Backing up WordPress

For those of us who are self hosted we have to worry about archiving and protecting our notebook data. WordPress (along with other CMS software) in particular is constantly evolving and you may install a bad update or you may tinker with the code and disrupt a process. You may even get hacked which may destroy your system. While these are some doomsday scenarios there are in fact many reasons why you should backup your notebook and infinitely more reasons that are unknown.

Lucky for us WordPress has a great tutorial system and is widely documented on the web, so backing up is a breeze. You can do this manually or automatically depending on your preference. I chose to do it manually since I didn’t have time to setup an autoschedule. WordPress needed an upgrade and I wanted to get a backup of my posts just in case.

Here is a great place to get started.

My site is hosted by Bluehost and as such I’m able to follow the general protocol for using the cPanel and phpMyAdmin. The cPanel is a nice GUI for accessing server software, scripts, calls, etc. Instead of needing to understand command line prompts to interface with the server, you just point and click! phpMyAdmin is similar but for databases. cPanel gets you to the phpMyAdmin software and from there you can look at the back end of your databases. I don’t know much about this yet (but my dad knows a ton and so I’ll be picking his brain a lot).

But I do know that from phpMyAdmin it is very easy to get to the wordpress database. Once I got there I just clicked export database and away it goes, right to my computer.

I also needed to download the entire IheartAnthony site, because downloading the database doesn’t download images and other media which in my case are essential to my notebook. Doing this was easy. In cPanel there is an icon that takes you to the Bluehost backups (they host their own backups of everyone’s site just in case) and you can download the last nightly, weekly, or monthly backup. I opted for the most current so that I would have all of the most up to date information.

If you want to know, my site is 3GB which took a considerable amount of time.

So now I have my notebook backed up and I want to know what to do with it. It would be beneficial to have backups in more than one location and currently I can have 2: one on the KochLab server and one on my home machine (and I guess one more on my work laptop which is where I have the one right now). I would also like to have this notebook archived in the WayBack Machine for access to it in the future if I’m dead or the notebook is no longer active (or deleted). In fact this should be a priority for all open notebooks, since data curation is a major question mark right now.

Also, should I make a copy of my backup open? I’m inclined to think yes because when you are open everything should be open, but I don’t know about what possible ramifications I should be aware of. Any ideas? If this is a viable option, should I throw the copy up on GitHub?