I love pretty much everything about WordPress, except one thing: updates. Of course I can’t really complain about updates because I would be lost without them. With each one comes a slew of bug fixes, security bolstering and cool new features. But with each one you are never sure that things are going to work just right. Because ontop of WordPress, you have installed all these very handy plugins that may or may not work properly once upgraded. Too many variables involved!

So before each WordPress update, I invariably backup the database and all files *just in case*. Until today, I was doing this by hand, ie, exporting directly from phpmyadmin and downloading via FTP. This can take HOURS, depending on how speedy my Internet connection is feeling that day.

Well, I finally got smart and started poking around at WP plugins to do the work for me. And although the results that came up under my seach for “backup” on the WordPress.org site didn’t look too promising, my first pick looks like a winner.

I’ve gone with Xcloner. It’s a breeze to install – only one directory with a subfolder needs to be created in addition to the basic upload. And after a few minutes to check CHMOD settings, I was good to go. I clicked on “backup”, and in less than 10 minutes, Xcloner had exported a complete database file and cloned the entire website (including files outside of WordPress in my root folder) into a TAR file.

It also has a “restore” function, so that in the event that something DOES go wrong after an update, you can easily go back to the older version until you figure out what it is. There is also a cron function that is supposed to allow the auto-scheduling of backups, but I’ll admit I haven’t explored that yet and am perplexed as to why it talks about backups for a Joomla site (ew).