The Professor is IN, y’all. I can’t really ‘get’ something until i understand the general concept. So here ’tis for the upgrade. All of this, is said in way more words here.
First – there are 2 parts of your blog that need backing up.
1 – WordPress stuff (this is anything that you ADD to the wordpress core files – themes, plugins, uploaded images)
2 – Database stuff (all the posts and other data that you enter from the administration area)
No. 1: all the WordPress Stuff
* Keep a zipped copy of the wordpress that is installed on your blog. If something bad happens, you always have the originals. I keep it zipped, because I’ve been known to open it up and alter something in there, which kinda defeats the purpose of original. Ya know?
* Ditto with the themes and plugins. Most of those come zipped. When unzipping them, leave the zipped copy on your system. HOWEVER, those of us who like to “tinker” will have edited our current them in the theme editor or worse, right in cpanel. You know who we are. ;P
Summary: Get out the handy dandy FileZilla ( free ftp client) and copy all the files off my website back into my hard drive folders. Just like that. Directories and files intact. Quite simple really. And then next time I back up (like the next upgrade) I just overwrite those files again. And again. And again.
* Plugins & Themes folders they do not overwrite your themes or plugins folder on an upgrade. Those have no core files that they need to tinker with. So your theme is usually safe. But you should back it up anyway! ehem. You really should, not me, but YOU.
* The thing about plugins – they DO edit some core files. So when you upgrade, those core files might get “refreshed” so it is IMPORTANT to de-activate your plugins before an upgrade. You should. You really should. I don’t. And then re-activate them after the upgrade is done.
No. 2: the Database stuff (your posts et al)
I couldn’t do a better job than is done here. The dirt of it: go to php my admin. Select your database. And hit “export”. And then sit there and answer email for awhile so your hubby admires your geeky skills.
Enjoy your geekiness,