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In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to backup your WordPress website with the UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin. Every site owner needs to ensure they have some regular way to backup their site. Just in case something goes wrong with a plugin, theme or worse, gets hacked.

Let me explain in a bit more detail

Plugins

Plugins are both free and premium (premium means you need to purchase). There are thousands of free plugins in the wordpress.org/plugins site. Made by different developers from all around the world. They usually have a free version of the plugin and then a premium version. If they are not making enough money from the plugin, often they will stop maintaining this plugin. This is when it can start causing errors in your WordPress site.

See what happens, is WordPress maintains its core files by updating them regularly. And the plugin developers are supposed to follow to be compatible with these files. If the plugins don’t get updated to match the WordPress core files, then this is when the plugin can cause problems or even break your site entirely.

Therefore you should always check the update details of a plugin, every few months to make sure it’s not becoming outdated. For eg. I would NOT use a plugin if it wasn’t updated within 12 months. I feel this is too long and obviously, the developer has stopped maintaining this plugin. Hence it could eventually break the site.

wordpress plugins

Next is the theme

So the same thing applies to the theme. That is; The theme must be kept up to date also. If a theme is really old and hasn’t been maintained and updated to match WordPress. Then it is may break in the future and will also be vulnerable to hackers.

backup wordpress themes

So why do you need to backup?

You need to backup all these components that make up your website. Just in case your site does break from a bad plugin or broken theme. Or in the worst-case scenario, if it gets hacked. Which is highly possible if you don’t keep everything updated.

If you keep regular backups, then you can quickly recover from any of these scenarios and get your website back up online. Hence not loose customers or Google rankings.

Without a backup of your website 

It would be impossible to restore the site to exactly as it was. 

UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin

Shouldn’t the hosting company make backups?

Yes. Your hosting company should make regular backups. But you may have to pay for these. Make sure you check this.

I still would recommend you have your own backup system in place just to be sure. As you can control when you make site backups. That is; daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

Also if you add a lot of work you can simply log in to your site, take a backup and download it to your computer.  Giving you peace of mind!

UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin

The steps for setting up the Updraftplus Backup plugin

  • Login to your WordPress admin.
  • Go to Plugins.
  • Go to the Search field.
  • Search – “UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin”
  • Click Install then Activate.
  • Go to the Settings panel.
  • Click on Updraft Backups.
  • Go to the Settings tab.
  • Select how often you would like to backup.
  • And how many copies.
  • I always save at least 2.
  • Click Save.
  • Now your site will backup often and save it to your wp-admin.
  • You can download it to your computer or save off-site.
  • See the image below.
UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin

Tips for using this plugin

Just say you haven’t updated WordPress, the plugins or the theme for a long time or ever!

  • Before doing anything.
  • Make a complete backup including the files and the database.
  • Go to the UpdraftPlus plugin settings.
  • Click Backup now.
  • Once it’s completed. Then you can safely go and update everything.

If updating WordPress

  • Always update the WordPress version first.
  • Before the theme and plugins.
  • Click update and wait until you see the “welcome screen”.
  • If you see the welcome screen it means it has safely updated and you shouldn’t have any issues.
  • Check the website from the front end to make sure everything still looks the same.

If updating the theme

  • Go to the Appearance panel.
  • Click Update on the theme.
  • Once completed, go and check the website looks as it should.

If updating plugins

  • Go to the Plugins panel.
  • Click Update on one plugin at a time.
  • The reason why you do this is, so if a plugin does break the site or cause an error.
  • You will know which one did it.
  • If you update all the plugins together and something goes wrong.
  • You won’t have a clue which plugin was the culprit.

Now what to do it something does go wrong

Well, the good news is you will have a recent backup to restore with.

If updating WordPress causes an error

  • Go to the Settings panel.
  • Then to UpdraftPlus Backups.
  • Scroll down to the existing backups. 
  • Click Restore the latest one.
  • Select the Database option.
  • Follow the instructions to restore.

If updating the theme causes an error

  • Go to the Settings panel.
  • Then to UpdraftPlus Backups.
  • Scroll down to the existing backups. 
  • Click Restore the latest one.
  • Select the Theme option.
  • Follow the instructions to restore.

If updating the plugins causes errors

  • Go to the Settings panel.
  • Then to UpdraftPlus Backups.
  • Scroll down to the existing backups. 
  • Click Restore the latest one.
  • Select the Plugins option.
  • Follow the instructions to restore.

That usually fixes the issue. If for some reason it doesn’t then you need to contact a WordPress support person. We can help with this! Click this link for our WordPress support.

To sum up

Every site should have some type of automatic backup system in place. As your website is a huge investment for your business that you can’t afford to lose. 

In my experience, the easiest plugin to use is the UpdraftPlus Backup Plugin. It has worked perfectly to restore sites that I have had issues with after updating either a plugin or theme. 

Its simple to set up so give it a go! 

If you need help with backing up your site visit our WordPress support page.

Written by Jodi Allbon 2019.

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