Backing Up Your WordPress Website
Some of us may have experienced the horror of messing up something so bad, that we wish we could go back and undo our actions. I’ve personally experienced this from time-to-time, whether it was accidentally installing a sketchy plugin, messing something up in the core files of the website, or simply checking the wrong option in a particular place. We all make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes cost us. But what if we could add a little cushion to make those consequences hurt a little less?
The last thing you need is to mess up something on your WordPress website, and then have to spend hours trying to fix it. You can avoid this problem by establishing a good backup system. That way, you have a cushion and fallback if something goes horribly wrong on your website.
Most backup systems for WordPress websites cost an extra amount, but one time I came across a life-saving plugin (literally) that was free and did the job I wanted. This WordPress plugin is called UpdraftPlus, and you can use it on your website(s) now too.
With this plugin, you’ll have the option to automatically back up your website’s files and database with a single click; all at no charge. With this free version, you can choose to back up your site:
- Every 4 hours
- Every 8 hours
- Every 12 hours
Once you decide how often your website(s) will automatically be backed up, you have the option to store it in one of the following:
- UpdraftPlus Vault
- Amazon S3
- Rackspace Cloud Files
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Microsoft Azura
- SFTP / SCP
- Google Cloud
- S3-Compatible (Generic)
- OpenStack (Swift)
Not only this, you have the option to store a specific number of backups and delete old ones so that you don’t eventually run out of storage.
Here’s how you can add UpdraftPlus to your website(s):
Log into your WordPress dashboard and click on the “Plugins” tab on the left sidebar.
Click on the “Add New” button found in the top left corner.
Type “UpdraftPlus” in the search box at the top right corner.
Make sure the plugin says “UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin” (by UpdraftPlus.Com, DavidAnderson) and click on the “Install Now” button, and then the blue “Activate” button that will show up.
You should now see an “UpdraftPlus” section in the top bar. Hover over this text and click on “Settings.”
Set the time that you want your website’s files and database to backup, in addition to how many backups you want to retain.
Click on the “Save Changes” button at the bottom.
You’ll now need to select the remote storage you want these backups to go into. Click on one of the storage apps/options you want to use and then click the “Save Changes” button at the bottom. After you click this button, a popup should appear that will prompt you to follow a link to authorize access to the account/app you selected. Follow the set-up instructions from this link.
Once you have the remote storage configured correctly, you can easily backup your website manually by hovering over “UpdraftPlus” in the top bar and clicking on “Current Status / Backup Now.” (Your website will also backup automatically if you configured the settings in step 6 to anything except “Manual.”)
Click on the blue “Backup Now” button, and your website will automatically begin backing up!
It’s very handy to have a plugin like this, especially when you can restore your work with a single click of a button.
About the Author
Kayli Parks is a freelance web and graphic designer based in Sacramento, CA. After almost 4 years of working in the design business, Kayli’s goal is to continue helping others with their online presence through responsive web design. Learn more about Kayli here.