great content! It can also add more time once you thought it was done, if the amount wasn’t calculated properly. It took me nine hours to backup my site yesterday…
On a final note, make sure you do backup regularly! Hacks, malware, and spam can happen to anyone.
Also, make sure you update plugins, themes, and anything else regularly, and don’t click on any links that you don’t recognize.
Stay safe and happy blogging!
Got questions on how to back up your blog using FireFTP? Ask away!