Navigate to WordPress's Manage page, where you'll notice a new tab labeled Backup. Select this tab, and you'll be presented with a page like the one shown in Figure 18-1.
WP-DB Backup lists all the tables it can find in the database. Here, you can see it lists both the WordPress tables and the phpBB tables that happened to be installed in the same database. The plug-in automatically selects all the standard WordPress tables and provides check boxes to allow you to include any other tables with the backup.
For now, leave the default backup option to download to your computer selected and click the Backup! button. If all goes well (and there's no reason why it shouldn't), you should see the Backup Progress page, as shown in Figure 18-2.
The progress bar indicates how far along the backup is. Please do follow the instructions on this page, which tell you not to touch anything, as the backup will fail otherwise. Note that until you have a lot of information on your blog to back up, the procedure will likely take only a few seconds.
The file that is generated and automatically downloaded is a compressed file containing a single .sql file of MySQL instructions. The size of the .sql file depends on the amount of information stored on your blog. Once you have a few hundred blog posts and a few thousand comments, the download file can become quite large. Thankfully, because it is text, it compresses to a manageable size for downloading, storing on your web server, or possibly being e-mailed to you. Given that there are e-mail providers giving away 2GB of storage space for free these days, you could even set up an account purely to receive and store your blog backups.
■ Note Usually, backup experts advise against storing backups in compressed form, mainly because if any part of the file becomes corrupt, the whole archive is rendered unusable. However, the use of compression in this instance is appropriate, considering if any part of the single MySQL instruction file contained in the compressed gzip file becomes corrupt, the whole archive should be discarded anyway. This is because of the overwhelmingly large proportion of database instructions compared with database information (your blog data). If one instruction is wrong, recovery is likely to fail catastrophically.
Take notice of the security warning contained in the documentation for Skippy.net's WordPress database backup plug-in and don't store your backups on the server for any length of time. This is because the backup files contain sensitive information about your blog. Don't let them be seen by unscrupulous people. Keep your backup files not only safe, but secure.
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