How To Backup a WordPress Site: A Step-by-Step Guide

Your business’s WordPress® database is extensive. It stores all your pages, blog posts, images, themes, plugins, and more. If you ever find that database corrupted or accidentally erased, you could lose everything. Performing routine backups is the best way to secure your website’s files and other data.

This article will show you a few different ways to backup your business’s WordPress website. Follow this simple, step-by-step guide to backup your website in less than an hour!


What Is a WordPress Backup?

A WordPress backup involves saving a copy of all the information related to your website, including its images, videos, blog posts, and pages. Similar to the process of backing up your computer or mobile phone, performing regular backups for your business website can help you restore its data and files if they ever become corrupted.

How Often Should You Backup a WordPress Website?

That depends. You should create a backup schedule that makes sense for your business and how often you edit your website. If you make frequent changes, you may want to conduct daily or weekly backups. If you rarely make changes, monthly backups likely will suffice.

What Parts of Your Website Should You Back Up?

Depending on the backup method you choose, you’ll have the option of backing up your website’s site files and database. Some methods allow you to backup your files and database simultaneously while others require you to do so separately.

Your WordPress site files include all the files used to install WordPress along with your site’s plugin and theme data, images, scripts, and code. Your WordPress website’s Oracle® MySQL™ database files contain your blog posts, user information, comments, categories and tags, and more.

How Many Backups Should You Keep?

As a best practice, aim to keep the three most recent backups of your website. You may even want to keep multiple copies of your backups on different mediums (e.g., flash drives, CDs, external hard drives) in case your primary backup medium fails.

Can You Use Automated Backups?

Yes, some plugins and web hosting providers offer automatic backups. If you do opt to use automatic backups, you should occasionally perform a manual backup as an additional fail-safe.

How To Backup Your WordPress Website With a Plugin

The easiest way to backup your WordPress website involves installing a third-party plugin. A variety of plugins can help you accomplish this, but two of the most popular include the UpdraftPlus™ and BackWPup plugins.

Backing up a WordPress Website Using the UpdraftPlus Plugin

UpdraftPlus is one of the most popular, free plugins available for backing up WordPress sites. It’s easy to install and navigate, and users can decide if they want to purchase the “Premium” version to gain access to additional features. It’s a great choice for anyone who wants a simple plugin that’ll create backups with the click of a button.

To Backup Your WordPress Website With UpdraftPlus:

    1. Select “Plugins” and then “Add New” from the WordPress dashboard.
    2. Type “UpdraftPlus” into the search box.

      How to backup your Wordpress site.

    3. When the above screen appears, click on the “Install Now” button.
    4. Then, click on the “Activate” button.
    5. When you return to the Plugins dashboard, locate the UpdraftPlus plugin section and click on the “Settings” link.

      How to backup your Wordpress site.

    6. That will take you to the UpdraftPlus dashboard. Note: You also can reach this dashboard by clicking “Settings” and then “UpdraftPlus Backups” from the WordPress dashboard.

      How to backup your Wordpress site.

    7. To choose where you want to save your backup, click on the “Settings” tab. You can then select one the following options:
      1. Having your backup emailed to you
      2. Having your backup saved to a Dropbox® account
      3. Having your backup saved to a Google Drive™ account
      4. Having your backup saved to a folder (on your computer)
        To ensure your backup remains safe, remember to save your backed up files in at least two separate locations.
    8. To backup your WordPress website, click on the “Backup Now” button.
    9. On the next screen, click on the “Backup Now” button.

      How to backup your Wordpress site.

    10. Once UpdraftPlus finishes backing up your website, you’ll see the following pop-up window:

How to backup your Wordpress site.

You’ve now successfully backed up a copy of your WordPress website. To learn more about this plugin, where it can store backup files, how to adjust its settings, and more, visit the UpdraftPlus FAQ page.

Backing up a WordPress Website Using the BackWPup Plugin

BackWPup is another popular, free plugin used to backup websites. Much like UpdraftPlus, it’s easy to install and there’s a “Pro” version that gives users access to additional features.

Running a WordPress backup with BackWPup requires a few more steps and a slightly deeper understanding of how WordPress websites work. If you’re a WordPress beginner, you may find this plugin a little difficult to use.

To Backup Your WordPress Website With BackWPup:

  1. Select “Plugins” and then “Add New” from the WordPress dashboard.
  2. Type “BackWPup” into the search box.

    How to backup your Wordpress site.

  3. When the above screen appears, click on the “Install Now” button.
  4. Then, click on the “Activate” button.
  5. Once the plugin finishes installing, you’ll arrive at the following page:

    How to backup your Wordpress site.

  6. To backup your website, click on the “Add new job” link.
  7. Review these five tabs to ensure the plugin will perform the backup to your specifications.

    How to backup your Wordpress site.

  8. As you scroll down the page on the “General” tab, you’ll have the option to save your backup in the following ways:
    1. Having it emailed to you
    2. Having it saved to a Dropbox® account
    3. Having it saved to a folder (on your computer)
      To ensure your backup remains safe, remember to save your backed up files in at least two separate locations.
  9. When you’re done, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Save changes” button.
  10. This notification will then appear at the top of your screen:

    How to backup your Wordpress site.

  11. Click on the “Run now” link to backup your WordPress site.

You’ve now successfully backed up a copy of your WordPress website. To learn more about this plugin and how to adjust its settings, read BackWPup’s documentation.

How To Backup Your WordPress Website Through Bluehost

Most web hosting providers, including Bluehost®, give users the ability to backup their WordPress websites through their cPanel® graphical interface. New Bluehost customers receive one year of free backups through the CodeGuard add-on service. To access your CodeGuard backups, visit your Bluehost admin panel and click on the “My Sites” menu option. Next, click on the “Manage site” button and then select the “Backups” tab from the top menu.

Final Thoughts

Backing up your business’s WordPress website is absolutely essential and easy to accomplish. By using plugins or a backup service offered by your web hosting provider, you can ensure your website’s data remains secure at all times.

Want to learn more about using WordPress for your business? Check out our How To Build a WordPress Website and How To Use WordPress guides.

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