WordPress website backups regularly save up-to-date site files on secure drives. This safeguards data in the event a site unexpectedly crashes; site owners can simply restore a backup to push their site live again. To back up your WordPress site for free, simply install a backup plugin, activate it, and run a backup.
While you can always install a plugin to back up your site, a more secure method would be scheduling backups with your web host. Fortunately, Bluehost includes free automatic backups with its low-cost hosting plans. Get automatic website backups and reliable hosting with Bluehost for as little as $2.95 per month today.
Here’s how to back up a WordPress website in 5 easy steps:
1. Log In to WordPress
Login to your WordPress account by going to WordPress.com and selecting “Log in” from the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Enter your username and password in the pop-up box. Alternatively, navigate to www.yoursite.com/wp-admin (replacing “yoursite.com” with your own domain) and input your username and password.
2. Find & Install a Backup Plugin
From the user dashboard, find “Plugins” from the left-hand vertical menu. Click on it to expand the menu options, then click “Add New” to open the plugins page.
Find the search bar on the right-hand side of the screen. There are a number of backup plugins to choose from, but we recommend UpdraftPlus as it is well-reviewed and offers a free version. In the search bar on the right-hand side of the screen, search “updraftplus” to find the UpdraftPlus WordPress backup plugin.
Find UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin from the plugins search results. Double-check that it is the correct plugin by confirming that the title of the plugin is UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin—not UpdraftCentral. Next, click the “Install Now” button that is shown to the right of the plugin title.
4. Select “Activate Plugin”
Once you have successfully installed the UpdraftPlus plugin, a pop-up will appear with two options: “Activate Plugin” and “Return to Plugin Installer.” Click the “Activate Plugin” option to activate UpdraftPlus on your WordPress site.
5. Configure Backup Preferences
The last step is to configure your backup preferences. To do this, go to “Settings” from your WordPress dashboard. This will open a drop-down menu with options below the “Setting” tab, including one for UpdraftPlus.
Select “UpdraftPlus” to open the UpdraftPlus settings page. Then click the “Settings” tab from the horizontal menu at the top of the screen. Here, you can schedule backups for your files and databases. We recommend that you back up both automatically at least once a week. To do so, select “Automatic” from the drop-down menus and choose the appropriate frequency. Then, select how many archived backups you want to keep; two is standard.
Finally, choose where your backups will be stored. Select the appropriate remote storage icon at the bottom of the screen and follow the prompts to connect your storage account to UpdraftPlus. This ensures your backups are automatically stored in a set location that you can easily access.
Be in the Know: How to Restore Your Website
Knowing how to back up your WordPress site is key to protecting your data from corruption or deletion. However, it’s also important that you know how to restore your website backups should your site ever crash. To restore your business website, go to WordPress “Settings” menu and select “UpdraftPlus.” Click the Existing Backups Tab, then click “Restore” to open the Restoration Wizard.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the best plugin to back up a WordPress site?
The WordPress website backup plugins that have the best reviews on WordPress include UpdraftPlus, BackUpWordPress, Duplicator, BackWPup, and BackupGuard. The best backup plugin for you will depend on your budget and needs. However, UpdraftPlus is considered by many to be the best free WordPress backup plugin according to its 5-star rating from nearly 3,000 reviews on WordPress.
When do you need to back up a WordPress site?
Regularly scheduled backups are recommended; they should be done at least weekly, but monthly at a minimum. It’s also critical that you back up your site before major site updates or changes. This ensures that your data is protected should anything be corrupted or deleted in the update process.
How many backups do I need to keep?
Keep two to three of your most recent backups. This gives you the ability to restore a couple of versions of your site should it face an issue. Also, keep older backups when making major changes, as there may be times when you would like to revert back to an older version of your site.
Where is the best place to store backups?
Most users store website backups in the cloud. Cloud storage doesn’t take up hard drive space and often comes with security features, like data encryption and password protection. The most popular cloud platforms include Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft Azure, though be sure to examine features and costs before picking one that’s right for you.
Bottom Line: How to Back Up a WordPress Website
Backing up a WordPress site allows users to protect all of their site data should any of it become corrupted or inadvertently deleted. With backup plugins, such as UpdraftPlus, you can backup a WordPress site easily by installing the plugin, activating it, and configuring settings. Restoration of backups is as easy as selecting the archived backup and walking through the restoration wizard.
However, for those who want the most complete and reliable data protection, consider getting automatic backups through your web hosting provider. We recommend Bluehost—they offer affordable web hosting plans with included automatic website backups for just $2.95 per month. Sign up today and get a free domain name and five free email addresses with your account.