Backup Page Content, Layouts & Widgets

How To  Layers User Guide  Last Updated: Time to Read: 5 minutes

There are a few different ways to backup layers page data in WordPress, each with its own results and uses.

  • WordPress Export backs up your posts, pages, categories and tags to an XML file that can be used to import that content at a later time, or to another WordPress install. This does not backup any settings or widgets.
  • Layers Page Revisions beginning in 1.2.11,your Layers builder pages are converted to a universal format so you can access the text, images and links from those page’s widgets even if Layers is not activated, similar to how Post Revisions work. Each revision also captures your widget layout, so you can easily rollback widget changes or restore a previous widget setup. Revisions are created automatically once when you create the page (the auto-draft, usually blank) and when you click Save & Publish. See Layers Page Revisions for details.
  • Layers Page Export exports the Layers builder pages widget settings to allow fast setup of layouts in the future or in another WordPress install with Layers or a Layers child theme activated.
  • Media Backup is accomplished with various plugins or by you and refers to the backup or download of the contents of your wp-content directory. This data would only be restored on a site recovery or migration
  • Database backup backs up your WordPress database, but not any of your media library
  • Full Backup requires specialized plugins or services like ManageWP and will take a complete snapshot of your site, including all content, settings, database, media, themes and plugins.

Below we cover these options in more detail.

A common problem with themes that use special page templates, widgets or post types is that you can lose the content when changing to a different theme.

Layers automatically converts each of your Layers widget pages into standard WordPress page markup, allowing you to access the content, images and general structure of those pages with a different Theme active. When Layers is active, you will see these pages in their Widgetized form.

This backed up content will not look exactly like your old Layers pages, because it is the functionality and styling of Layers is that makes the theme, but you will be able to use these backups to structure new static pages with your new theme using shortcodes or the available styling tools in the editor OR as a reference for creating new pages.

You can view the backed up data by clicking the Revisions at the bottom of the page, or once you have activated a theme other than Layers or a Layers child theme. Simply edit the page and the content will be in the post editor area. To view the HTML version, click the Text tab.

See How to Restore Layers Page Revisions to learn more about working with Revisions to rollback widget layouts or restore lost content.

The following example shows a Layers Slider Widget backed up in the Home page after activating TwentyFifteen:

backed-up

 

 

Revisions are helpful for accessing the last few saves of a Layers page, but they do not provide you with a file you can easily restore if migrating the site or the page is edited beyond recognition.

The Page Export feature allows you to save a copy of the widget setup which can be restored at a later time, or used on a different install:

To use the layout on another Layers Page on the same install, click the Duplicate button, then go to the main Pages listing to find the copy to edit.

To Export the widget data from a single page see How to Export Page Builder Layouts

To take a snapshot of all the widget settings for a single site (including all sidebars, all Layers pages, etc):

  1. Go to PluginsAdd New
  2. Search for  Widget Importer & Exporter
  3. Install and Activate the plugin
  4. Go to ToolsWidget Importer & Exporter and click Export Widgets
  5. Save the file to a safe location. This file can be imported on any WordPress install where this plugin is active.

Be sure Layers and all other plugins are setup and content imported prior to importing widgets – widgets should be the last thing imported to avoid errors and missing content.

 

The WordPress exporter will create a file for you containing the content selected during the export process, such as posts, pages, categories and tags. This file can be used to import all of this content, including the media library, in the event you lose your database or need to import it on a different WordPress install.

  1. Click on Tools  → Export
  2. Click the WordPress link
  3. Select the content you want to export and click Download Export File
  4. Choose where to save the file, edit the filename, if desired and click Save

If you want to create a backup of everything in WordPress, we recommend using a plugin, or a service such as ManageWP

To find a plugin that is right for you and your setup, go to PluginsAdd New and search for “Backup”. Which plugin you choose depends on how you want your data backed up, if the plugin is actively maintained, and if it has good ratings with many users (downloaded file, on your web server, to Dropbox or oCloud?)

We can recommend WP BackiItUp or WP Database Backup depending on if you need automated or remote backup options.

The downside of a plugin is that to use it to restore your site, you need to be able to access your WordPress admin. In the case of a malware attack or database loss, you may not have this option. Be sure to review the help documentation for these plugins to see how restoration works.

To backup just your database, WP Database Backup is an excellent plugin with scheduled backups that saves the file to your web server. This backup can be imported using PHPMyAdmin in the event your database is compromised, corrupted or your site is moved.

For more help with backing up WordPress, see the following: