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How to Set up Backup Policy on WooCommerce Store

March 25, 2019

9 Min Read
Back Up WooCommerce
Reading Time: 9 minutes

Frauds and scams are now more prevalent than ever. There is so much about your ecommerce store that can go wrong. From malfunctioning product pages to insecure checkout, a single bug can cause you thousands of dollars, and more in terms of customer value.

You can save yourself from losing hundreds and thousands of dollars if you have proper security measures and backups in place. Having timely backups of your ecommerce store is the best thing you can do to keep your store secure. And if something goes wrong, you can easily roll back to the stable version of your online store.

Let’s now discuss three methods that can help you back up WooCommerce store. Though I prefer automating a backup policy (as it saves time), however, I would suggest you take a manual backup as well, and keep a copy on a local machine, just to be extra cautious.

Why Should You Backup WooCommerce?

A backup is very important for every website whether it is an ecommerce store, blog, web agency, or some other business running online. You can say that a backup is a key for your website when it is down, you can just enter a key and your website will be up.

These are the common scenarios where you need a backup for your WooCommerce store.

Hackers: Running a quick search on Google for “WooCommerce store hacked” showed that WordPress-powered websites are getting hacked regularly. If this can happen to other stores, then it might be possible with your website as well. Be careful!

Human Error: We all are humans. We can make mistakes. For example, if you are a web store owner and you see in your WooCommerce dashboard, there is an update option available and you haven’t backed up your store. And suddenly your website goes down.

Now in each of these cases, you can lose your entire store including your customers, your orders, your data, and much more.

To avoid all these fallouts, you just need to back up your WooCommerce store, but before that, you must know what WooCommerce backup requires.

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What a WooCommerce Backup Requires?

There are two things on a WooCommerce store that you need to back up; web files and the WooCommerce database. For a WooCommerce store you must take backups frequently because whenever a new customer registers or anyone place a new order on your website, the WooCommerce database gets an update. Therefore, taking the most recent backup is the best way to ensure that you don’t lose any data in case your store breaks down.

How to Backup WooCommerce Store?

There are three ways to back up a WooCommerce store. Let’s read a brief about them.

Method 1: Take Automated Backups with Plugins

There are many WordPress backup plugins (free and paid), available that do the job seamlessly. Some plugins worth mentioning include:

  1. BlogVault – A Backup and Migration Service: BlogVault offers you a 7-day free trial to test the reliability of the system without spending a penny. Their customized WooCommerce Backups are designed to ensure zero-order loss and come with a 365-Day Backup History.
  2. BackupBuddy: It is a premium plugin by iThemes for backup and migration. The major advantage of using the BackupBuddy plugin is its license-based service. You get the license to use the plugin for whatever websites you mention in your plan.
  3. UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin: UpdraftPlus is a freemium plugin that automates backups. This is the most popular backup plugin with over two million active installs. It allows you to take a backup of your files and restore in one click.

For the purpose of this article, I am using UpdraftPlus, as it is free to use and does the job quite well.

Install and Configure the UpdraftPlus Plugin

Let’s suppose that you already have a running WooCommerce store. Otherwise, you can learn to set up your WooCommerce store.

First, you need to install the plugin. Go to your WooCommerce Dashboard → Plugins → Add New, search for UpdraftPlus, install it and then activate it.

plugin install

You will see UpdraftPlus Backups option appear within the Settings Tab. Open that tab and go to the Settings tab of the UpdraftPlus plugin as shown in the image below.

Updraftplus-backup

You have to set the policies of your backup here. It is better to automate the backups and keep the frequency as low as possible. In the free version of this plugin, the highest frequency you can set is 1 backup every four hours.

Next, you can see the Settings Tab appear on your screen, click on it.

File Backup Schedule

This option allows you to schedule your WooCommerce backup on an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Database Backup Schedule

The WooCommerce database is the most important constituent to backup in WooCommerce, as all the settings and data reside within it. It is obvious, a good idea to take the backups of both web files and WooCommerce database at the same frequency.

Choose Remote Storage

This plugin offers a wide range of remote storage options, including popular sto(Generic), Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack (Swift), Rackspace, SFTP / SCP, DreamObjects, Google Drive, Google Cloud, Email, and Backblaze.rage services like Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, WebDAV, FTP, S3-compatible.

To use a service you must first authenticate it. In this tutorial, I will use Dropbox. Just select Dropbox from the drop-down menu and then authenticate it by clicking the link after “Authenticate with Dropbox”.

Note: You must sign up for Dropbox account first.

