I started dabbling with WordPress after a long time, recently. It is a great content management system that helps a relatively non-technical user to publish a website/blog fairly quickly. The fact that WordPress is open-source, freely available, and is supported by a very rich ecosystem of free and paid plugins adds to that appeal. Heck, even this website is built on WordPress, after 1 week of effort.
What is the best way to continue developing a website? Should it be done on localhost, on a staging server, or directly on the live website? Developing on the live production server is possible when one is working on a brand new website before it is even launched. But, after it’s ready for business, making changes of any kind on the live website is a big no. So, the only option remains is to do development work off the production server — be it on a separate staging instance on the same server, or your local computer — and then later migrate the same onto the live server.
The scope of this particular blog post will not be about how continuous integration and deployment can be handled on a WordPress website (I’ll take it up in the future, I promise), but rather the simpler approach of backing up a WordPress website and then migrating it to another server. The best and foolproof way to approach it is by doing it manually. I will take the opportunity of this blog post to outline how can it be more easily achieved using plugins instead.
Backups in WordPress
The various plugins available in the market provide a multitude of ways to back up the website. Some of them allow to backup only on the server where the website is hosted, while some others allow the website to be backed up on off-site locations like AWS, Google Drive, or some other FTP server. To choose which plugin to go for, it is always advisable to shortlist one that allows you to back up the website on an off-site storage service. This is because if for some unforeseen reason, your website’s server itself gets corrupt, no amount of backup is going to save you from that disas