How to Backup Your WordPress Theme

If you’re about to make a modification to your theme files that you aren’t sure about, it’s a good idea to backup your theme, especially if your theme is custom-made (i.e. you can’t just re-download it if something goes wrong), or if you have many other theme modifications you want to preserve.

Here are two ways to do it:

The Quick Method

You can easily backup a single theme file by going to “Appearance > Editor,” clicking the file, and then copying-and-pasting the contents of the theme file you’re editing into a Notepad document. Read more detailed steps here.

The Complete Method

These steps will help you backup your entire theme:

  1. Download an FTP program (such as FileZilla) if you don’t have one already.
  2. While you’re waiting for that, go to your WordPress admin, and then click on “Appearance.”
  3. Under the “Current Theme” header, note the file path that comes after “All of this theme’s files are located in.”
  4. Once your FTP program is downloaded, installed, and ready to go, connect to your website by entering in your FTP hostname, username, and password (these should be different from your WordPress username and password). If you don’t know what they are, ask your web host for help.
  5. Once you’ve connected to your website, browse to the folder that contains your WordPress installation (again, ask your web host if you need help finding it), and then browse to the folder you noted in step 3.
  6. Tell the FTP program to download the entire theme folder to a location on your computer.
  7. Once that’s done, check to make sure the FTP program says the files transferred correctly.

10 Comments

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  4. Excellent I will keep this in mind for my website

  5. I’m currently creating my first blog, and lately because of that, I have been doing a lot of researching on the web about plugins. And glad I kept digging for new knowledge about plugins to stumble upon your site. Keep up your good work.

  6. Wordpress Designer

    Great tips on backup process of WordPress theme, Nice article, thank you for sharing with us.

  7. I think for people looking to backup their entire wordpress site it’s important to note backing up just the theme or the wordpress folder won’t be sufficient. You will need to backup the database in cpanel/phpmyadmin as well (in which posts, comments, widgets, settings and other important data is stored). I just found out i forgot to back that up :( Maybe a post on how to do that will be useful to people as well. Otherwise helpful post..

  8. I would like to thank you for your easy to follow instructions, I have used them many times and have easily found answers to subjects I knew nothing about.
    Once again Thanks.

  9. Very useful post, thanks. I’ve been avoiding FTP for awhile but FileZilla makes it a lot less intimidating that it seems at first glance.

  10. Thank you for this quick and easy tutorial. It’s easy to forget how important it is to back things up!

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