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How to Backup a WordPress Site

How to backup a WordPress Website
29Oct, 2019

Creating a WordPress website isn’t a simple feat. It involves investing time and money as you add content, plugins, and add-ons to it. A good site earns more traffic with time as you gain clients too. If it is an eCommerce website, then it will be generating more revenue as time goes by. All these elements compound to add to the worth of your website.

Therefore, it becomes more important to back up your site. Backing it up protects it from malware that would corrupt it and render it all worthless. It also protects you from hackers who would compromise its proper operation. Backing up your site protects you from all natures of system failures. That is why you need to know how to back up a WordPress website.

Upon backing up your website, you will have a contingency plan every time your site has serious issues. With a short procedure, you can restore your entire website and have it up and running quickly. We have prepared a few methods on how you can comfortably create a backup for your site without needing coding expertise. Allow us to take you through the simple procedures you need for this. We will divide them into two categories. The first of the two is using your host provider, while the second requires you to use any of the plugins we have chosen for you.

1. How to backup a WordPress site using your hosting platform

There are two ways to go about backing up your website via your hosting platform.

a) Manual backups

i) Log in to your hosting platform.

ii) Browse for the backup tools that your host has to offer.

iii) Use the program to download backup files for your site.

If your host doesn’t have backup programs, use a program like phpMyAdmin to download the files to your site. On the other hand, you can utilize an FTP manager such as FileZilla to access and download all files to your website.

b) Automatic backups

i) Log in to your hosting platform.

ii) Browse for the backup program that your host has that supports automatic backups.

iii) Upon opening it, you will have automatic download options.

2. How to back up a WordPress site using a plugin

Plugins are a more straightforward way of backing up your WordPress site. Instead of handling some programs such as phpMyAdmin and FileZilla, plugins offer instructions on making backups. You install one of the best backup plugins from the WordPress directory, activate it, and most of the other work is automatic. We are going to explore various plugins that are ideal for backing up your site.

a. UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus is a highly rated plugin with ease of use and incredible reliability. It facilitates manual backing up of your website. However, if you prefer it to do most of the work for you, you can set a schedule for automatic backing up of your website to the cloud. UpdraftPlus supports backups to Updraft Vault, Microsoft OneDrive, FTP, Microsoft Azure, SFTP/SCP, Google Cloud, Backblaze, WebDAV, Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, Email, RackSpace Cloud, DreamObjects, and OpenStack Swift. What’s more, it’s completely free and has more than 14 million downloads. The following are the steps you need to follow to back up your site with UpdraftPlus:

i) From the navigation bar on the left of the administrative interface of your website, select plugins > add new.

ii) Click on the search box on the top right corner of your new window. Type UpdraftPlus here and the WordPress will automatically display results like the ones in the screenshot below. Click on “Install Now” on the first result – UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin.

iii) Click on the “activate” button after installation.

iv) On the new window – like the one below – you will have a dialogue box asking you to “press here to start” so that you can begin making your backups.

v) You can alternatively click on “UpdraftPlus Backups” below the “Settings” section on the panel to your right.

vi) The next window will ask you to click on a button labeled “backup now” with other options too.

vii) This window will have some sections asking you to choose the backup plans of your preference – either automatic or manual. Here, you will also select the location where UpdraftPlus will save your backups.

viii) You can choose what you want to include in the backup files.

ix) After making all the choices you want, select “Save Changes” to move on to the next step.

x) A dialogue box will appear linking you to the remote storage location that you selected – in this case, we chose Google Drive.

xi) You’ll be directed to a window asking you to select the account in which you want to make your backup.The next window asks you to allow UpdraftPlus unlimited access to your account.

xii) Click on “complete setup” in the next window to get your backup plan running.

xiii) To create an immediate backup, a popup on the next window will ask you to make an instant backup of the files you want.

xiv) You can then visit UpdraftPlus regularly on your admin dashboard to make regular manual backups, or you can set the automatic backup schedules. If you like, you can create separate backup schedules for your files and database.

xv) Visit the Updraft Backups section on your dashboard, which will present you with a part for “existing backups” with all backups that you’ve made. Click on restore to restore the backup version of the website that you want.

xvi) UpdraftPlus will take you through a series of steps where you choose what you want to restore, accept, and back to the configuration of the plugin. The plugin will then ask you to delete old directories after confirming that the restoration was successful.

b. All-in-One WP Migration

To install All-in-One WP Migration, you will follow similar steps to i) – iii) on the previous procedure. You will click on the “add new” option below “plugins” on your admin dashboard, search the name of this plugin on the search box, install, and activate All-in-One WP Migration.

i) After installing the plugin, it will appear on your dashboard. Click on the “export” option below the “All-in-One WP Migration” section on the panel.

ii) On the next page, click on the “export to” button. On the dropdown menu, select “file” and wait.

iii) After generating a backup, click on “download” to get a backup of your site.

iv) To restore your site, click on the “import” option under “All-in-One WP Migration” on your admin dashboard.

v) On the next page, select the “import from” button and select “file” on the dropdown menu.

vi) Choose the file with the name of your website and select it to upload the backup.

vii) When the import is over, click on the proceed button to overwrite the previous versions of your site.

viii) Select the permalinks settings and save the settings twice.

