HOW TO BACKUP WORDPRESS SITE

Simple solutions for your site

You’ve built your website on WordPress and now you want to create a backup copy to avoid losing the work you’ve done in case of an unexpected event? In this article, I’ll explain how to backup WordPress and we’ll delve into the details:

  • Which plugins you can use;
  • How to do a manual WordPress backup;
  • How to use control panels;
  • Why backup WordPress.

If you’re working with a different CMS than WordPress, for example, you might already know how to backup Prestashop and you might also be aware of how delicate that process can be.

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WordPress backup happens through a different procedure compared to Prestashop, but learning to do it is essential for anyone who has a website or blog and is crucial in case you need to deal with errors, hacker attacks, or problems with your Hosting Provider.

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How to perform a Full WordPress Backup?

When I talk about backing up a website, I refer to the process of securing a computer’s information by creating one or more backup copies of the data to use later for restoring the WordPress backup in case of harmful events or simple maintenance.

To perform a complete WordPress backup, you’ll need to include in all the files that make the site work:

  • images,
  • documents,
  • data in the database,
  • user data, and their comments.

On this page, I’ll show you how to backup a WordPress site in various ways so that you can choose the best solution for you and protect yourself from unpleasant situations.

The first method I want to talk about is how to backup WordPress using a plugin, particularly with UpdraftPlus.

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Backup with UpdraftPlus

With over 3 million active installations, UpdraftPlus is one of the most popular free plugins for performing WordPress backup, and with its features, it allows you to:

  • Set up automatic scheduling of file and database backups.
  • Manage file and database backups separately.
  • Save backups to various available destinations (such as Dropbox and Google Drive).
  • Manage backup options to choose what to include in data backup and what to exclude.
  • Activate email feedback system to receive backup completion notifications.
  • Set up automatic backups.

As you can see, the features of UpdraftPlus are truly numerous, and it’s no wonder it’s the plugin with the highest rating.

Let’s now explore how to back up WordPress, starting with the installation of UpdraftPlus, while you can learn how to create a WordPress website by visiting our page.

Installation

To create backups using UpdraftPlus, begin by installing the plugin.

Navigate to the WordPress sidebar and select Add Plugin in the Plugin section. In the search bar, type UpdraftPlus, then click Install Now and subsequently Activate. You have now successfully installed and activated the plugin on your WordPress site, and you are ready to configure it.

Configuration

After activating the plugin, access the Settings option from the WordPress sidebar and click on UpdraftPlus Backup. To begin, configure the general settings by going to the Settings section and choosing your Remote Storage option.

Among the various choices for storing your backups, you can select from:

• Dropbox,
• Google Drive,
• Microsoft OneDrive,
• Amazon S3,
• SFTP/SCP.

After choosing where to store the backup, proceed to the Backup/Restore section and click Run.
In the next window you can choose from the various options:

Include your database in the backup – choose this option to include your site’s database in the backup.
Include your files in the backup – Select this option to include your site’s files in the backup.
Send this backup to a remote archive – by selecting this, your backup will be stored in the previously chosen remote storage.
Allow this backup to only be deleted manually – choosing this option prevents automatic deletion of the backup upon reaching storage limits.

Remember that for a full backup of your WordPress site, you must select the first two options.

Click the Run Backup button to initiate the backup process. Within minutes, the operation will conclude, and a successful backup message will appear.

Upon completion, within the Backup / Restore section under Existing Backups, you’ll find the recently executed backup. Here, you can opt to restore, delete, or individually select components for downloading a copy to your computer.

Finally, a notable feature of UpdraftPlus is the capability to schedule automatic backups for your WordPress site. Access the Settings section, where you’ll encounter two options:

• Schedule file backups
• Schedule database backups

Through the various drop-down menus you can determine the frequency of automatic backups and the number of copies.
It is recommended to back up 1 time per month.

In this manner, we have observed how to back up a WordPress site using the free version of UpdraftPlus. Let’s now explore some supplementary features offered by the Premium version of this plugin.

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UpdraftPlus Premium Version

To obtain the Premium version, go to the Extensions / Premium section in UpdraftPlus settings and click the Get it Here button.
You’ll be automatically redirected to the official UpdraftPlus website, where you can choose from different plans:

  • Personal ($55/year and $33 for renewals for up to 2 sites),
  • Business ($75/year and $45 for renewals for up to 10 sites),
  • Agency ($110/year and $66 for renewals for up to 35 sites),
  • Enterprise ($147/year and $88.20 for renewals for unlimited sites).

