How to Backup WordPress Website

by Saud Razzak  February 8, 2017

WordPress is the most used CMS with than 30% market share on the Internet. This position on the throne comes with perils and dangers of data theft and website defacement. Even the best security plugins do not claim to be all-protective and vigilant. Hackers and cybercriminals are upping their game and new attacks on WordPress websites are frequently in the news.

Fortunately, disaster recovery is very much possible because of backups. WordPress offers a very comprehensive website backup component that ensures that in the case of a disaster, the website could be restored with a recent copy of the data. In this tutorial, I am going to tell how users can easily create WordPress backups.

Warning: You can either follow few tips on securing your WordPress website or simply protect it using the .htaccess files in WordPress. Don’t forget to host your WordPress application on Cloudways.

When it comes to creating a backup for WordPress website, there are three possible options to do it:

  • Create WordPress backups using backup plugins
  • Contact the hosting provider
  • Create a manual WordPress backup

WordPress Backup Through Plugins

The official WordPress Plugin Repository offers a host of backup plugins that include popular options such as BackWPup and BackupBuddy.

For the purpose of this tutorial, I am going to use one of my favorite plugin UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin. With over a million active installations, this plugin is among the highest rated on WordPress.org.

Installing UpdraftPlus Plugin on WordPress Website

To install the UpdraftPlus plugin, fire up WordPress Admin Panel and navigate to Plugins > Add New. You will find a search bar at the top right of the screen. Simply search for UpdraftPlus. Once found, click the Install Now option and then Activate the plugin.

Once you have successfully installed and activated the plugin, you will see that the UpdraftPlus Backups option will automatically appear inside the Settings tab.

UpdraftPlus Backups

Here is how the UpdraftPlus plugin dashboard looks like:

UpdraftPlus Plugin Dashboard

The following tabs will assist you in the process of backup creation.

The Current Status Tab

In this tab, you will see three buttons:

Backup Now: This button shows a popup with two checkboxes for selecting file/database backup and whether you want to send the backup to a remote storage.

Restore: If you already have a backup, you can quickly restore it using this button.

Clone/Migrate: Here you can easily clone/migrate your WordPress website. However, remember that this option is available only to premium users.

Existing Backups

If you already have a backup, the existing backups option enables you to restore these backups from local or remote sources.

Existing Backups

Settings Tab

The Settings tab allows you select files to include or exclude in a website backup.

Choose Your Remote Storage

This option allows you to add several remote storage options including Dropbox, FTP, and Google Drive.

Remote Storage

Once you have set the options, do not forget to click on the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page.

Ask Your Web Hosting Provider

Many hosting providers have a backup policy in place. Some offer it as an add-on benefit that may cost you extra. Some hosting providers take backups of the entire servers without separating websites.

But if you are a Cloudways user, you are already covered. Cloudways offers free backup that is very responsive with optional hourly backups. Not only this, you can even download the backups to local storage as well.

Manual WordPress Backups

If you are not a big fan of plugins or do not have a hosting provider that offers regular website backup, you need to create a manual backup of your website.

This involves two essential actions:

  • Website Backup
  • Database Backup

Website Backup

First, you need to set up an FTP connection between the live website and the local storage. Next, download all the files from the live server to the local server where your WordPress instances can be installed.

Database Backup

In the second step, take the database backup. On some hosting providers (Cloudways included) you don’t need to worry about this step because you could always export database files through the database manager.

On Cloudways Platform, navigate to Application Management tab and click Launch Database Manager.

Now, click on Export. This will create a complete copy of the database, and then automatically download it on your local machine.

You now have successfully created a manual website backup on your local machine.

Final Words

I hope you now understand how to backup WordPress website in simple steps. However, when it comes to security, you should not entirely rely on WordPress backups alone because they could also get corrupted.

Remember that a cloud hosting provider such as Cloudways offers you secure and scalable cloud hosting solution with both automatic and manual backup capabilities.

If you have any questions and query feel free to ask anytime in the comment section below.

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About Saud Razzak

Saud is the WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways – A Managed WooCommerce Hosting Platform. Saud is responsible for creating buzz, spread knowledge, and educate the people about WordPress in the Community around the globe. In his free time, he likes to play cricket and learn new things on the Internet. You can email him at m.saud@cloudways.com

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