You will have backed up and restored your WordPress site.

c. Duplicator

Duplicator is one of the most versatile plugins on WordPress. Known for its efficiency in moving websites, it is just as excellent in backing them up. More than 1 million active installations and a 4.9-star rating are a testament to this seamlessness. In no time at all, Duplicator becomes one of the easiest to use backup methods that you could choose. It is for this reason that we have prepared this piece to familiarize you with the plugin.

i) From the administrator’s dashboard of your website, this free plugin is easily accessible. Click on the “add new” button under the “plugins” option on your dashboard.

ii) On the search box on the new page, type the name of the plugin – Duplicator – and search. The first result should read Duplicator – WordPress Migration Plugin. Click on the “install now” option on this first result.

iii) The next page will feature an “activate” button. Click on it to activate the plugin.

iv) Your dashboard will now display an option for Duplicator toward the bottom. Select this option and click on the “package” option below it.

v) The next page will warn you that you haven’t created any packages for Duplicator. Since no packages are available, click on the “create new” option. From here, a wizard for package creation will guide you.

vi) The next page will invite you to rename the package that you are creating. However, this part is not compulsory – you can move on with the name, which Duplicator has allocated the package. If you decide to rename the package, make a point of choosing a name that you can remember with ease. On the bottom right corner, click on the “next” option.

Clicking next will prompt the plugin to scan your site.

vii) You might encounter errors in this stage. If you do, click on the link that comes with these errors and see what the problem is. If it’s possible, solve the problem yourself before proceeding. Nonetheless, some issues might be too sophisticated, in which case you should contact your hosting provider for assistance.

If there are no errors or if you manage to pass this stage without experiencing any hiccups, you will have a page that has every element labeled “good” in green buttons. At the bottom of the page, click “build” to proceed to the next page.

viii) Depending on the bulk of the contents of your website, this may take varying lengths of time.

When the building of the package is complete, you will have installer and archive files within it –the new page will tell you as much. When restoring your site, the installer files will take care of that. On the other hand, the archive files contain the plugins, themes, and other contents of your website. Below the labels for these files, you will find a link labeled “one-click download.” Click on it to download a backup copy of your entire website.

ix) To restore your site, copy the installer link (/installer.php) to the address bar. The plugin will lead you through a few steps to restore your site. It will prompt you to enter your MySQL details and enter the same credentials and information you used for your original site. The URL should appear automatically – if it doesn’t, write it yourself. After this, Duplicator will ask your permission to test the website, and you’re good to go.

d. Backup Guard

As the name hints, Backup Guard is a free WordPress plugin whose design is perfect for backing up and restoring a website of any size. With a 4.5 star rating and 70,000 active installations, it is popular among WordPress users. It is user-friendly and accommodates several backup locations. You can restore your website with one click and cancel the process midway if you wish. You can also use Backup Guard to multisite operations.

To install and use the plugin, follow the following guidelines:

i) Like other free plugins on WordPress, installing Backup Guard is straightforward. You click on the “add new” option under the “plugins” option.

ii) Type the name “Backup Guard” in the search box that appears on the new page. The first result is the Backup Guard plugin. Click on the “install” option on it.

iii) Click on the activate button.

iv) After appearing on your administrator’s dashboard, click on the “backups” option under the Backup Guard option.

v) On the new page, click on the green button labeled “backup.”

vi) The plugin will give you the option to select whether you want a full backup of your site or a custom one. A custom one allows you to choose the contents that you want to back up. On the other hand, a full backup takes care of the entire website. The Dropbox option redirects you to the Dropbox site, where you will need to provide your login credentials and make your backups there.

After making your choices, click on the blue “backup” button.

vii) When the backup through, it will display the file name, its size, the date and time of the backup, and green tick – to indicate successful backup status. An action part will allow you either delete the backup, download it to your computer, or restore it.

To restore, click on the green button under the actions part of the backup.

viii) Backup Guard will ask you to select the type of restoration you want to make. The choices are a full restoration, file restoration, or database restoration. Select the nature of the recovery you want and click on the blue restore button.

ix) The length of time that the restoration process will take depends on the size of the website that you are restoring.

x) The explained backup is manual. For better insurance of your site, it is wise to schedule automatic backups. It saves you the time and keeps track of when last you backed up your website for you.

xi) For the creation of a backup plan, click on “schedule” in the Backup Guard options on the dashboard.

xii) On the new page, click the button labeled “off” on your far right so that it reads “on.” Fill out the name of your backup and select the frequency of your backups. You have a choice between hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly backups. Select the nature of the backups you need – full backups, custom backups, or uploads to the cloud. When you’re through, click on the “save” button.

With that, you’re done backing up and restoring your site.

e. BlogVault

BlogVault is a stellar premium WordPress site backup plugin. Not only does it offer an easy-to-use interface, but it also has incredible features that protect your site from elements that may harm it.

To enjoy this plugin, follow the following procedure:

i) Search the BlogVault website, and it will prompt you to start a free trial of the plugin.

ii) From there, the site will direct you on how to sign up for the plan. You can choose the pricing plan you would prefer once the free trial is over. You will also be asked to enter your details and those of your WordPress website. A wizard will guide you to install the plugin and get you started. If you choose manual installation, you’ll have to visit the admin dashboard of your website and decide to add a new plugin. Activate your plugin, and you’re free to start backing up your site with one of the best plugins on WordPress.

Final Thoughts

The choice that you make on the backup plans that you want will depend on your liking. However, we can’t overstate the importance of making regular backups of your website. To avoid tragic occurrences from destroying your hard work, use our manual on how to back up a WordPress site, and choose your favorite plan.