Easy WordPress Database Backup

You work hard to create amazing content.  You also work hard revising and updating your site with new plugins, themes, and more.  If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will: a new plugin that was not designed to work with your version of WordPress breaks everything.  You can’t get into the Dashboard and deleting the files via FTP doesn’t work either.

What do you do???  Luckily, you have a recent database backup.  Here is a step by step guide for creating a database backup and restoring your site.  Please note: you must have the backup file BEFORE you can restore your site.

Using phpMySQL or a similar SQL database interface to create a backup file.

a) Select “Databases

b) Select the database of your WordPress install

c) Click the Export tab

d) Choose all tables (or just those that apply to your WordPress install)

e) Make sure the following options are ticked: “Structure, Add DROP TABLE / VIEW / PROCEDURE / FUNCTION, Add IF NOT EXISTS, Add AUTO_INCREMENT, Enclose table and field names with backquotes”

f) Leave all other options as default.

g) Click “Go” which will generate a downloadable file.

PhpMySQL cannot handle very large files, so if the process doesn’t complete successfully, you may need to use direct SQL commands to restore.  If that’s the case, check out the official WordPress documentation on the subject.

In order to restore a database backup, follow these steps:

a) In the same (or a new) MySQL database in which you would like the new database to be located, click the “Import” tab.

b) Browse to the file generate in your last backup and click “Go”.  This may take a while, but eventually you should see a success screen.

Check out the official WordPress documentation on the subject.

Bonus: How to export all WordPress posts easily

If you need to move your WordPress from one installation to another, here is one super-easy way to transfer all content between sites.

a) In your WordPress dashboard, on the left under the TOOLS menu, click “Export”.

b) You will be select which authors’ posts to export and whether or not to include all resources (images) attached to each post.

c) Click “Ok” and you will download an XML file which can be uploaded through the Export area of any 2.x + release of WordPress.

d) That’s it! Easy huh?

21 steps to take before you launch

We’ve all been there.  You come up with a great concept for a website or blog.  You quickly check domain names, then themes (because you were already set on building it with WordPress), and use your favorite setup technique to put it all together.

Before you go public, consider these steps to make sure your ducks are in a row and your website launch will be a success.

  1. Make your site private before you do anything else.  In the WordPress Dashboard, click “Privacy” under the “Settings” menu.  Click “Keep my website private”.  This will keep search engines from indexing your website before it’s ready.  Nobody likes to be caught with their pants down, and you don’t want people (especially people who run prominent blogs) finding your site before it’s ready for public consumption.
  2. Check out the competition.  I’ve been there… I come up with a fantastic idea, spend tons of time developing it, then find out someone is already doing the same thing.  Usually they have put in 10x the time, effort and money bringing their concept to life.  If there is competition, don’t give up yet.  Are they doing exactly what you want to do?  Are they doing a good job?  What can you learn about their version?
  3. Write all of your static content.  Identify the basic information you want to share with visitors and write it.
  4. Make sure people can get in touch with you through a contact form or other method.  The last thing you want is someone with information on a huge problem that can’t inform you about it.
  5. Cross-promote all of your static content.  For example, each static content piece should offer the user a “next step” such as learning more, signing up, purchasing, following your updates, etc.
  6. After writing all your content, scan it all very closely for typos and errors.  Once you’ve checked everything, check it again.  Do something else, then check it a third time.  Your descriptive/static content says a lot about your project and you.
  7. If you’re running a blog, make sure to have a solid collection of pre-content.  Don’t fill up the site just yet, but have something for people to look at.  Some of the best promotion and traffic you’ll get will be during the launch.  Use services like LaunchFeed and KillerStartups to announce your new site.
  8. Make sure all social media and bookmarking accounts are setup and connected to your site.
  9. Put your best foot forward.  Research says you get less than 5 seconds to convert visitors to users.  If you’ve got a primary feature or content item, display it prominently where uses can see it quickly.
  10. Review your design for important element.  Web browsers look from the top left to the bottom right of the screen.  Take a 3 second look at your website.  What do you see in those 3 seconds?  Simulate being a first-time view, what do you take away from the website?  What messages are you conveying?
  11. Take a close look at your logo.  Is it a boring, stock logo? Or is it something that sends a message of both content and feeling?  For example, people should take a message away like “professionalism+tips on WordPress”.
  12. Check the footer.  Many designers simply forget to look there.  That’s why sneaky theme designers stick some nasty code there sometimes.
  13. Check your metatags and titles.  Consider SEO, and make sure to remove all default and standard tags and replace with your own.
  14. Lay the framework.  Make sure users have a clear understanding of what your new website will be or do.  Describe the site and what people will get from it.  For example, “SuperDuperBlog is your resource for daily blogging tips.”  People need to know what to expect from you, when.
  15. Look for obvious signs of design rush.  These can be offset lines, incorrect text formatting, broken links, etc.
  16. Develop your promotion list.  You have done this before, and built some strong relationships.  Identify those whom you will reach out to when you officially launch.  Remember, good blog karma means building relationships before you need something.
  17. Submit your website to appropriate directories.
  18. Build links from friends and associates.  Be sure to do this close to the end of your preparatory phase because you don’t want friends punished by search engines for linking to a non-indexable website.
  19. When everything is ready on your site, soft-launch.  Make it all live and ready, and test the heck out of it.  Invite a select group of people to test each feature of the site and tell you what they think.  Be open to both positive and constructive criticism.
  20. Make your website indexable by search engines (see tipe #1)
  21. Promote the heck out of it!  Send your email blast to your opt-in list of contacts.  Inform other site owners you know.  Submit to the launch sites.  Post new content and Ping update services.  Don’t ignore the social media and bookmarking sites. Update your author bio if you belong to other blogs.