Automatic backup of WordPress site (Instructions)

In this tutorial, we will show you step by step how to easily make an automatic WordPress backup in 30 minutes – specifically through the UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin .

WordPress backup

There are several WordPress plugins used for backup, but I have the best experience with this plugin . UpdraftPlus in the free version provides everything I need. Its popularity is also evidenced by the fact that it has excellent ratings, more than a million active installations and is regularly updated.

Tip: You can also use the Duplicator plugin as an alternative to automatic backups.

Step 1: Install the UpdraftPlus plugin

After logging in to the WordPress administration, we go to Plugins -> Add new :

In the plugin search box, enter UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin :

Plugin installation

We click Install now. After installing the plugin, activate it by clicking Activate .

Step 2: Set the backup frequency

After installing and activating the plugin, the fastest way to get to its settings is from the top bar of the WP administration – by clicking on UpdraftPlus -> Settings :

Updraftplus plugin settings

Here we will change the backup start from manual to automatic – in our case daily . And not only for files but also for the database, because we want to back up both. If you like a different backup interval, you have several options:

Updraftplus plugin options

Also, if we have enough free space in the web hosting, then we will save the last 7 backups. Otherwise we leave the default 2. In this case, the plugin saves only the selected number of backups during automatic backups and automatically deletes older ones. This is useful because it prevents the disk from becoming full. The image below shows my final settings:

Updraftplus - number of backups

Note: As you can see in the picture above, the exact hour at which the backup will be performed can only be selected in the premium version . However, if you do not have a large and overcrowded website, you do not need such a premium option.

Step 3: Set up backup files

The UpdraftPlus plugin allows you to choose what we want to include in the backups. For example, if you have little space on your web host, you can exclude images and media (Uploads) from backups. However, I recommend having everything backed up so that you can completely restore the site if necessary.

Updraftplus - backup files

We also have the option to choose email notifications that WordPress backup was successful. I don’t turn them on so I don’t get a lot of emails.

Updraftplus - email notifications

Step 4: Save plugin settings

We will not forget to save the settings by clicking on Save Changes at the bottom of the screen:

Updraftplus - save settings

Step 5: Start automatic backup

To start WordPress backup, click the Backup Now button in the first tab:

Updraftplus - start backup

If the backup was successful, you will see a message that the backup was completed successfully with time:

Updraftplus - successfully backed up

Done, this is the automatic WordPress backup running and the first backup is in the world.

Manual backups – how and when?

In the way above, it is also possible to make a backup manually if necessary. I especially recommend this before any major changes on the web, such as installing a new plugin, updating, changing settings, and so on.

Backup locations – where are they and how do you download them?

The backup files within WordPress can be found in the wp-content section -> updraft :

Location of backups

These files can also be downloaded via the WordPress administration in the Existing Backups tab:

Download backup

Tip: in this tab we can also see how much space the backup files on the server disk take up in our total – in my case it is 9.1 MB.

Restore a website from a backup

If necessary, the WordPress website can be restored from a backup by clicking the Restore button. Most often we need to restore the site from the backup where the latest version of the still working site is.

Restore from backup

In the next step, you can choose which elements of the site you want to restore. Usually we need to restore everything. Then all you have to do is confirm the restore by clicking the Restore button.

Backup recovery settings

In the third step, the plugin will make another backup of the site before the restore itself. Pressing the Restore button will definitely start restoring the site. Do not close your browser during the site recovery process! You will see the results when the refresh is complete. If the restore is successful, you should see the message Restore successful! :

Successful backup recovery

After testing that the site has been successfully restored, it’s a good idea to delete the pre-restore backup files that the plugin has made so that it doesn’t take up disk space unnecessarily. This can be done by clicking the Delete old directories button:

Delete old folders

WordPress Backup – Why Make Backups?

More than 50% of website users I know do not make any website backups. People tend to think that it takes time to make a backup solution and it has no visible value to their business.

However, the opposite is true. I often come across the experience of people who, for some reason, lost their sites and only then realized that they had thrown away the “hundreds of hours” they had spent creating them. Therefore, I think the time invested in setting up automatic backups will pay off.

Although we can consider WordPress to be a robust and stable system, we need to realize that different combinations of themes, plugins and settings must work together on our website, and each of them can cause the website to crash.

One step further – as I do

As you may have noticed, there is also a section in the Settings tab for automatically saving backups to another storage:

Saving backups to storage

There are several options. I use Google Drive forwarding to have web backups off the hosting server. In this way, I have them in two places and I am more sure that I will not lose them. Setting up such a pre-mail is more time consuming, so I will not describe it in this guide. Detailed instructions can be found on this link .


I hope this guide has been beneficial for you. Share your backup experience with me in the comments below the article.

Tip in conclusion: Automatic website backup is now standard on all higher quality hosting providers. For example, WebSupport , where I host my sites, holds site backups up to 14 days ago. So, if necessary, the latest working version of the site can be restored. Nevertheless, I still consider it reasonable not to rely solely on hosting services.

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