The most important thing you need to do if you have a WordPress site is back it up!  While most hosting providers are backing up their servers, they aren’t necessarily creating backups that make it easy for you to restore a backup.  Strange things happen in technology and you can never have too many backups saved.

I would recommend that as soon as you setup your wordpress site, you setup the backup for it.  While you are building your site, you could run into the need to restore a backup if you accidentally delete the site or something in it.

Methods to Backup Your WordPress Site

  1. Your Hosting Provider – Check with your hosting provider and make sure you understand what backups they provide.  Will they restore your site for you if you need?  Where are the backups stored?  How often do they  backup your site?  How long do they keep the backups?
  2. Automated Backups – There are quite a few plugins available in WordPress to do automated back-ups.  The one that I’ve found that seems to always work no matter what hosting provider you are using is UpDrafts Plus.  It’s easy to configure and will allow you to backup to the major cloud storage services.
  3. Manual Backups – You can use UpDrafts Plus to do a manual backup as well.  The benefit of a manual backup is that you can download to your computer and you know exactly where it is and what version it is, etc.  For example, before I do a set of major changes on a site, I will use All In One WordPress Migration to do a backup.  It creates a single file that is easily restorable if I want to revert to the previous site.

How to Setup a Daily/Weekly Backup with UpDrafts Plus

  • Install the UpDrafts Plus Plug-In.
  • Decide where you will store your backup.  My favorite is Dropbox.  You can create a free account if you don’t already have one.
  • In another tab, open Dropbox or the cloud service of your choice to save your backup.
  • Switch back to your wordpress site and open the settings for UpDrafts Plus.
  • Click the Settings and set the backup schedule to daily or weekly and increase the number of backups.
  • Choose your remote storage.
  • Leave all the rest of the options as defaults.
  • Click Save Changes and complete the rest of the configuration.

How to do a 1 Time Manual Backup with All-In-One WordPress

Test The Backup

Many years ago while managing an IT department, I discovered that even when you think backups are in place, you need to test them. I unfortunately ended up being part of a disaster surrounding the ability to recover what we had already backed up. The best way to test whether you backup will work is to create a ‘test’ site that you can restore your backup into. This will involve setting up another site using your hosting provider with WordPress installed and then testing the restore.