The Essentials of Backing Up Your WordPress Site

Last Updated: March 5, 2023

It is extremely important that any website be backed up. That’s why we’re sharing the essentials of how to backup your WordPress site. We feel as though it’s critical to have a backup strategy for your WordPress site. So in this article we’ll show you how to backup a WordPress site with the help of different plugins and premium services. This way you can bring it back after a disaster.


So, what exactly does backing up a website do? Essentially it is a backup copy of the database and files that make up your entire website. This backup copy is stored somewhere for safekeeping, somewhere that is easy to access. The location is either on your server (separate from where your website files are), on your own computer’s local hard drive, or an external drive.


Yes, WordPress does have good security, but that doesn’t mean that a fallout can’t happen. Therefore backups are necessary, no matter what. Having a backup of both your database and website files means that there will always be a copy to revert back to. That way if and when something goes wrong, you’re covered.

Some common situations where a backup can save the day:

  • Your WordPress site gets hacked.
  • Your server has an outage and your web host can only retrieve an older version of your site.
  • There is an issue during an update and your site’s content disappears or becomes unusable.
  • You accidentally delete some important pages or posts.

It’s really important that you consistently create backups of your website. Because without frequent backups, you run the risk of losing your entire website with no way to recover it.

Your Host May Provide Backup Services

The easiest way to backup your WordPress site is with web hosted backups. Typically your web hosting provider should automatically backup your website files, as well as it’s database. Which means you don’t have to do anything. Your site will be backed up nightly without any intervention from you. Some web hosts allow you to specify where you want your backups to be stored and whether or not to backup certain parts of your site.  But MAKE sure you know that they are doing that if you are relying on it.  For WordPress though we recommend using a separate backup as well for peace of mind.  If you host server blows up and you backup is on the same server, what will you do.

WordPress Specific backup plugins

Many WordPress hosting providers offer limited backup services, but most of the time it is your responsibility to backup your website on your own. Do not rely solely on your hosting provider for backups. If you are not already backing up your site, then you should pick one of the plugins below and start using it right away. Below are some free(and premium) backup plugins.


UpdraftPlus is a free WordPress backup plugin. It allows you to create a complete backup of your WordPress site that you can store on the cloud or download to your computer. You can schedule on-demand backups and even choose which files to backup. It automatically uploads your backups to Dropbox, Google Drive, FTP, SFTP, email, and other cloud storage devices. UpdraftPlus also offers a premium version complete with add-ons that allow you to migrate or clone sites. There’s even a database search, replace and multi-site support.


BackWPup is a free plugin that allows you to create complete WordPress backups for free. It also allows you to store it on the cloud (Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace, etc), FTP, email, or on your computer. It is extremely easy to use and allows you to schedule automatic backups according to your site’s update frequency. Restoring a WordPress site from a backup is also very simple. The BackWPup Pro version comes with priority support, the ability to store backups on Google Drive, and some other cool features.


BackupBuddy is a premium WordPress backup plugin. It lets you to easily schedule daily, weekly, or monthly backups. As an added bonus you can automatically store your backups in Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, Stash (their cloud service), and even email it to yourself. You can also use the plugin on the number of sites mentioned in your plan. You also get access to premium support forums, regular updates, and 1GB of cloud storage to store your backups. BackupBuddy lets you duplicate, migrate and restore websites..


Vault Press offers an automated real-time cloud backup solution starting at $3 per month, which is pretty cheap when you think about it. It’s easy to use as well. Setting up VaultPress and restoring from backups is just a matter of clicks. They even offer security scans with certain packages. However, there are a few downsides to using VaultPass. Like recurring expenses and the fact that you have to subscribe to JetPack. Although a major downside is that with the lower plans, your backups are only stored for 30 days.


Each of these WordPress backup plugins have its pros and cons. What matters most is that you find the one that works best for you AND that your site is getting backed up. The route you choose depends on how much you want to be involved. Therefore if you have a larger site, it might be easier to go the paid route. Because honestly, sometimes it’s easier to have a WordPress Expert worry about it. Plus, it allows you to use the server resources efficiently. However, if you have a small to medium size website and hate paying monthly fees, then the free plugins mentioned above are great.

We hope that this list helped you pick the best WordPress backup plugin for your site. Don’t forget to check out our Beginner’s Guide: How To Create A Killer WordPress Site Part One and Part Two.

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