With these premium plans, you’ll have access to free updates, free support, 1 GB of space on UpdraftPlus Vault for storing your backups, and all UpdraftPlus add-ons, including:

  • Cloning and Migration of your WordPress site,
  • Pre-update backups,
  • Backups of non-WordPress files and databases,
  • Backup timing and scheduling,
  • Additional and enhanced remote storage options,
  • Reporting,
  • No advertisements.

Backup WordPress Site with Duplicator

Duplicator is another WordPress plugin for easily and quickly backing up your website.

To begin, install and activate the plugin. Afterward, from the WordPress sidebar, click Duplicator to access the plugin. In the opened window, click Create New to form a new data package for saving. Now, you can configure the WordPress backup.

On the page you can choose from 3 options:

  1. Storage: you can choose the path where your backup will be saved. With pro version you can store it on Google Drive and Dropbox.
  2. Archive,
  3. Installer.

The second Archive section is divided into two, Files and Database.

  • In Files, you can choose to store only the Database or include only the desired and necessary data in the package.
  • In the Database part, you can choose to exclude specific database tables. In the list that appears, some entries will be in red as they are essential for the functioning of WordPress. My advice is to avoid selecting these entries, except in exceptional cases where you are fully aware of the procedure you’re executing.

wordpress site backup with duplicator

In the Installer section, you have the option to input Database access data so that you don’t have to manually insert them for new future installations or during WordPress restoration.

After completing these steps, click the Next button at the bottom right to initiate the scanning. If everything is in order, click Build to create your backup package. Once the package is ready, click on Archive to save the website backup to your computer in .zip format.

With these simple steps, you’ve been able to back up WordPress using Duplicator and thereby safeguard the contents of your website from accidental losses.

Additionally, Duplicator is a versatile plugin that offers other functionalities. Visit our page if you wish to learn how to migrate a WordPress site with Duplicator.

WordPress Backup Plugins: other solutions

UpdraftPlus and Duplicator are among the simplest plugins available on the market to back up a WordPress site, but they certainly aren’t the only ones.
Among other interesting solutions, we find:

• VaultPress,
• BackupBuddy,
• WP-DB-Backup.

Now let’s briefly look at the features of each of these products.

VaultPress

VaultPress is the latest product created by Automattic, the same creators of WordPress.com. It has recently been renamed to Jetpack Backup to merge with Jetpack.

VaultPress offers a subscription service with three different plans:

• Backup Daily ($9/month),
• Security Daily ($21/month),
• Complete ($85/month).

wordpress plugin backup

The Backup Daily plan includes automated daily backups, one-click restore, and unlimited site memory. The two more advanced plans additionally offer daily and real-time site scanning, comment and form protections, real-time backups, CRM, and other features.

As with the previously mentioned plugins, the first thing you’ll need to do is install and activate the plugin. Once activated, go to the WordPress sidebar and click on Jetpack > VaultPress.

In the screen that appears, press the view plans and pricing button to access the Jetpack page where you can choose the most suitable subscription for your needs. Enter your WordPress site’s data and initiate the automatic installation of VaultPress.

Once the purchase is made, all that remains is to install the application, return to the WordPress backend and manage the plugin.

BackupBuddy

Another plugin that allows you to back up WordPress sites in a few simple steps is BackupBuddy.

Unlike VaultPress, its cost starts at $80 per year for a single site backup and goes up to $199 per year for the Gold version, which allows unlimited website backups.

To install BackupBuddy, purchase the most suitable license for you and download the .zip file from the iTheme creators’ website. Then, in the WordPress admin area, upload the downloaded file, activate it, and you’ll be ready to configure it. Some of the most useful configurations include:

• Automatic backup scheduling,
• Frequency settings,
• Full site or database-only archiving.

You can decide whether to store your site’s data:

  • Dropbox,
  • Rackspace Cloud,
  • Amazon S3,
  • receive the files directly via email.

WP-DB-Backup

The last tool I want to talk to you about for learning how to backup WordPress is WP-DB-Backup. Unlike its competitors, this plugin has more limited features and solely focuses on performing website database backups.

