BackupBuddy, our WordPress backup plugin, makes it easy to backup your WordPress website directly from your WordPress admin dashboard.
With just a few clicks, you can run several different types of WordPress backups. In this post, we’ll cover all the basics of WordPress backups with BackupBuddy, including the 5 different types of WordPress backups that BackupBuddy can perform.
The 5 Different Types of WordPress Backups
The BackupBuddy plugin provides several different WordPress backups that allow you to run more granular backups of your WordPress site.
On the Create Backup page within the BackupBuddy plugin, you’ll see 5 different backup options, or Backup Profiles.
- Complete Backup
- Database Backup
- Themes Only Backup
- Plugins Only Backup
- Media Only Backup
Let’s unpack these types of backups.
1. Complete Backup
A Complete backup is is the “whole enchilada.” This type of backup contains everything related to your WordPress installation, so it’s important to run this type of backup after you first install BackupBuddy. Just keep in mind this type of backup may be a larger file, depending on the total size of your website.
A complete backup includes:
- Theme Files
- Plugin Files
- Theme & Plugin Settings
- Media Library Files
- WordPress Settings
- WordPress Database
- WordPress Core Files
- Custom Post Types
- Categories & Tags
- JPG, JPEG, PNG, PDF files, etc
- WooCommerce products, transactions, sales, etc.
Once BackupBuddy generates this backup, you’ll be able to download a zip file of your Complete backup. You can watch BackupBuddy work as it backs up your files, your database, zips up the backup and verifies the integrity of the backup.
One cool thing about your BackupBuddy backups is the ability to download a zip file of backup, which is essentially your whole website.
Here’s a peek inside a BackupBuddy Complete Backup zip file:
2. Database Backup
We often say “a WordPress site is just a database with a face.” That means WordPress uses a MySQL database to store most of the important components of your website, including the content of your posts, users, comments, categories and tags, settings, links, etc.
Here’s a list of all the database tables included in a standard BackupBuddy Database backup.
Note: Additional database tables may be added by the plugins you use. You can get a complete breakdown of what’s included in these tables in this extensive article covering Database Descriptions on the WordPress.org Codex.
Once BackupBuddy completes the backup, you can download your Database backup as a zip file to expand the backup. Here’s a look inside.
3. Plugins Only Backup
The next three backup types are pretty self-explanatory. A Plugins Only type of backup backs up all your plugin files, regardless if the plugin is active or not.
This type of backup is extremely useful to run before you update plugins as the previous versions of the plugins will be preserved in case you need to revert back.
Once BackupBuddy finishes, the zip file download of the backup shows all the contents. Each plugin will have its own folder.
For this site, I only have a few plugins installed, but you can see each plugin folder contained within the backup.
4. Themes Only Backup
A Themes Only type of backup is exactly what it sounds like … a backup of all the themes installed on your site, regardless if they are active or not. This type of backup is extremely useful to run before you update themes as the previous versions of the theme will be preserved in case you need to revert back.
Once BackupBuddy finishes, the zip file download of the backup shows all the contents. Each theme installed on your site will have its own folder.
Each theme folder is contained within the backup.
5. Media Only Backup
A Media Only type of backup is a backup of all the media files you’ve uploaded to your website via the Media Library. This type of backup is extremely helpful if you’ve ever accidentally deleted an image file out of your Media Library and need to get it back.
Once BackupBuddy finishes, the zip file download of the backup shows all the contents.
Since your Media Library is organized by date, files will be organized into folders by year and month.
Learn More About BackupBuddy, the 3-in-1 WordPress Backup Plugin
BackupBuddy, our WordPress backup plugin, can backup, restore and migrate your WordPress website to a new host or domain. You can then store you backups safely off-site with OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive integration, or use BackupBuddy Stash, our secure, remote backup storage destination (you get 1GB free with your BackupBuddy subscription!)
Next up, we’ll be covering the importance of backup schedules and remote destinations as part of your WordPress backup strategy.
Need to restore from a backup? Check out BackupBuddy University: Restore Plugins, Themes, WordPress Version and Individual Files for a look at BackupBuddy’s in-dashboard restore feature.
Kristen has been writing tutorials to help WordPress users since 2011. You can usually find her working on new articles for the iThemes blog or developing resources for #WPprosper. Outside of work, Kristen enjoys journaling (she’s written two books!), hiking and camping, cooking, and daily adventures with her family, hoping to live a more present life.