How To Recover WordPress Websites Without a Backup

Published Sep 20, 2016Last updated Jul 14, 2017

There are tons of content management systems around, but none of them is able to beat WordPress. With 16.2 million WordPress powered sites give, this statistic gives you an idea just how vastly popular and beloved this CMS is. However, it’s popularity is what makes it so vulnerable to hacking and security threats. The open source code of WordPress and the vast availability of hundreds of themes and plugins give an open opportunity for hackers to gain access to your website. Thus, it’s recommended to backup your website every now and then to ensure that you can restore your website if something goes wrong.

Why is backing up your WordPress website significant?

Before we plunge into the actual ways of restoring your WordPress website, it is significant to discuss how important backing up your WordPress is and how you can do it effectively.

Well, backups are not only necessary in the case of WordPress websites but also in other platforms you are using to maintain your website. In fact, if you have a website, you should have regular backups.

Backing up your website enables you to recover a working version of your website if anything goes wrong with it. For a matter of fact, there are various things that can break a site including a human error, an error occurring during an update, an external attack or a brute force attack, and a server crash.

Usually, a website is not responsible for errors related to a server crash, which is why it is often recommended to consider using a highly secure and reliable hosting service provider. Though sometimes, errors related to the server can be so severe that it can bring your whole website down. You may lose a small part it, such as videos and images, or certain formatting of the website—or you may even lose your whole website in a matter of seconds. Of course, this isn’t what you’d want for your website. Thus, this risk pretty much explains why you cannot overlook regular backups for your website.

How frequently you have to store your backup depends completely on your personal choice. You can either do it every day or once a week. Basically, if you are one of those webmasters who post more than 30 articles on a regular basis, you should consider backing up your site more often.

However, there are also times when you lose your backup. Or perhaps you forget to store one in the first place!

So, what would you do if your website gets hacked or crashes and you don’t even have any backup to restore it?

Well, if you are in such a predicament, this article is going to help you restore your website without a backup.

Steps to manually recover WordPress websites without a backup

1. Restore with Google’s cache or Bing’s cache

recover wordpress

Google’s Cache

Google cache is one of the best ways to restore your website and is the only caching service that displays functional links and pages exactly as the real version of your website.

To restore your website with Google’s cache or Bing’s cache, follow these steps:

  • Search for your website or page on Google’s or Bing’s results page. You would notice a down arrow next to the listing of your website or page.
  • Click on the arrow. There are two options – Cache and Similar
  • Since we need a cached copy of your website, click on Cache option.
  • Restore your website, pages or content, or whatever you need from this cached copy.

If you are unable to find your website in Google search results, you can also get the cached copy using this link:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://example.com/

Replace example.com with your own domain name and hit go.

It will directly show you the cached version of your website. Copy the source code of the page and save it on your server and restore your website.

2. Restore from the web archive

recover wordpress

Another popular option is the internet archive, which is the largest and oldest archive for the web. However, the only downside of this method is that a majority of their archived pages are non-functional and broken. So there is no guarantee that you get even 70% of your site’s pages. But it’s still better than losing your entire website.

Go to http://archive.org/web/ and search your website in the WayBack Machine search box.

The web archive also lets you browse your website by any day, month or even year.

You may find that some of your web pages are broken or non-functional. Thus, it is basically an alternative method which can be used if you couldn’t find anything on Google’s cache.

Things to do after recovering your website

Upon successfully recovering your site using Google’s cache or Web Archive, it’s time to secure it to ensure that you don’t lose your website ever again. First off, set up regular automated backups for your website.

If your website was hacked, it is highly recommended to immediately change all your passwords after recovering since your website has already been exposed to unwanted (and potentially damaging) access never know when it gets hacked again. In case you maintain a multi-user WordPress website, ask every user to change their passwords. Another important thing to do is to set up a 2-step authentication to add an additional security layer to your website.

There are certain plugins that you can integrate into your website to make your website more secure such as Sucuri, which monitors and strengthens your website security. The plugin is designed to check for security threats and scan malware as well.

For scheduling regular backups on your website, you can install VaultPress, a premium plugin that provides automated real-time cloud backup solution.

Conclusion

It’s always better to take responsibility for your own website and use a free or premium service to backup and store all the files in a location such as DropBox. That is the best bet for a webmaster to restore a website in case of a catastrophic failure.

However, if it’s too late and you don’t have any backup stored on your system, you can use one of the above two methods for recovering your website and bounce back.

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