Also with WP-DB-Backup, you can schedule automatic backups and save them to Google Drive, Dropbox or Amazon S3or send them by e-mail.

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How to manually backup WordPress

Performing manual WordPress backup is a different approach compared to using a specific plugin. To correctly back up and later restore it, you need to save both files and export the database.

Now let’s see how to proceed together, but before starting, create a backup folder on your computer and within it, two subfolders, one for files and one for the database.

Manual file backup

To save all the files on your website, connect to your site using an FTP client (File Transfer Protocol). This will allow you to connect local files on a computer to a local server.

Use a client like FileZilla, Cyberduck, or ForkLift. Once the program is open, access the main directory of your site where the content folders you want to save are located.

Drag them all into the folder you previously created on your computer; in FileZilla, for example, you’ll find it on the left side of the client’s window.

At this point, you just need to wait a few minutes for the download to complete, and you’ll have downloaded all the data of your WordPress site to your PC.

Manual database backup

As mentioned earlier, to manually perform a complete backup, in addition to file backup, you’ll need to back up your site’s database.

To start the process, log in to your WordPress hosting account and access phpMyAdmin. Here, you can choose the database you want to save from those available and then click on Export.

In the window that opens, you can keep the SQL Format and Quick Export Method. By clicking the Go button, the SQL file will be generated automatically, containing instructions for restoring the database.

Manual backup is an alternative method, and as you can see, it’s a quick and straightforward way to backup your WordPress site.

How to backup WordPress site from control panels

To be able to perform a complete WordPress backup, I also want to show you how to backup WordPress using control panels.

The two most commonly used control panels are:

  • cPanel,
  • Plesk.

The procedure is simple and very similar to the manual method, but let’s see how to do it together!

cPanel

Just as you did previously for manual WordPress backup, in this case, you will need to first create a backup folder on your computer and within it, create subfolders for files and the database.

Next, log in to your hosting provider’s account that uses cPanel and access phpMyAdmin.

Among the most popular hosts using cPanel are SiteGround and ServerPlan.

Once you’re in phpMyAdmin, you’ll need to:

  • Select the database you want to export.
  • Click the Export button.
  • Choose the quick export method and SQL format.

Now, as you initiate the backup process, remember to save the .sql file in the backup database folder on your computer. Once you’ve done this, return to cPanel and go to the File Manager:

  • Select the public html folder.
  • Click the Compress button.
  • Choose the archive.zip compression option.

By choosing this last option, a .zip folder will be created on your site.

To complete the process, you only need to download this folder to your computer and place it in the backup file folder you created at the beginning.

Plesk

If your hosting uses Plesk as the web management system instead of cPanel, you’ll need to access its backup section by clicking on Websites & Domains > Backup Manager > Backup.

Choose where to store your backup and the type of procedure you want to perform:

  • Full Backup
  • Incremental Backup

The incremental backup is very useful because it saves only the files that have been modified since the previous backup. However, I always recommend performing a full backup to make sure no site components are lost.

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How often should you take WordPress backup

Regular backups are essential for websites to prevent data loss. The frequency of backups depends on the type of website and its activity. For most websites, daily backups are recommended as they capture a day’s worth of changes, minimizing potential loss.

Even static websites should opt for daily backups due to potential plugin and theme updates. High-traffic sites and e-commerce stores should consider real-time backups due to rapid and significant changes.

Real-time backups, like those provided by BlogVault, are crucial for capturing changes every 5 minutes. Additionally, taking on-demand backups before major changes ensures a fresh restore point if needed.

Why back up your WordPress site?

If you’re asking yourself this question, you’re fortunate because you probably haven’t encountered significant issues on your site or blog yet. However, disastrous events that can make you lose the result of many hours of work are more common than you might think.

Therefore, backing up allows you to create a copy of your WordPress site and save it on your PC, enabling you to restore everything without negative consequences in case of issues.

At this point on the page, you should understand why it’s important to back up frequently. So, all that’s left for you to do is explore on your own how to back up WordPress using one of the methods I’ve shown you on this page.

If, in addition to learning how to perform backups, you want to become an excellent professional in the digital field and learn to create and manage your WordPress site, discover the All Specialist Certification program.

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