How To Backup Your WordPress Website (3 Ways)

How To Backup Your WordPress Website (3 Ways)

Backing up your WordPress website can save you a lot of headaches down the road. Whenever you make a change or update a plugin or a theme, then something can go wrong, and in these cases, it’s so important to have a backup you can always roll back to.

To back up your WordPress website, go to your admin area and click on Plugins -> Add new. Search for UpdraftPlus, and install and activate the plugin. With the plugin installed in the settings menu, click on UpdraftPlus and press backup now. You have now backed up your WordPress website.

This is one of the methods, and I’ll show you how you do it with a video further down, but there are 2 other methods as well. You can manually download your files to your local computer and your database. Lastly, then you can use your host for backups.

Back up Your WordPress Website With UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus is one of the most used plugins for backup up WordPress websites. The plugin was created in 2011 and has been developed into a solid WordPress plugin used by over 3 million WordPress websites today. One of their forces is how easy it is to use.

To install it, you go to your WordPress admin area, go to plugins -> add new. Search for UpdraftPlus, install and activate it. In the settings menu, click on UpdraftPlus and click the big blue button with the text: Back up now. That’s it, and your first backup is done.

The benefit of using UpdraftPlus is you can store your backups in remote storage, and I will highly recommend you do this.

If something happens to your server and you store your backups on your server, there is nothing to do. Still, by having it in multiple places like your server and Dropbox, then you’re confident that if something happens to either, then the other one will be the saviour of the day.

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You back up your WordPress website to a remote location after installing and activating the UpdraftPlus plugin, going to settings and clicking on UpdraftPlus in your WordPress admin area. Then you click on Settings and scroll down to Remote storage.

If you want some alternatives to UpdraftPlus, then I’ve made a collection where I compare a bunch of WordPress backup plugins.

Manually Back Up Your WordPress Website

You can back up your WordPress website manually, where you store the backup on your computer or an external hard drive. You will need access to the server via a file manager or an FTP client like FileZilla. And then, you need access to the database, which your host often will give you through PHPMyAdmin.

With these 2 accesses, we now need to backup the files and, afterwards, download your database. To begin with, we will download all the files via an FTP client, and I’ve chosen to use Filezilla, which you can download and use for free here.

After downloading FileZilla and installing it, you need to sign in via FTP or SFTP. The credentials you will get from your host. I recommend you open the site manager in Filezilla, the icon in the top left corner. Click on new site, enter the information, and save it all by clicking on connect.

site manager

Now you’re signed in on your server, and on the right side of FileZilla, you need to find the folder containing your WordPress installation. You know when you’ve found it when you open the folder and there is a file named wp-config.php. Then you go one layer back and right-click on the folder containing your WordPress website, and press download.

FileZilla will now download your entire WordPress installation to your local computer. When the files are done downloading then, make sure to check the tab at the bottom named “Failed transfers”. Sometimes for unknown reasons, a file can’t be transferred. Then you just right-click on it and click on re-queue.

failed transfers

Now with your files downloaded, it’s time to head over to your database and download your database. For this example, I’ll use PHPMyAdmin, which most hosting offers you. I use 10Web for my hosting, and here, I can simply go to PHPMyAdmin by clicking on “Open MySQL”.

hosting mysql

This opens me directly up to PHPMyAdmin, where I sign in with the MySQL credentials I received from my host. You can always ask them if you can’t find them and ask them how you open up PHPMyAdmin.

After signing in, I now press export to export all my tables.

export mysql tables

I’ll then land on the export page with 2 options. I can either choose to export everything, which I will recommend you do. If you know what you’re doing, you can easily choose the advanced option and pick what tables you want to export. After choosing your option, you press go, and an SQL file is downloaded to your computer.

I recommend you save this file with the files we just downloaded using FileZilla, and you have now manually backed up your WordPress website.

export mysql tables go

Let Your Host Back Up Your WordPress Website

The last method is to let your host handle your backup. Automatically 9/10 hosts always take backups of your website because they take backups of the entire setup. However, you can expect some might take a fee for reinstalling a backup.

This is super simple to handle and is almost always set up automatically when you set up your WordPress website. If you’re using a managed WordPress hosting like Kinsta or 10Web, they run it for you. And with this, you can reinstall a backup with a simple click.

I use 10Web for WPEnroll, and they take backups in 2 ways. They have restore points every day, and this runs automatically for me to easily reinstall older backups should I need it.

10web restore points

If I wish for more control over how often the backups should run and at what time, I can enable their backup module free of charge to control daily, weekly or monthly backups. This doesn’t affect my restore points. And this method is my favourite backup method because it’s out of my hands. My host is completely taking care of it, and as they’re the experts with servers, I have full belief in them.

10web backups

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