Frauds and scams are now more prevalent than ever. There is so much about your ecommerce site 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 thousand of dollars if you have proper security measures and backups in place. Having timely backups of your 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 shop.
In this tutorial, I am going to look at three methods to take backups of your WooCommerce store. Though I prefer automating your backup policy (as it saves time), however, I would suggest you to take a manual backup as well and keep a copy on local machines, just to be extra careful.
What to Back Up?
There are two things on a WooCommerce site that need to be backed up; web files and the database. Keep in mind, for a WooCommerce site you need to take backups as often as you can because whenever a new customer register or anyone makes a new order on your website, the database is updated. Therefore, taking the most recent backup is the best way to ensure that you don’t lose any data in case your store breaks or is hacked.
Method 1: Taking Automated Backups with Plugins
There are many free and paid WordPress backup plugins available that do the job seamlessly. Some names worth mentioning are:
- BlogVault a backup and migration service.
- BackupBuddy is a premium plugin by ithemes for backup and migration.
- UpdraftPlus is a freemium plugin that automates backups.
- WooCommerce Settings Backup and Migration is a premium plugin that backs up and moves the database of your WooCommerce store.
For this tutorial, I am going to use UpdraftPlus as it is free to use and does the job quite well.
Installing UpdraftPlus Plugin
First, you need to install the plugin. Go to your WordPress admin dashboard Navigate to Plugins > Add New, search for UpdraftPlus, install it and then activate it.
After that, you will see UpdraftPlus Backups option appear inside the Settings tab. Open that tab and go to Settings tab of the UpdraftPlus plugin as shown in the image.
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 per 4 hours.
Let’s go through the settings one by one.
a) File Backup Schedule
This will take the backups of the WordPress core files. You need to keep this enabled.
b) Database Backup Schedule
The database is the most important thing to backup in WooCommerce, as all the settings and data resides in it. It is obviously a good idea to take the backups of both web files and database at the same frequency.
c) Choose Your Remote Storage
This plugin offers a wide range of remote storage options, including popular storage services like Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Amazon S3, Rackspace etc. You can also send backups via the email.
To use a service you need to first authenticate it. In this tutorial, I am going to use Dropbox. Just select Dropbox from the drop-down menu and then authenticate it by clicking the link after “Authenticate with Dropbox”
Note: You will need to first signup for Dropbox account.
d) Include in Files Backup
Here you can select what files to include or exclude when taking the backup of the web files. You should take the backup of plugins, themes and uploads folders. All these settings are selected by default, so it is advisable to keep them as it is. If you want to exclude folders and files, just type in the folder name with a trailing “*”.
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.
After all these settings are done, then navigate to “Current Status” tab and click on “Backup Now”. A popup will appear with a few options, do not select anything as I need a full backup of my website and database. Click “Backup Now” and you will see a progress bar.
This plugin is fast and makes the job easier for you take backups on remote storage services.
Method 2: Ask Your Web Hosting Provider
Many hosting providers have a backup policy in place. Some offer it as an addon service that costs you extra, others take backups of their entire servers that aren’t particularly WordPress or WooCommerce specific.
On Cloudways, however, you get a free backups service of which allows you to set frequency as low as 1 backup per hour. You can also download the backups to your local machines if you want to feel safer.
Method 3: Taking Manual Backups of WooCommerce
If you do not prefer a backup plugin or don’t have a host provider that takes backups, then you can easily take manual backups of your WooCommerce files and database.
You need to first take the backup of the web files before taking the database backup. For this, connect to your web server using an FTP client like FileZilla, which downloads all the files in the root of where your WordPress instance is installed.
Now, take backup of your 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. Inside the MySQL Manager click on “Export”, on this screen change the radio button of “Output” to “Save” and hit Export. The entire copy of your database will be downloaded to your machine.
You can keep these files safe and upload them when and where required.
Having a frequent backup of your 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. So why waiting? Sign up for a free trial now and check it out our platform.