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Easily Backup Your WordPress Website With UpdraftPlus in 2023

Easily Backup Your WordPress Website With UpdraftPlus in 2021
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This guide from WPDesigns to Easily Backup Your WordPress Website With UpdraftPlus in 2023 will walk you through the process needed to take a backup, download it, restore a backup and automate it.

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What is a WordPress Website backup and How Does it Work?

A WordPress website backup is a duplicate copy of your site’s content, which includes your site’s database, its themes, plugins, and uploads such as images and videos, and sometimes, the core installation and files related to your site’s configuration. These elements are crucial to the functionality, design, and overall operation of your site.

Creating a backup means you have a replica of your site’s content stored at a particular point in time, allowing you to restore it to that exact state if required. This could be extremely useful in scenarios such as when your site gets hacked, it crashes due to a plugin or theme update, or when you unintentionally delete important data.

Now, when it comes to the functionality of WordPress backups, they generally operate by duplicating your site’s content in an archived format, usually a .zip or .tar.gz file. This archive can then be stored in a variety of locations.

To ensure the effectiveness and reliability of your backups, it’s recommended to use multiple storage locations. Here are a few popular options:

  1. Local Storage: This means keeping a copy of the backup on your personal or work computer. This is handy for quick access, but remember that it’s still vulnerable to physical threats like theft, fires, or hardware failure.

  2. External Hard Drives or USBs: This is another form of local storage, but it’s portable. It carries the same vulnerabilities as local storage, but you can keep these in a different location for extra safety.

  3. Cloud Storage Services: Services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Amazon S3 are often used to store backups. They offer large amounts of storage space, they are accessible from anywhere with internet access, and they have their own security measures in place.

  4. Professional Backup Services: These services, like VaultPress or UpdraftPlus, are designed specifically for website backups. They offer automatic backups, direct restoration, and other advanced features. They do, however, come at a cost.

As for the frequency of backups, it largely depends on how frequently you update your site. If you’re updating content daily, you’d want daily backups. If you update less frequently, weekly or monthly backups might suffice.

Moreover, it’s also recommended to perform a manual backup before making significant changes to your site, such as installing a new plugin or theme. This way, if anything goes wrong, you can quickly revert back to the previous state.

Ultimately, having a backup strategy for your WordPress website not only gives you peace of mind, but it also ensures the continuity of your online presence.

On-site WordPress backup


This would mean the website is backed up on the server and not available to access it from elsewhere.  Should something happen to the site or hosting server then the backup and website will be lost unless there is a copy somewhere else.  This is the basic type of backup and is the minimum that should be done for any website.

Off-site WordPress backup


Having an off-site backup is recommended as it will ensure that your website is safe if something happens to your online site.  It is worth using this option and the on-site backup as they are probably the easiest to do.

Cloud WordPress backup


Having a backup on your cloud storage is more effort than the on-site and off-site but once set up it is automatic!  So therefore easier to do and highly recommended.  Using Google Drive for this is simple to set up and reliable but you are putting your data into the care of someone else which is understandably not always desirable for everyone.

The best option when it comes to website backups is to set up the automatic cloud backups as you will have the site backed up without thinking about it.  Make sure you keep enough different backups as if the backup is taken when the site is broken you will need to find a version of the site before the issue happened! If you only have a few backups and do not notice the issue then it can be harder to fix.  When it comes to backups having only one is better than none though!

How to Easily Backup Your WordPress Website With UpdraftPlus in 2023

If you already have the plugin installed the jump to Taking the Backup.

Plugin Installation

1. To add the Updraftplus plugin onto your WordPress website go to your WordPress Dashboard > Plugins > Add New. If you have used WordPress previously then you should recognize some of the features and functionality here. If not then just follow on with the instructions.

Adding a new plugin to WordPress
Add a new plugin to your website by searching for Updraftplus
Install Updraftplus
Install and activate Updraft

2. Once you have gained access to the plugin database you will have a search option where you can enter the name of the plugin you are looking for.  In this case, type in Updraft.  The search will run and return the Updraftplus plugin, click on the Install Now button to install.  This is the plugin we will use for backup in whichever form you choose.

3. Now that the plugin has been installed you can click Activate and it will bring you back to the plugin page on the Dashboard. You can see here that the plugin has now been installed.

Updraftplus Plugin Installation Success
Updraft has now successfully been installed onto your site

Taking the Backup

Once the plugin has been installed now we can begin to take the backup of the website.  We will start with a simple backup then look at the other options.

1.In order to take the backup click on settings while on the Plugin page.

UpdraftPlus Settings
Click "Settings" to access the Plugin
Updraftplus starting new backup
Click "Backup Now" and select both the options and click the next "Backup Now" button

2. Once the page loads up click on Backup Now and make sure the top two options are selected, and click on the next Backup Now button that appears.

Making a backup of your WordPress website was that easy!

