How to take a snapshot of your WordPress website

In this article

What’s a snapshot of a WordPress website?

A snapshot is a carbon copy of the content of your WordPress website, on a particular date and time. It’s everything you need for your website to work in case you want to move it from one server to another, or to have backups. We split the snapshot in two parts:

  • Assets: This is your plugins, themes, uploads and WordPress core. We compress it all into a .zip file, so it’s more portable than the thousand of files.
  • Database: This is where the content and settings of your websites are. We take a copy of your database and put it on .sql file, so it’s portable between databases.

How to take a snapshot of a website without installing any plugin

First, choose a the website from your website list, then click on the Website Tools button beside the website:

Then, click on Export website. A new window will appear, with all the previous snapshots if you had any.

Now click on the “Export now” button on the right and the snapshot will be created. This can take from just a few seconds to minutes, depending on how fast your server is and how large your WordPress installation is.

Once completed, you can directly download the snapshot parts and remove it if you want to :

Frequently asked questions about snapshots

Is there any limit to how many snapshots I can have?

ServPress doesn’t have any set limit on how many snapshots you can have on a server. However, there’s one limitation that depends on your server: disk space. If you don’t have enough disk space available, the snapshot creation will fail until you clean up enough space for the snapshot to fit in the disk.

Are snapshots a replacement for backups?

No. Snapshots are a convinient way to have a carbon copy of your website in a simple way (no plugins required!), but they won’t replace a proper backup system. The other issue with snapshots is that they are created and stored on the same server. If your server goes down for any reason (a provider infrastructure update not going well, a massive blackout on the datacenter area, etc), you won’t be able to access the snapshot.

In other words, should I have any other backup solution?

We recommend you do. While this snapshot can replace a backup solution by manually taking a snapshot and then uploading it to a safe external storage (cloud storage, online archive, another server, you name it), it isn’t perfect, because:

  • You have to remember to manually take the snapshot on a schedule.
  • The process isn’t automatic and can’t be scheduled.
  • You still have to have a disaster recovery plan that’s feasible in case something happens.

Will you ever release a complete backup solution in ServPress?

While we are really thinking about adding such a backup solution to ServPress, we feel like there are other points to tackle first, like more integrations and more optimization techniques. Since there are plugins out there that already accomplish the task of being a complete backup solution, we don’t feel adding the backup solution is a priority.

If it’s something you’d like to see in ServPress, please contact us!

Is taking snapshots a heavy process? Will it reduce the performance of my server while doing so?

Not really. The database part of the snapshot is handled by WP-CLI, while the assets are a zip file with 0 compression (only packaging), so it uses minimal computing power to complete. It’s also faster. It’s true that this decision results on bigger files, but we feel like it’s a great compromise since it doesn’t create any slowdowns.

Do you have more questions?

Join our community today and feel free to ask about ServPress.

We’ll do our best to help you out.

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