This is a step by step guide/tutorial with images on how to install, setup, configure and use the free version of ‘UpdraftPlus Backup’ WordPress plugin to backup your website.
The ‘UpdraftPlus Backup’ is of the most popular WordPress plugin. It is an official plugin served by WordPress company to enable the previous WordPress editor and the “Edit Post” view. It really helps to write and copy paste text mush faster.
It is in use by 2+ million active websites with 5 star rating reviews.
How to Install UpdraftPlus Backup
To install, go to ‘Plugins > Add New’ and on the top right corner next to ‘Keyword’ type ‘UpdraftPlus Backup’. Wait for the plugin to appear and then click its ‘Install Now’ button. Wait again until you see the its ‘Activate’ button and click it.
After installation, go to WordPress menu ‘Plugins > Installed Plugins’ find the UpDraftPlug plugin and click its settings link.
Then go to the ‘Settings’ tab. This is the UpDraft main settings page where you can setup the automatic scheduling of backups for WordPress website files and database. In the option ‘Files backup schedule‘ its recommended to at least set it to Fortnightly to backup all your website files every 15 days. In the option ‘Retain this many backups‘ you can set it to 2. That means that there will always be 2 copies of your website files backup, each on different date, which will be kept available. Be careful not to set many backups since that might increase a lot the size of your website’s hosting server disk (if your don’t use a remote storage option like DropBox).
You can find the size of your website files on the tab ‘Advanced Tools > File Size’. Check also the size of the available disk space on your website hosting provider control panel to see how many copies you can safely do.
You can set the option of ‘Database backup schedule‘ to ‘Daily‘ if you create posts every few days. Alternatively set it to ‘Weekly‘. You can set the option ‘Retain this many backups‘ to ‘7’ or more. The size of the database is typically a few Mb in size so you should keep quite a few database copies.
NOTE: The backing of database is critical. Any time you do a significant change in settings or install a less popular plugin you should make a manual backup of database and files (preferably from your hosting provider server control panel). Even if you use UpDraft, make absolutely sure that you do a manual backup every month and transfer it to your PC. If the website is hacker of something goes wrong, you can restore 100% your website with the manual back of files and database. This piece of information is critical.
On of the very useful UpDraft options is to automatically store your backups in other places instead of your server. This way, if everything goes wrong in your server, you can always get a full backup restore. It typical to use the DropBox feature for external storage.
Its important to know that posts and pages (and their text) are saved in the database and not in the website files. Website files also include the images your uploaded.
When you finish with the settings, then click the ‘Save Changes’ in the bottom of the page.
In the tab ‘Backup/Restore’, you can manually take a backup by clicking the ‘Backup Now’ button. This is useful in case you install a less popular plugin, change code, or change many settings on your theme.
When you click the ‘Backup Now’ button, the below windows appears that ask you if you want to backup both the website files and database. In such case, make your selection and click ‘Backup Now’.
Below the ‘Backup/Restore’ page you will find the backups of database you made or were made automatically. If something went wrong, then you can click the ‘Restore’ button to get your website settings to a previous condition date.
A very useful function is to find the size of all your website files. You can do that by going in the ‘Advanced Tools > Site Size’ and click all the ‘Count’ links next to Plugins, Thems, Uploads, Other. The total sum of these will be the total size of your website. In the following example the sum is around 56Mb. So, each website files backup size will be 55Mb.
It is also good to know the WordPress plugin ‘WP All Export’. It gives the ability to export posts and pages in csv text format. In case you deleted some text by mistake sometime ago, you can open the csv files manually, find the post text you previously made and copy paste it again in your post. It can be very helpful.
Don’t forget to make a manual backup every month from your server. If something goes totally wrong and you can’t find backups, then you may start pulling you hair one by one….
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