How to setup automatic WordPress backup
In this step-by-step tutorial, we’ll show you how to easily make automatic backup of WordPress website in 30 minutes – specifically through the UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin.
There are several WordPress plugins for backup, but the best experience we have had is with this plugin. UpdraftPlus in the free version provides everything you need. Its popularity is also evidenced by the fact that it has excellent ratings, more than a million active installations and is regularly updated.
- Step 1: Install the UpdraftPlus plugin
- Step 2: Set the backup frequency
- Step 3: Set up backup files
- Step 4: Save plugin settings
- Step 5: Start automatic backup
- Manual backups – how and when?
- Location of backups – where are they and how to download them?
- Website restoration from a backup
- Why do backups?
- A step further – as we do it
Step 1: Install the UpdraftPlus plugin
After logging into WordPress, go to Plugins -> Add New:
In the search box of plugins, enter UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin:
Click on Install Now. After installing the plugin, activate it by clicking Activate.
Step 2: Set the backup frequency
After installing and activating the plug-in, you gain the fastest way into its settings from the top WP administration bar – by clicking on UpdraftPlus -> Settings:
Here you can change the backup from manual to automatic – in our case, daily. Not only for files but also for the database because you want to backup both. If another backup time suits you better, you have several options to do so:
Also, if one has enough free space in the Web Hosting, you can store the last 7 backups. Otherwise, we leave the default number 2. In this case, the backup automatically saves the selected number of backups and automatically erases the older ones. This is convenient because it prevents the disk from getting full. Below you can see our final settings:
Note: As you can see in the picture above, the exact hour at which a backup can be made can only be selected in the premium version. However, if you do not have a large and over-exploited site, you do not need such a premium option.
Step 3: Set up backup files
The UpdraftPlus plugin lets you choose what you want to include in the backups. If you have little space on your Web Hosting, you can, for example, exclude pictures and media (Uploads) from backups. However, we recommend that you back up everything so that you can completely restore the site if needed.
You also have the option to choose email notifications that the backup was successful. We don’t turn them on, so we will not have a lot of emails.
Step 4: Save plugin settings
Save your settings by clicking Save Changes at the bottom of the screen:
Step 5: Start automatic backup
To start backing up, click the Backup Now button on the first tab:
If the backup was successful, you will see a message that the backup was successfully completed and the time when it was done so:
Done! This is how automatic backup is utilized and the first backup is in the world.
Manual backups – how and when?
As described above, it is also possible to manually make a backup if necessary. This is especially recommended before any major changes on the web, such as installing a new plug-in, updating, changing settings, and so on.
Location of backups – where are they and how to download them?
WordPress backup files are located under wp-content -> updraft:
These files can also be downloaded via WordPress administration under the tab called Existing Backups:
Tip: In this tab, we also see with how much space we are dealing with back up files on the server disk – in our case, it’s 18.3 MB.
Website restoration from a backup
WordPress Web page can be restored from a backup by clicking the button Restore. Most often, we need to restore the site from the backup when the latest version of the site is still running.
In the next step, you can choose which web elements you want to restore. Usually one needs to restore everything. If this is the case, then simply confirm your recovery by clicking the Restore button.
In the third step, the plugin will make another backup of the site before it is restored. Restart the site by pressing the Restore button. Do not close your browser when refreshing your site! After the restoration, you will see the results. In the case of a successful recovery, you should see at the bottom, the message: Restore successful! :
After testing that the website has been successfully restored, it is a good idea to clear the pre-recovery backup files that the plugin has made to avoid using unnecessary disk space. This can be done by clicking on Delete old directories:
Why do backups?
More than 50% of website users that we know, do not make any website backups. People get used to the idea that creating a backup solution costs them time and it does not have any visible value for their business.
But the opposite is true. We often encounter the experiences of people who for some reason lost their sites and then realize they had lost the “hundreds of hours” they had spent creating them. Therefore, the time invested in the automatic backup setting is very worthwhile.
While WordPress can be considered as a robust and stable system, it is important to remember that different combinations of themes, plugins, and settings must constantly work together on our page, and each can cause a web crash.
A step further – as we do it
As you may have already noticed, the Settings tab also contains a section for automatically saving backups to another storage:
There are several possibilities. We use pre-posting on Google Drive to have site backups outside the hosting server as well. This way we have them in two places, and we are more confident that we will not lose them. How to set up such a pre-posting is more lengthy, so we will not describe it in this manual.
We hope that this guide has been helpful to you. Share with us about your backup experience in comments under the article.
Tip at the end: Nowadays, the automatic web site backup is a standard for all the better hosting providers. For example, Bluehost, the best hosting for WordPress, holds site backups for months backwards. So, if necessary, the last working version of the site can be restored. However, we still consider it reasonable not to rely solely on hosting services.