Include in Files Backup

Here you can select which files to include or exclude when taking the backup of the web files. You should take the backup of plugins, themes, folders, and files. All these settings are selected by default, so I advise you to keep them as it is. If you want to exclude folders and files, just type in the folder name with a trailing “*”.

Email

Want to receive status updates of when your website is backed up? You can enable reporting and you will receive an email with the details.

updraftplus-settings

Once done, you can navigate to the Backup/Restore tab and click on “Backup Now”.

Backup/Restore

Next, a pop-up will appear with a few options. For the purpose of this article, I need a full backup of my website and database. Click Backup Now button and you will see a progress bar.

take-a-new-backup

Here is the example of the progress bar.

progress bar

Once you are done, you will get the pop-up notifying about the successful completion of the backup.


Existing Backups

Now, you can see all of your existing backups available in the same window. You can download or restore, with a click of a button.

This plugin is fast and makes the job easier for you to take backups on remote storage services.

Method 2: Contact Hosting Provider

Many WooCommerce web hosting providers have a backup policy in place. Some offer it as an add-on service that costs you some extra bucks, others take backups of their entire servers that aren’t particularly WordPress or WooCommerce specific.

Go to Server Settings

For instance, if you are using Cloudways, log in to your Cloudways account, go to Server from the top menu bar and then navigate to Server Management → Backups.

With Cloudways, you get a free backup service, which allows you to set frequency as low as one backup per hour. You can also download the backups to your local machines if you want to feel safer.

Server-Management-Backup

Take On-demand Backups

“You can have an on-demand backup of your server. If you have enabled Local Backups, this will additionally create a downloadable copy of all the applications present on your server.”

Backup-now-Cloudways

Once the process completes, you will get a notice highlighting that you have successfully completed the backup process.

How to Backup WooCommerce Database

Now, it’s time to take backup of your WooCommerce database. On Cloudways, I have my own MySQL Manager that I can use to export the database files.

To access the database of your website, navigate to Application Tab and launch MySQL Manager. Within the MySQL, Manager tab, click on “Export”, change the radio button of “Output” to “Save” and hit Export. This will ensure that you are able to download the entire copy of your database to your machine.

You can keep these files safe and upload them whenever you need them.

exporttable

Restore Your Backup

If you want to restore your WooCommerce backup, then log in to your Cloudways account, go to Applications from the top menu bar, and click on your WooCommerce application.

choose application

Application Management, click on the Restore tab.

restore-tab

In the next screen, you will see a drop-down menu where you have all of your backups. Select the specific backup you want to restore and then click on the Restore Application Now button.

restore-application-now

After done this, you got the message namely “Your Application has been restored successfully.”

Method 3: Back up WooCommerce Without Plugins

If you do not prefer a backup plugin or don’t have a hosting provider that takes backups, then you can easily take a manual backup of your WooCommerce files and database.

Step 1: Download WordPress Files

Before taking the database backup, you must take the backup of the web files first. For this, connect to your web server using an FTP client like FileZilla, which downloads all the files in the root of where you have installed your WordPress instance.

Open your FileZilla on your system. If you don’t have it, then download FileZilla first. Next, you must create a directory of your local computer system where you can add backup of your WordPress files. Connect your server and navigate to your WordPress installation.

login-FTP

Next, download and install your WordPress files but before that go to FileZilla → Server and check on “Force showing hidden files”.

showing hidden file

Now, select all of your files and download them into your local folder which you have created previously.

download-file

The downloading process will take some time.

Step 2: Back up WooCommerce Database

Next, we will take the backup of the database. The database contains each one of your pages, content, post, categories, etc. To take a backup of your database, you must navigate to the database management panel of your hosting platform. Then, go to PHPMyAdmin.

phpmyadmin

Now, you must select your database, which you had created at the time of development of your website. If you can not find your database name, you can go with your wp-config.php file and find your database name.

After you select the relevant database, you will see all the tables on your screen.

Export-database

Next, select all of the tables, and click the Export button, from within the menu.

php-database

That’s it! you have now successfully created a backup of the database manually.

Final Words!

Having a frequent backup of a WooCommerce store should be your top priority. No matter how much secure your web hosting server is, you should always have a backup with you. Finding and fixing a hacked website can be time-consuming, but restoring to the most stable version is a quick fix.

At Cloudways, we know the importance of backups. That’s why we have kept a backup policy that gives free backups from the moment you launch your server.

What are you waiting for? Sign up for a free trial now and check our platform out.

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Saud Razzak

Saud is the WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed WooCommerce Hosting Platform. Saud is responsible for creating buzz, spread knowledge, and educate the people about WordPress in the Community around the globe. In his free time, he likes to play cricket and learn new things on the Internet. You can email him at m.saud@cloudways.com

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