Your WordPress Backup does not work!


Did I scare you? Am I right, or aren’t you sure? That’s why I want your attention;

Lots of backup solutions but where is the Restore test?

There are lots of backup solutions for WordPress, which is good. WordPress Backups are important and assure you that you won’t loose your valuable content. You have spend so much hours to deliver it, it would a real disaster if you loose it all!

But what surprises me is that almost no one is talking about restores. A WordPress restore is the real goal for the WordPress backup. You won’t be the first that will find out that not all data is backupped after you had to recover a WordPress backup. That’s why I am writing this article.

The issues with a restore test

Before I will explain how the WordPress restore test has to be done, its good to explain the issues you may encounter:

  • After the WordPress restore, your WordPress site runs under a test domain, and will not work. All content you have added has a relation with your domain name. After a move to another domain, you have to execute a replace action in your WordPress database;
  • Owners of small sites often have no place to execute their WordPress restore test.

If you are a small site owner, you can just follow the guide below. This will fix these issues for you. If you have a bigger or more professional site, I want to encourage you: execute the restore test in your own way. Just make sure it works!

The solution

I found a solution for you which enables a good WordPress backup and gives you a very simple way to execute the WordPress restore test. I found the WordPress plugin XCloner. This plugin enables you to create a WordPress backup, but also delivers the script to easily restore the WordPress site at another location without difficult database imports and replace actions for the domain name. Just follow this action list:

  1. Install and activate XCloner
  2. Fill in a username and password in XCloner
  3. Go to ‘Generate Backup’ and create one (using the ‘Continue’ button in the top right)
  4. Go to ‘View Backups’ and download (the latest) backup
  5. Setup a local web server (Windows: WAMP, Mac: Xampp) and make sure that it works. (With WAMP you have to enable ‘rewrite module’ via the menu: Apache – Apache modules )
  6. Copy the backup to the root directory of the Webserver (mostly www)
  7. Open the backup file and extract TAR.php and Xcloner.php from ‘wp-content\plugins\xcloner-backup-and-restore\restore’ to the root directory (the same www)
  8. Open XCloner.php via your webbrowser (normally http://localhost/XCloner.php)
  9. Fillin a username, password and desired database name for MySQL
  10. Click on ‘Start Install’
  11. When this is ready, click on ‘Please click here to continue with database import’
  12. When this is ready, click on ‘All should be done! Click here to continue’
  13. And your website opens on your local webserver! You can test all functionality and content now

When your website is working OK, you can be sure that a restore test in a real life critical situation will also work. You can sleep peaceful now.

When is does not work you know what to do!


Benjamin de Jong writes Smart Internet Applications based on WordPress. He is active on Twitter with several Twitter accounts about WordPress and has a day job at KPN in the Netherlands where he is an IT Consultant.