Most web hosting providers do a daily backup on their servers. In case of any failures on the primary harddisk, there is always a backup to fall back on. However, these backups are never or at least seldom guaranteed by web hosting providers. Therefore, it is always advisable to have a backup of your database yourself.
Here are two methods where you can backup your database.
Method #1: Manual backup through cPanel (control panel)
You should be given a control panel to manage your account. The type of control panel depends on a few factors including the operating system that you are on. If you are using something else apart from cPanel, you will need to check how your control panel works.
For cPanel users, click on the Backup icon. You will then be directed to the backup page where you can choose to download a backup or restore your database with your previous backup.
Click on the link of the database that you want to download.
Method #2: Automatic backup using WordPress Plugin (the easy way)
The WordPress Database Backup plugin can be setup to backup your database automatically. This plugin is very useful and easy to use.
After activating the plugin, go to “Manager … Backup”. If you see an error message such as “WARNING: Your wp-content directory is NOT writable! We cannot create the backup directory.”, you have two options to solve it. The first method is to set the permission of the wp-content folder to 777 (remember to change it to the default settings later). However, I recommend creating the backup folder manually. That way, you don’t risk leaving the permission of the folder to 777 and risk any potential attack.
The backup option page is split into two parts. The top part is used to download, save a copy in your server or send a copy of the backup to your email. The bottom half is used to configure automatic backups. You can select the frequency of the backups — never, once hourly, once daily or once weekly. The backup will be sent to your email address. Click on the submit button when you are ready.
The frequency of the backup should depend on a few factors including the number of posts you publish and the number of comments you get. If you publish a few posts daily and/or you get a lot of comments daily, it is best to backup daily. Or else, do it weekly.
Do it now
Many others have recommended this plugin as a “must have” for bloggers. Unfortunately, not everyone has taken the initiative to activate this plugin including myself. Well, I have just activated it a few hours ago and it is working like a charm. You should do it too before you lose your posts and comments to a harddisk failure.