How to Backup a WordPress Website?

Have you ever thought about creating a backup for your WordPress websites?  

If you haven’t, then you should start thinking about it. One important thing that needs to be done periodically is to back up your website. When you have a backup of your WordPress website, you will be able to restore it if something happens. You never know what could happen to your site (virus attack, hacking attempt, server crashes, etc.)

Here, we will discuss two methods for doing this: manually or with the help of plugins. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so make sure you know what’s best for your situation!

Why should you back up your WordPress Website?   

You should always back up your website so you never lose any valuable data. Imagine if the worst happened and something went wrong with online hosting. Everything on your website could disappear in an instant! Another reason to make regular backups is just for safety’s sake; there have been plenty of instances where critical information was lost because its location depended entirely upon which computer server/hard Drive crashed.

To avoid these mishaps, I recommend making sure that all important files are stored elsewhere online or on an external hard disk that you can use in case of emergency.

Backing up your WordPress site can be done in two ways: manually or with the help of plugins. Let’s check out both methods.

Manual backup of your WordPress website    

Creating a backup of your site manually is a time-consuming process and may not always be enough to have a complete archive. But it’s free, and you will have control over what files are being backed up.

Methods to do it manually: –

How to Create Backup Via cPanel?

  1. This is accessible through your hosting account.
  2. The first thing you will need to do is sign in with your credentials if you are not already signed in.
  3. Then click on the “File Manager” option under “Home” at the top of the page.
  4. Next, go to the root directory and locate /public_html/ folder, compress this folder and save
  5. Under the folder mentioned above, on the top toolbar, you will find a download option, now select your created zip file, click on the download button, and save the file at your preferred location.

How to Create Backup Via FTP?

You can connect to your files using software called FTP (File Transfer Protocol) like FileZilla. To connect to FTP, you need the following credentials usually available in your hosting account: hostname, username, and password.

Once you have the credentials ready, open the FileZilla client and enter the required information. and download files from /public_html/ folder

How to take Database Backup?

This is accessible only through phpMyAdmin. Usually, phpMyAdmin comes pre-installed in the cPanel of your hosting account.  You can get to it by clicking on the “phpMyAdmin” option under “Database” in cPanel.

Once you are here, download the database table and all its data. Once done, the backup of your WordPress website is ready!  

Backup with Plugins 

You can also use plugins to backup your WordPress site. The benefit of using a plugin is that it saves time and provides an extra layer of protection against data loss.

An example of a plugin that backs up your WordPress site is UpdraftPlus Backup.

This plugin allows you to back up your site on a schedule, which is beneficial. It also gives the option of selecting individual files and folders from your WordPress site that you want to back up. This makes it easier for you to have the essential items backed up if there is a mistake or if something was not selected.

What is Updraft Plus?

UpdraftPlus is a backup plugin that can perform an incremental or a complete backup of your site. It also gives you the ability to have a copy of your backups stored on Amazon,  Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive. You can download this plugin for free.

UpdraftPlus Backup Plugin
UpdraftPlus: Backup Plugin

Why you should use UpdraftPlus   

One of the best reasons to use updraft plus is the peace of mind of knowing that your site’s data is backed up. This plugin can be used to back up everything on your website or just specific items. In addition, it provides after-the-fact data, which means if you have any interruption in hosting services, you can always restore your website with the help of this plugin.

How to Set up the Plugin for Your Site    

The first thing you will need to do is log in to your WordPress dashboard and go to the “Plugins” tab on the left side of the screen. From there, click on “Add New” and search for “UpdraftPlus.” Once you find it, install the plugin, then click on “Activate Plugin.”

Once installed, follow these steps to create your first Backup:

  1. Select Settings -> UpdraftPlus Backups in your WordPress menu. It will open your UpdraftPlus settings page.
  2. Select the Settings tab at the top.

Here, you can schedule how often UpdraftPlus creates a new backup. You can choose as per your requirements. For example, if you regularly update your website with recent posts, then a more frequent backup may be required.

UpdraftPlus Website Backup Settings
UpdraftPlus Website Backup Settings

You can also limit how many backups you want to store at one time. Any new backups will then override the old ones.

  1. Select the location where you want to store your backup.
UpdraftPlus: Website Backup Storage Location
UpdraftPlus: Website Backup Storage Location

Here, you can choose where you’d like your files to be stored. In addition, UpdraftPlus provides numerous remote storage options to integrate with it, so choose accordingly.

  1. After selecting an option, a set of instructions will open. Each storage option has its own integration settings. Now follow the steps and click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page.
Website Backup Save on Google Drive
Website Backup Save on Google Drive

If you’d like to backup to more than one location or want to customize your backups, you’ll need a premium add-on – UpdraftPremium.

Once you set up your storage location and how often you’d like to back up your site, UpdraftPlus will automatically take your website backup.

Scheduled Backup in UpdraftPlus
Scheduled Backup in UpdraftPlus

When and how often should you backup a WordPress website with updraft plus?

It would be best if you were backing up your site with Updraft Plus every time you publish a post, but I usually recommend people back manually once or twice per week. This might be different for someone who has a lot of traffic on their site, in which case they might want to do it at least daily. I also recommend backing up your site before making any significant changes (new design, plugins, etc).

Other than Updraft, there are several plugins to create WordPress backups, such as Vaultpress, BackWPup, Duplicator, All-in-One WP Migration, etc.

Pros and Cons of Backup Methods

We’ve seen both approaches for creating backups, and now we’ll have a look at the benefits and downsides of each method. 

Manual Backup

Less possibility of error and downtime when doing a manual backup.It takes a lot of time and effort to download your WordPress site.
This type of backup is generally sufficient for small or personal websites.It does not give you precise control when it comes to scheduling (how often you want the backup created)
You can customize the frequency and time of your backups based on your needs and create a backup for specific files and foldersYou have to remember to take the backups on a regular basis
Pros & Cons of Manual Backup

Backup with Plugins

Best for backing up sites that contain a large amount of data.Can’t control how much space is allocated for each backup (this could lead to errors).  
Set a schedule that will automatically back up your site at intervals. No manual intervention requiredIt doesn’t protect against theft, malware, etc. If your site is hacked, you will still need to use other methods to clean up the mess and prevent further damage.
Pros & Cons of Backup with Plugins


WordPress is a powerful and flexible platform, but you need to take care of it.

Backup is a necessary process that can help you avoid losing any valuable data. Whether it’s via a plugin or manually, both have pros and cons when it comes to backing up your website. Using a plugin seems to be a more feasible and time-saving option, but the manual approach gives you more control.

In the end, both methods do what they’re supposed to. The choice is yours!

Checkout:  Manage URL Redirection in WordPress: 3 Easy Methods

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *