How to backup your WordPress site

In my post, I am going to show you an easy way to backup your WordPress site and database. Once set up, this plugin will automatically run a backup and save the backup to an external drive of your choice.

When I started blogging I did not run backups for my site. I didn’t know that it is something all bloggers should do.

Why do you need to have backups? With a backup, you can restore your site. This means if your site has a fatal error and WordPress has to be reinstalled, you can get your blog back by using your saved backup. Remember, your site is hosted on someone else’s servers, you have no control over what happens to those servers. Always have a backup, just in case.

Let’s get started.

How to install the free UpdraftPlus plugin

First, we need to install the free plugin ‘Updraftplus’. To install a plugin in WordPress, go to your WordPress admin and hover your mouse over ‘Plugins’ in the side menu. Like this.

How to install Updraftplus

In the popup menu select ‘Add New’. Now you will go to the WordPress plugin library.

How to install Updraftplus

On this page, type ‘Updraftplus’ into the ‘Search plugins’ box on the top right. Like this. Updraft will appear on the top-left.

Click on the “Install Now’ link. Once the plugin has finished installing, the “Install Now’ text will change to ‘Activate”. Like this.

Install Updraft WordPress backup plugin

Select ‘Activate’. After a few seconds, the plugin will be activated for your site and you will go to your list of installed plugins.

Activate Updraftplus plugin

Now you are ready to set up Updraft Plus to backup your WordPress site and databases.

How to access Updraftplus in WordPress

Hover your mouse over ‘Settings’ in the main WordPress admin menu on the left. From the popup menu, select ‘Updraftplus’.

How to setup Updraftplus

You can see from my popup menu, Updraftplus is fourth from the bottom.

Here is the UpdraftPlus dashboard.

Setting up Updraftplus to backup your site

Existing Backups

From the above screenshot, you can see I have two existing saved backups, should I have a problem with my website, I can restore my site from one of those saved backups.

How to set up backups in Updraftplus

To set up backups in UpdraftPlus, select the ‘Settings’ tab. Then you come to this page.

Updraftplus settings

The first two options are for your website files and databases. You can set the backup to run automatically or manually. The default setting is manual. To change this to automatic, select the drop-down and choose the frequency best for you. If you are currently working on your site, select an option that matches how often you change your content. That way, all your hard work will get saved.

How to backup your WordPress site

Next, choose where you want to save your backups. I use Dropbox because they offer 2GB of free storage. Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft One drive all offer free storage.

How to connect Updraftplus to Dropbox

As you can see from the screenshot above, I have selected Dropbox. Once you select your preferred option, go to the bottom of the page and click ‘Save changes’.

Once you ‘Save changes’, you will get a popup asking you to authorize access to your account. Like this.

How to backup your WordPress site

To authorize access to your account, click on the link in the popup. Then you come to this page. Here, click on the ‘Complete setup’ link, then you return to WordPress.

Each time Updraftplus runs a back up of my site, a copy will be saved to Dropbox.

Backups in Dropbox

Here is a screenshot of my Dropbox account, you can see my saved backups. I recommend you save your backups to an external drive rather than relying on your hosting company to make backups for you. It is better for you to be in control of how your backups are saved.

How to backup your WordPress site

On my site, UpdraftPlus runs a backup every two weeks. Once the backup is complete, a copy is uploaded to Dropbox.

I have had to restore one of my sites from a backup. To see your site return after a fatal error is a relief. If you have not run a backup on your site yet, I would recommend you do it as soon as possible. Don’t wait for something to go wrong.

Backup Your WordPress Site to Dropbox video tutorial

Watch this video on YouTube.

Configure Updraftplus to your Google Drive account video tutorial

Watch this video on YouTube.

Backup your WordPress site to Microsoft’s OneDrive video tutorial

Watch this video on YouTube.

Updraftplus homepage

You can download the Updraftplus plugin direct from their website at (*paid link). This is an affiliate link which means that should you buy the premium version, I will get a commission at no extra cost to you.

How to backup your WordPress site video tutorial

Here is a video from my YouTube channel showing you how to backup your WordPress website and database.

Backup your WordPress site for free - Beginner's guide
Watch this video on YouTube.


As you saw in my post, backing up your site takes a few minutes of your time. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a backup of your site, you work hard to make your blog a success. Don’t risk losing all your hard work. Best of all, Updraftplus is free.

If you are adding new content or updating old posts on your blog. Set Updraft to automatically run a back up for you. Don’t rely on your hosting company to manage this.

Don’t forget to check out my other WordPress tutorial blogs and my YouTube channel.

Frequently asked questions

How do I backup my site for free?

Install the Updraftplus plugin. It is free to use, you can have a backup of your WordPress site and databases in a few minutes.

Why is backing up your website so important?

Backing up your website is important because if you don’t, you risk losing all your work. If you have a fatal error on your site that requires you to reinstall WordPress, you can use your backup to restore your site.

How do I import a backup into WordPress?

If you use Updraftplus then importing your backup files and databases is easy. On the dashboard of Updraftplus, there is a restore your site option.

How do I backup my WordPress theme?

With Updraftplus, everything is backed up. Including your theme.


I hope I have helped you get your WordPress website and databases backed up. If you have any questions or feedback on my post, I would love to hear from you.

I look forward to reading your comments.

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