Once the process has finished running you will see a screen like this after your backup has completed.  This is the newly created backup which can be downloaded by clicking on the individual elements of “Database”, “Plugins”, “Themes”, “Uploads”, and “Others”.  It is worth saving these elements now that you are here so you can create the off-site backup too.

After the successful backup with Updraft
Your backup will complete and be added to the list at the bottom, you can download your backup from here

Thank you for following the guide on how to Easily Backup Your WordPress Website With UpdraftPlus in 2021! 

But now what do you do with your new backup?  If something goes wrong how can you restore it?

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How to Restore Backup Using Updraftplus

Note: Any changes you have made since the backup was created will be lost so make sure you are restoring to a version of the site in which you will not lose any added work (as you hopefully made one recently!)

1. The first step in order to restore your WordPress website backup to the point at which the backup was made you will need to click on the Restore button next to the relevant backup.

How to restore with Updraftplus
Choose the backup you would like to restore and click "Restore"
Updraftplus Restoration clicks
Tick the boxes that you need but if not sure all of them

2. After clicking on the restore button you will get an interface that you can see in the image.

If you are not sure which areas of the site you would like to backup it is recommended to select all the options there are and then click on Next.

3. Once the screen has loaded the backup elements or brought them in from their storage location (if on the cloud) click on restore and it will take some time to restore everything as it was at the the point of this current backup.

Updraftlplus Restore in Progress
Click "Restore" once the backup elements have been loaded

Note:  The amount of time it takes to restore your website will depend on how big the file is.

Updraft Restore process
Updraftplus will restore all the files contained in the backup
Updraft Restore Sucessful
Once complete you can return to the configuration screen
A group of people celebrating a party with balloons and confetti.

Woohoo!  It has now restored your website! 

How to Schedule Updraftplus to Make an Automatic Backup

Note:  For this section, you will require a normal Google Account.

More than often the vast majority of WordPress websites are not backed up sufficiently if at all!  One feature of Updraftplus backups is that you can schedule it to schedule it to take regular backups at a time period of your choice.  You are also able to tell it how many versions of the backup to keep.  Making sure to keep a sufficient amount of backups is important as if your website has a problem and this is not noticed in time then the Plugin will start to save the broken website as a backup and overwrite the good versions! Keep in mind that the more backups you have the more space it takes up on your hosting server, you will need to judge how much space is available, how big your site is and the intervals at which you take the backup.

For this guide I will set the number of backups to 4 and set it to backup weekly – this will give me 4 weeks of automatic backups plus any further backups that I create manually. I will use Google Drive so it is both stored offsite and safe in another location – in essence I will not be putting all my eggs in one basket!

After you have set this up you don’t need to take backups manually unless you need to do so inbetween your automated schedule. Let’s see how to setup the schedule:

1. To set up the Updraftplus automatic backup schedule we’ll click on settings and then click again on settings in the tabs.

UpdraftPlus Settings
Click "Settings"
Easily Backup Your WordPress Website With UpdraftPlus in 2022
Click the tab named "Settings"
Updraft Backup Frequency
Select the interval you'd like for your backups and the number to keep

2. The next step is to choose how often you want to take a backup – this could be daily, weekly, monthly etc and you can also set how many back-ups should be stored at one time. As previously mentioned but it is an important point -This is useful as you need to make sure you keep enough backups should anything go wrong and not be noticed straight away but you don’t want to have too many that you fill up all your server/ hosting space with backups!

On the left side, You can select the schedule for backing up the files and the database backups, select both of them. I selected weekly for both and on the right side, you have to set the quantity of scheduled backup. I set 4 for both of them. You are welcome to choose the settings that best suit your situation but this is a setting I find works well.

3. Next we have to choose where we want to store the backups. Updraftplus gives you different options to where you can store them. I will choose google drive for this guide as it is simple and efficient to setup. After you have selected Google Drive click on Save changes.

If you do not have a Google Account then it is worth setting one up so you can gain access to the free 15GB of Google Drive space they offer each account.

Updraft where to store backup
Select "Google Drive" from the options
Updraft Save changes for automated
Scroll to the bottom and click "Save Changes"
Link Updraft to your Google Drive account
Updraftplus will ask you to either sign in or select the Google account to use

4. As soon as, you click on Save changes updraft will ask you to link the Google Drive with updraftplus. You will need to link it by clicking on the link as pictured below.  If you are already signed in the you will just need to allow it to access the necessary data, if you are not signed in then you’ll need to sign in.

5. After granting access to your Google Drive you will see a screen like this. Once here click on Complete setup and you are done.

Updraft backup linked to Google Drive
The final step is to confirm the connection between Updraftplus and your Google account by clicking "Complete Setup"


All of your website backups will now be automatically saved onto your Google Drive, you are also able to create other backups when needed but if you forget your site will be safer than before!

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Josh is passionate about technology, web design, and SEO. Along with this is a keen skier and cyclist. Having spent years developing websites for clients, he enjoys writing and sharing knowledge online.

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