Ever wish you could go back in time? We all do. When it comes to making changes on your WordPress site, one wrong bit of code can take the whole thing down.
If you know the panic of a fatal error or a blank screen in your browser, this probably sounds all too familiar. Whether you’re making changes to a page template, your CSS stylesheet or adding/deleting files to the media library, one click of a button can change everything.
Go Back Before You Clicked the Save, Delete or Update File Button
BackupBuddy can save the day. Not it only does it provide complete backups of your entire WordPress site, the ability to move your site from server to server (easily!) and a way to automate your backup schedules, it also gives you an incredible flexibility to actually sift through old backups zip files (directly from your WordPress dashboard) to find that one piece of code or that one single file that would make everything ok again. BackupBuddy then allows you to restore individual files or folders with one click.
Using BackupBuddy’s Individual File Restore Functionality
1. Make a complete backup of your WordPress site with BackupBuddy before you make major changes.
Yes, we say you should always store your backups off-site, but it’s not a bad idea to also store one locally on the site if you’re busy actively making changes to files. Before you get started making changes in the design or function (really any code-related changes), make a complete backup of your site with BackupBuddy. By making a backup before you start making major changes to your site, you’re taking a “snapshot” of your site that you can use to revert back to if something goes wrong.
After you’ve made a complete backup, navigate to the BackupBuddy > Backup Page. From here, you’ll see a list of the local backups stored on your site, including the latest backup file you just created.
2. Browse files within the backup.
Hover over the backup file name to see the options. Click the Browse & Restore Files link.
This backup file list view looks similar to what you would see when browsing the files on your site from an FTP client, except these files aren’t the current files, but the versions of the files from when you initially made the backup. This means you can still access the files and code that were backed up before you started making changes.
From here, BackupBuddy allows you to view a read-only version of the file. Click the ‘eye’ icon to view the file.
Restoring Bits of Code from Original Files with Copy & Paste
For example, say I made changes to the functions.php file of a theme (which inevitably broke the site). I could just pull up the file from within this backup to view the file contents. Then, I would be able to copy the original working code out to paste it back into the current version of the file.
Restoring Images to the Media Library
You can also restore individual image (or any type of media file) to the WordPress media library. Expand the wp-content folder and you’ll see the uploads folder. Expand this folder once more and you’ll see a listing of all of the image files available when the backup was initially taken. Select the file and click the Restore Selected button.
Restoring Entire Files like Stylesheets & Page Templates
If I made changes to the code in a page template, or the CSS in my stylesheet, I may really want to revert back to the original code. I can pinpoint the original code that was initially working in the original version to copy and paste it or restore the entire file.
Restoring Theme and Plugin Files
Ever make a plugin or theme update that broke a site? Before you run updates to critical themes or plugins, again, it’s always a good idea to make a complete backup of your site so you can restore if something goes wrong.
Again, from the Browse & Restore Files function in BackupBuddy, you can view the original theme and plugin files from when the backup was initially made. Just select the theme or plugin folder (or file within the folder) you’d like to restore and click Restore Selected.
Restoring Non-WordPress Files
You may have other types of files that are stored in the same directory as WordPress, and BackupBuddy will still back those up. You’ll find those files also available for restore within the Browse & Restore view.
Go Back in Time with BackupBuddy – Restore Files or Folders with One Click
The beauty of BackupBuddy’s individual file restore functionality is how easy it makes it to correct mistakes. You don’t have to download the backup zip file, unzip it on your own computer and sort through files.
Just select all the files you wish to restore and click Restore Selected. BackupBuddy will take care of overwriting the old files and that’s it. Done, whew, back to work.
A Note on the Integrity of the Original Backup File
If we go back to the BackupBuddy Backup page, you’ll notice the original backup file is still in place. The action of viewing and restoring files from within the backup zip doesn’t affect the original backup zip file, so you can still download or send the backup file off-site to your remote destination. Even if you extracted files, everything is kept in perfect working order.
Watch the Webinar
Get BackupBuddy Today — A Must-Have Plugin For Anyone with a WordPress Site
With BackupBuddy, you can browse and restore WordPress files, find old code, replace deleted uploads or simply revert back to a prior version of a file. It’s a must-have plugin for anyone with a WordPress site.
Kristen has been writing tutorials to help WordPress users since 2011. As marketing director here at iThemes, she’s dedicated to helping you find the best ways to build, manage, and maintain effective WordPress websites. Kristen also enjoys journaling (check out her side project, The Transformation Year!), hiking and camping, step aerobics, cooking, and daily adventures with her family, hoping to live a more present life.