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How to Backup a WordPress Site

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If you’ve been using WordPress for some time, you would have probably experienced your site crashing and then malfunctioning upon trying to access its contents. As a result, you may have found yourself having to re-install your site and start from scratch because all your data has been corrupted, or worse, lost. To prevent this from happening, or to make recovery easier, it’s best to create a backup of your site. One plugin that can do that is UpdraftPlus. What’s good about this plugin is that allows you to create backups of both your database and the files on your WordPress website. What’s better is that the plugin makes it really easy to do this.

In this tutorial, we will be learning how to back up a WordPress site.

Installing Updraft Plus

To be able to use the UpdraftPlus, we first need to install it.. To do that, hover over the “Plugins” menu item in the admin dashboard then click “Add New”. this should redirect to the “Add Plugins” page.

add new plugin

Once there, search for “Updraft Plus”. Browse for the “Updraft Plus WordPress Backup Plugin”. Once you find it install it then activate.

install and activate the plugin

Once that is done, we can proceed to backup the WordPress site.

Using Updraft Plus

Creating a Backup

Backing up a WordPress site is really easy when you use UpdraftPlus. To backup your WordPress site, hover over “Settings” on the WordPress admin dashboard, then click “UpdraftPlus Backups”. This will take you to the Updraft Plus settings page.

go to UpdraftPlus Backups settings

Once there click on the ‘Backup Now” button.

click backup now

This will open a window that prompts you which files you want to backup. Click on the checkboxes of the items you want to back up. Click on the “Backup Now” button to back up the files. This will create a backup file.

Window "Take a new backup"

Restoring a Backup

To restore a backup, navigate to the “UpdraftPlus Backups” settings page. Once there, click on the “Restore” button.

click restore button

This will show a window which allows us to choose which of the files that were backed up should be restored. Here it is in action for “plugins”.

Choose which files should be restored

After processing, it will inform you that the restoration was successful.

Downloading Backup Files

We can also download the files that we backed up. This is useful if we will be using the files elsewhere. We can see how that is done in the image below. In the image, we can see it in action:

Click "Download to your computer"

Once we save the file, we can import it when needed and we can even use the file in another WordPress site.

Uploading Backup Files to Restore Files

We can also upload backup files through the UpdraftPlus settings page to create restore points that we can use. Here’s how it’s done. Navigate to the UpdraftPlus Settings page. Once there, navigate to the “Existing Backps” section in the “Backup / Restore” tab. Click on the “Upload backup files” link, then upload your backup file.

select backup files

This will create a restore point, similar to what was created when we backup the site.

restore point

Once that is done, we can use the restore point as we normally would

Configuring the UpdraftPlus plugin

Scheduling Backups

You may want to automate the backup process instead of doing it manually. This can be easily done with the UpdraftPlus. This can be done through the “Settings” tab in the UpdraftPlus Backup/Restore settings page. You can choose to automatically backup the files and/or database. The options can be found near the top of the tab.

scheduling backups

Excluding/Including Plugins

The plugin also allows us to configure which files should be backed up and also allows us to exclude certain files. This can be done in the UpdraftPlus Backup/Restore settings page.

Include files backup


That’s the end of this article. We’ve learned how to use UpdraftPlus to back up a WordPress site. We’ve also learned how to download and upload backup files, as well as how to make the Updraft plus plugin to use them. Lastly, we’ve also learned how to automate the backup process so that the plugin does the backup for us. Now, you wouldn’t have to worry if your WordPress site crashes.

Thank you for reading this article. We hope you learned from it.

Kristin Eitel

Kristin Eitel