Backing Up Your Website with UpdraftPlus
A WordPress backup saves all the hard work that’s gone into creating your website, including every word of content you’ve uploaded. Let’s face it: you’ve probably been through the frustration of spending hours – or even days or years – working on a project, only for something to happen to your computer or network that results in the loss of all your hard work.
In this article, we’ll cover the importance of backing up WordPress websites as well as how to do it.
The Importance of Backing up Your WordPress Website
Every website on the internet is potentially vulnerable to security threats and possible data loss, no matter what measures the platform authors or network hosts offer to counteract these problems. Think of learning how to backup WordPress sites as an autosave for that critical work document – the fail-safe against a computer crash. While that scenario may be related to your computer’s hardware, errors and data loss also happen on the internet.
Here are a couple of situations that can result in you losing your work:
- Hackers may wipe out your data or inject malicious code into your site
- Your hosting provider may lose your data.
- Your host may terminate your account and delete your data – which they reserve the right to do in certain circumstances.
There are plenty of other reasons you might lose your website and data, but these are a few of the most common. To prevent data loss, it’s essential to back your WordPress website up regularly so that you have a backup file to restore from in the event of a catastrophic error.
When to Create a Website Backup
When thinking about when to back up your WordPress website, ask yourself exactly how much data you are willing to lose. A month’s worth? A week’s worth? Maybe a day’s worth? Even if you back up your site with fresh content every day, losing a day’s worth of data is nowhere near as bad as losing a month’s worth. So, if you update and add content regularly to your site, you need to perform a backup at least every couple of days, if not every day.
If you have a static website whose content doesn’t change, then regular backups are not as important. Regular backups are necessary if your website has forums, online shops, a blog, or anything that creates or requires customer engagement.
By itself, WordPress doesn’t offer backup options. That said, there are plugins that perform this function for you, or you can opt for a WordPress maintenance package – a service IdeaZone offers for your convenience and ease of mind. With a website maintenance package, regular backups are done by the company offering the service so that you don’t have to.
How to Backup Your Website: Manual vs. UpdraftPlus
There are many ways to back up WordPress sites, but for the sake of this article, we will cover two of them.
The most obvious way of backing up your website is to do it manually, which can be done using the steps detailed below.
Creating a Backup Manually
By backing up your WordPress website, you are copying all the files and exporting the contents of the entire site’s database.
If you’re using a hosting service, that service will usually provide you with what’s called a “cPanel.” A cPanel is essentially a user interface that makes a complex system more usable for both average Joes and developers alike.
- Enter your login details into your cPanel.
- Once you have gained access, click on the “Files” dropdown menu, then click on “File Manager.”
- On the left, you should see a folder marked “public_html.” Click on the + symbol to expand the folder, then select the folder bearing your website’s name.
- Right-click on this folder, then click on “Compress.”
- Next, click on “Zip Archive” and then choose “Compress File(s).”
- Once compression is complete, click on the zip file and then click “Download” from the top menu bar.
- When prompted, choose a secure location on your hard drive to save the backup file.
You are done!
Creating a Website Backup Using UpdraftPlus
UpdraftPlus is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create backups and set an automatic schedule for backing up your website. This takes the entire process off your workload, freeing up time and energy that can be better spent elsewhere.
To begin with, you’ll need to download UpdraftPlus plugin from WordPress. You can do this by going to the “Plugins” link on the sidebar menu of your site dashboard. From there, select “Add New.” When the list of plugins appears, enter “UpdraftPlus” into the search bar and hit “enter.” Then, when you see a box labelled “UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin,” click “Install Now.” Once the plugin finishes installing, you will need to click Activate before proceeding.
Here’s what you’ll need to do to create backups using UpdraftPlus:
- Go to “UpdraftPlus” in the navigation in the backend of WordPress.
- Click the “Backup / Restore” option.
- UpdraftPlus’s default setting is to include both your site files and database in the backup, but you can select/deselect either of these if you wish.
- If everything looks good, click the “Backup Now” button at the bottom of the window.
- Wait while UpdraftPlus generates a backup for the website.
Once the backup is complete, you can scroll down to the “Existing Backups” section. Once you’ve created a few backups, this is where you’ll find them. Beside each backup, there will be a series of buttons, such as “database,” “plugins,” and so on. You can download the backup data onto a hard drive as
an additional security measure by clicking these.
At some point, you may need to restore your website files and data from a previous backup. This can be done by clicking the “Restore” button at the right of your latest backup.
Creating a Backup Schedule with UpdraftPlus
Creating a backup is easy with UpdraftPlus, and so is creating a schedule for backing up your website. To do this, all you need to do is the following:
- Under the “Settings” tab on your UpdraftPlus dashboard, you will find scheduling drop-down menus for your file and database backups.
- Select which time increment works best for you from each drop-down menu.
Files generally don’t need to be updated as often as the database does, so you may select “biweekly” for your files and daily or weekly for your database. Files, in this case, refers to the uploads, themes, plugins, etc., used on the site, while database refers to all the content, comments and settings.
At the far right, you can choose how many backups are retained. For example, if you choose to retain 6 weekly backups, you will be the proud owner of a month and a half of backups. So, when it comes time to restore your files and data, you will have that many backups to choose from in the event a restoration is needed.
IdeaZone offers a monthly maintenance plan wherein we keep multiple backups of your site and run your updates on a monthly basis.
Here is what the plan includes:
- Weekly database backups via UpdraftPlus Premium – retain up to 15 weeks back
- Monthly site backups via UpdraftPlus Premium – retain up to 2 months back
- Off-site backup storage in case of server failure via UpdraftPlus Premium
- Monthly WordPress core update
- Monthly Theme update
- Monthly Plugins update
- Monthly Database optimisation
- Monthly Performance Scan and optimization
- Monthly image optimization
- Free site restoration in the event of a hack or server failure
- Subscription to NitroPack which will double or even triple your mobile page speed according to PageSpeed Insights
- Reduced hourly rate for maintenance
- Premium subscription to UpdraftPlus
We also offer one-off maintenance where we take a backup and run your updates on a one-time basis.