How to Backup and Restore Your WordPress Website
WordPress is one of the most popular website builders in the world, powering over 43% of all websites on the internet. One of the reasons for its popularity is its frequent updates, which add new features, improve security, and fix bugs. However, before you hit that update button, it's crucial to backup your WordPress site. Backing up your WordPress site is simple, straightforward and you don’t have to spend a dime. WordPress has a backup solution (plugin) that allows you to always have a backup on hand and recover it anytime you like.
Why is it Necessary to Backup WordPress Site Before Updating?
It is important to have a backup of your website for various reasons. Your web hosting company may make a mistake, a plugin or theme may be faulty, an upgrade may become corrupted, or your server may be compromised, among other severe issues. It is crucial to have a solution that can restore your website as quickly as possible.
Here are some reasons why backing up your WordPress site before updating is necessary:
1. Protect Against Data Loss
Updating WordPress can sometimes result in data loss, especially if something goes wrong during the update process. Backing up your site ensures that you have a copy of your data in case something goes wrong.
2. Recover From a Hack
WordPress sites are often targeted by hackers who exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software. Updating your WordPress site is important to fix these vulnerabilities and improve security. However, if your site has already been hacked, a backup can help you recover your data and get your site back up and running.
3. Test Updates Without Risk
Sometimes, updates can cause compatibility issues with your site's theme or plugins. By backing up your site, you can test updates on a copy of your site without risking your live site's functionality.
4. Save Time and Money
If something goes wrong during an update and you don't have a backup, you may have to spend time and money fixing the issue or even rebuilding your site from scratch. A backup can save you time and money by allowing you to quickly restore your site to its previous state.
Guide #1: How to Setup Updraft Backup Plugin
Follow the steps below to install and activate Updraft backup plugin on your WordPress website:
- On your WordPress Admin Panel, navigate to ‘Plugins’, click ‘Add New’:
- On the search bar, type “Updraft”:
- Click “Install Now” and then click “Activate” Note, because i already install and activate the plugin is showing me “active” in your case, if you do not have the plugin install yet, you’ll see “install now”
- Once you installed and activate the plugin, the “UpdraftPlus Backups” option will appear on the sidebar of your WordPress admin under the “Settings”, click on it:
- Navigate to the default settings:
- Click “Settings”
- While you are under the setting menu option, set: “Files backup schedule” based on how frequent you want WordPress to back up your files automatically.
- You can change this to monthly, weekly depending on how many times you make changes or update your website content, plugins or theme. “And retain this many scheduled backups”: Enter here how many ‘previous’ backups you want to keep before deleting them. But there is no need to create a backup every day as setting a high number can consume a lot of your system resources. You can set this to 2 or 3 backups on-hand.
- Note: Your files do not include your website content, it only includes files and folders on your server (e.g.: Your plugin files, your theme files, your uploaded images, etc.)
- It is important to be aware of the backup schedule you have chosen. For example, if you have selected to backup your website once a day and to retain only two scheduled backups, this means that if you detect a problem three days after it occurred, you will no longer have access to a reliable backup.
Note: Your files do not include the content on your web pages, it only includes files and folders located on your server (e.g., plugin files, theme files, uploaded images, etc.)
How to Backup Database WordPress
- Still under the setting option: go to “Database backup schedule: This is the frequency you want WordPress to back up your database for you. You can select the same frequency you selected for your files on the last step.
- For the “And retain this many scheduled backups”: You can select the same option as in the previous step above.
Note: Your database does not include your entire WordPress website; it will only include your Blog Posts, Pages, Comments and some settings.
- Choose your remote storage: Select the cloud storage service you will want to store your automatic backups.
- Click on “Google Drive”.
We’ll be selecting “Google Drive” in this guide, but you can use any other service you prefer.
- Scroll down and click “Save Changes”:
- Go back to authorize access to your cloud service. In my own case “Authenticate with Google”
Log into your chosen or selected cloud service:
- Allow access to your account:
- You will be taken to an Updraft page, click “Complete Setup”:
- You will see a message confirming successful authentication of your account:
- From here you can now see the cloud service logo you have chosen. This gives you the option of backing up your file in the cloud.
Guide #2: How to Backup WordPress Website Manual
- under the “Settings”, Click “Backup Now”:
- A pop-up will appear, click “Backup Now” button again:
- You will be taken back to the main page but this time around, the back up process will start with a progress bar–indicating complete level.Note 2: once completed, it will appear under the listing with the current date:
Guide #3: How to Download WordPress Site Backup
To download the backup, go to ‘Existing Backups’
- Select the backup data you want to download to your computer.
- Ideally, you should keep a local backup of all of your files (plugins, database, themes), then Click “Download to your computer”:
- Save the files locally so that you have both online and offline backup.
Guide #4: How to Restore a WordPress Site from a Manual Backup
Important: Be aware that depending on the size of your backups and the resources available on your server, running a backup process could be risky. Data recovery could be hampered if your server's resources are insufficient to manage the full process. It is advised to get in touch with your web hosting company if you are unsure about this. In general, even if you are on a server with limited resources, if your website is under 200MB, there shouldn't be any problems. You may either download the files and verify them locally on your computer, or on your cloud storage platform, to find out the size of the backup files
- Again, go to “Settings” “UpdraftPlus Backups” on the sidebar:
- Scroll down to ‘Existing Backups’ and click ‘Restore’:
- Note: If you can’t find your recent backups on the list they might have been deleted from your server or cloud service, in that case,this is where a local, offline, or cloud backup becomes handy; all you need to do is click the “Uploads” option on the top:
- Check the boxes under “Choose the components to restore” and Click “Restore”:
- Click “Next” to initiate the restoring process:
And that’s it! You have successfully backup and restore your wordpress website.
Backing up your WordPress site is an essential task that should not be overlooked. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that your website data is safe and secure in the event of a disaster. Remember to choose a reliable backup solution, schedule regular backups, and store your backups in a secure location. By doing so, you can have peace of mind knowing that your website can be quickly restored to its previous state if anything goes wrong.