If you run a WordPress site, whether it be an eCommerce site, a blog or news portal, you know how much of an importance the safety of your website holds. Many hazardous incidents such as incompatible updates, hacking, plugin errors, server crash etc could cost your online business. So to keep your guards up against all of these odds, you must backup wordpress site, there is no exception to it. Ensuring the safety of your site’s data and other elements is vital. And, taking necessary steps to stave off something bad from happening has the utmost importance.

No matter the size of your website, you can easily backup wordpress site to a cloud storage within clicks. Thanks to the free WordPress backup plugins that enable you to get it all done. In this article we will talk about the best free wordpress backup and restore plugin, UpdraftPlus.

So continue reading for detailed instructions on how to do a server backup and restore with UpdraftPlus.

Keeping a ‘Backup’, What does it mean?

To put it simply, a ‘backup’ creates a copied version of the files or data of your site in case the real ones are lost or damaged. To backup wordpress site means backing up your database, plugins, themes, server settings, posts, comments, links etc that you have.

Why is it so Important to Backup WordPress Site?

All websites on the web are vulnerable to data loss and various security threats. Which is why, backing up your website data on a regular basis is an indispensable part of maintaining a site. A research shows that, data loss and server downtime cost almost $1.7 trillion each year to the globally economy. Your website contains every post, comment and link that you have ever created. So, if something goes wrong, all of those data could be lost in seconds.

Your website could be at risk because of the following issues:

1. Incompatible Updates/Update errors:

Plugins, themes and WordPress itself require updates frequently. So there is a good chance of update errors or incompatibility of updates to occur. Which can compromise your website’s performance or could even crash your site. So opting to a wordpress backup and restore solution is a must to tackle these issues.

2. Vulnerability of Website:

As we all know that 35% of the website on the web are powered by WordPress. So it is not a surprise that the platform is the frequent target of hackers and spammers. That is why to unable those spams and malware to take down your site, it is a top recommendation to keep regular server backups.

3. Issues with Hosting Company:

None of the hosting company is perfect and free of issues. In fact, websites go down many times because of server outage. This could happen for a variety of reasons, including virus and cyber attacks, traffic overload, hardware failure and more. In many occasions, the hosting companies could revert back to an old version of your site if they fail to recover from server outages. And this mean, any latest update or records of your website data is lost for good.

Therefore considering all of the reasons mentioned above, a wordpress backup and restore solution is very much needed to protect your website data. Backup wordpress site regularly so that in case of emergencies, you can always restore your backups.

Backup and Restore Data with UpdraftPlus

Here we will show you all the necessary steps required to do a server backup and restore when needed. Lets dive in.

Step 1: Install the UpdraftPlus plugin

UpdraftPlus- Best solution for WordPress Backup and Restore.
UpdraftPlus Plugin

First and foremost you have to install the UpdraftPlus plugin. Either from the WordPress Plugin Directory as a zip file or from your admin dashboard. Click on “Plugins” and then click “Add New” from the top left corner of the screen. After searching the plugin, click on Install Now button then click on Activate.

Step 2: Navigate to “UpdraftPlus Backups” page

UpdraftPlus Backups

Upon successful activation, from your dashboard, click on Settings > UpdraftPlus Backups. You will then see the main page of this plugin.

Step 3: Configure Storage Location

Configure storage location to backup wordpress site.
Configure Storage Location

It is a bad practice to back up your WordPress site to the same server/hosting account that your website exists on. So in the Settings option you should choose from the popular cloud storages to save your backups. Here, click on the remote storage service that you want to use. Once you have selected your preferred external storage, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Save Changes button. For test run we will save backups on Dropbox.

Authorize Storage Location

After saving your settings you will be shown this popup which will ask you to complete the authorization process of your storage location. Click on the link and it will take you to your external storage location’s site to authorize.

Allow Access to UpdraftPlus

From here, click on the Allow button and then another page will appear (shown below). From there, click on the Complete Setup button and you will be all set to start taking backups of your website.

Step 4: Start Taking Backups of your Files and Data

Take Backups

To begin with taking backups, go to Backup / Restore option and then click on the Backup Now button. This will open a popup window. Leave all the settings as the defaults and click the Backup Now button below.

Backup Options

Now you have to wait until UpdraftPlus finishes taking backup. Larger files will require more time to backup wordpress site. Finally, you should see a success message and your backup will show up in the Existing backups list.

Existing Backups

If you go to your Dropbox account, you should see all your backup files in the UpdraftPlus folder. A full website backup contains five separate files as shown below. 

Backup Files

NOTE: If want to save your backups to more than one location or want to customize your backups, you can do that by upgrading to UpdraftPremium.

Step 5: Set Up Automatic Backup Schedule

Manually taking backups is useful. But, to really secure your website’s data, you should set up an automatic backup schedule. This way, you can guarantee that you always have a recent backup.

Scheduled Backup

So, to set up a custom schedule, navigate to the Settings tab of the plugin page. There, you can see two different scheduling options. First one is for your website’s files (such as images, plugin files etc) and the second one for your website’s database (your actual content, comments, settings, user profiles, and more).

NOTE: If you have a large site, then running a backup can consume a big chunk of your server resources, which affects your website’s performance during the active backup process.

That is why, it is recommended that you run your backup tasks during times of low traffic (like, overnight). UpdraftPlusPremium enables you to choose the exact time to run your backups, but unfortunately the free version does not come with this feature.

Restoring a WordPress Server Backup

After taking a successful backup of your entire server, you would want to restore the backup in time of any emergency. So, lets take a look on how you can restore your wordpress site from a backup.

Step 1: Go to Settings > UpdraftPlus Backups

Navigate to UpdraftPlus page from the settings option from your admin dashboard menu.

Step 2: Restore a Backup from “Existing backups”

Restore Backup

On the Backup / Restore tab scroll down until you find “Existing backups” option. From the list, find the backup you want to restore and click on the Restore button. You then will be shown a page that will ask you which components of your database you would want to restore. Select the ones you want and then press Next.

Restore Components

After the restoration process is complete, a message will pop up telling you the restore has been successful.

Final Words

If you want to protect your site from being hacked, incompatible updates and server crashes, using a WordPress backup and restore solution has no alternative. There are many free wordpress backup plugins to choose from. But, being the world’s most well-trusted WordPress backup and restore plugin, UpdraftPlus will make your server management more easy and ensure the safety of your precious data/files.

Therefore, carefully follow the steps mentioned in this article and start taking backups of your WordPress site. Do not forget to leave a comment below and share your feedbacks.

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