How to Backup a WordPress Website (Properly)

November 22, 2021

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How to Backup a WordPress Website Using UpdraftPlus

 

UpdraftPlus is a popular plugin used to backup, restore, or migrate your website! And not only that, you get access to features like:

 

  • external cloud storage
  • backup schedules

 

Today, we’re going to focus on how to backup and restore your WordPress website.

 

If you don’t have the UpdraftPlus plugin, navigate to Plugins and click Add New.

Once you’re on the plugins page, search for UpdraftPlus.
Once you see the UpdraftPlus plugin, click Install.

 

After installing the plugin, click Activate!

 

Once the plugin is activated, navigate to Settings, and click UpdraftPlus Backups.

After clicking, you’ll see that you’re on the custom dashboard of UpraftPlus!
In the UpdraftPlus dashboard, you’ll see five tabs:

 

  • Backup / Restore
  • Migrate / Clone
  • Settings
  • Advanced Tools
  • Premium / Extensions

 

But before I show you how to backup and restore your website’s database, let’s configure UpdraftPlus via the Settings tab!

Configuring UpdraftPlus

Navigate to the Settings tab.

And in the settings, you’ll see the following:

 

  • Files backup schedule
  • Database backup schedule
  • Choose your remote storage
  • Include in files backup
  • Database encryption phrase
  • Email
  • Expert settings

 

For Files backup schedule & Database backup schedule, all it does is schedule when to backup your site’s files and database.

You can do this by choosing any of the scheduling options like:

 

  • Manual (which is set by default)
  • Every hour
  • Every 2 hours
  • Every 4 hours
  • Every 8 hours
  • Every 12 hours
  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Fortnightly
  • Monthly

 

As for the retain this many scheduled backups, it simply means the limit of backups UpdraftPlus can keep.

 

By default, the retention limit is 2!

 

Moving on to the next setting, Choose your remote storage.

What this does is UpdraftPlus allows you to save all your backups to another server, a cloud service, or even offline by downloading the files!

 

Most of these options are external services.

 

Once you’ve selected a service, you might have to find an API Key, Access Key, and so on. Take note that some of the options will require a UpdraftPlus Addon.

 

If you don’t want a remote storage location, your backup files will get stored in your server!

 

However, the downside to this is if you’re having a problem with your website, you won’t be able to access the backup files because they’re on the same server.

 

And another downside is if your website is pretty big, it can take up a lot of space, causing your server to slow down.

 

That’s why, when we look back at our UpdraftPlus settings, I suggest keeping your retention limit at 2!

 

(as shown in the image below)

I highly recommend you have your backup files sent to an external storage location!

 

Out of the box, you can only choose one storage location.

 

If you want to send your backup files to multiple external storage locations, you’ll need a premium addon.

 

Onto the next setting, Include in files backup.

 

What this option does is you can select the type of files you want to include in your backup!

 

You can select files like:

 

  • Plugins
  • Themes
  • Uploads
  • Directories with the WP Folder

 

Next is the Database encryption phrase settings.

 

If you want to improve your security, you can upgrade to UpdraftPlus Premium to encrypt your database backup!

 

As for the following setting below, that says You can manually decrypt an encrypted database here.

You can decrypt your database backup files manually by dropping in encrypted files.

 

Next is the Email settings.

By checking the box, you’re allowing UpdraftPlus to send you a basic report to your email.

 

And finally, the Expert settings.

 

By clicking on Show expert settings, you will see the following:

 

  • Debug mode
  • Split archives
  • Delete local backup
  • Backup directory
  • Use the server’s SSL’s certificate
  • Do not verify the SSL certificate
  • Disable SSL entirely where possible
  • Automatic Updates
Now that you know all the settings, we can finally move on to creating backups and restoring your website!

 

LET’S START BACKING UP YOUR WEBSITE!

Backing Up Your Website’s Database

To create a backup of your website, make sure you’re on the Backup / Restore tab.

 

Once you’re on it or you’re already on it, you will see Backup Now.

 

Click it, and you’ll see these options:

Leave the first two options checked.

 

For the third option, you can check it if you want to delete it manually.

 

Checking this option will also bypass the retention limit!

 

But always keep in mind that your server will slow down if you have lots of backups of your website downloaded onto your server.

 

So it’s best to leave that unchecked.

 

Once you’re all good with the options, click on Backup Now, and it will start downloading your website!

 

Depending on the size of your website, this can take a while to download and store on your server.

 

Once you’re backup is completed, you can restore your website if you run into any issues!

 

You will see the backup of your website underneath the Backup Now button.

On the backup, you will see Backup data (click to download).

 

You can download:

 

  • Database
  • Plugins
  • Themes
  • Uploads
  • Others

 

To download the website’s data, click on what you want to download.

 

After clicking, you will see a Download DB pop-up.

Then click download to your computer.

 

the best way to store your data on your computer and external USB drive!

 

Do take note that large files will be broken into smaller files.

 

If you have a new backup of your website and would like to get rid of the old backup, click the Delete button, and the old backup will get deleted from your server.

 

Now let’s move on to restoring!

Restoring Your Website’s Database

Restoring your website is very easy!

 

From your UpdraftPlus dashboard, you should see the backup you recently created.

Simply click the Restore button, and it will give you this pop-up.
On the right-hand side, you will see Choose the components to restore.

 

You can select what you want to restore, like:

 

  • Plugins
  • Themes
  • Uploads
  • Others
  • Database

 

For example – if you’re experiencing any problems with your themes, you can select Themes and restore them to the way they were!

 

(Using this option makes changes to only your themes and not to your database.)

 

So select what you want to restore, and click Next.

 

Wait for the files to load and click Restore once the files are loaded.

 

After clicking the Restore button, wait for UpdraftPlus to restore the files you’ve selected.

 

Once completed, click Return to UpdraftPlus configuration.

 

AND YOU’RE DONE!

Conclusion

Now that you know how to backup & restore your website in WordPress, you can see that UpdraftPlus is the best plugin to backup & restore your website in just a few clicks! If this blog helped, feel free to leave a comment and share this with your friends and family that might need this!

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