How to backup your WordPress site

How do I backup my WordPress site for free?

If you have a WordPress site and are asking ‘how do I backup my WordPress site for free?’. I will show you step by step how you can use a plugin to backup your site for free. The plugin is called Updraft Plus. Install the plugin and set it up to backup your site as often as you need. Choose where you want the backup to be stored. You won’t believe how easy it is to install and set up.

Let’s get started.

Don’t put off setting up a backup

When I first started blogging I did not think too much about backups. It was mentioned few times when I was doing research or looking for solutions to problems I had. I saw the recommendations but I was very slow to start.

I consider myself very lucky that I did not have any problems then. If I had I would have lost all my work.

Setting up a backup for your site is very easy and takes so little of your time. Once you have it set up you just leave it to run on auto-pilot.

How I backup my sites

For all my sites I use a plugin. This plugin is called Updraftplus. This plugin has both free and premium options. I use the free version and it does a great job.

I will show you how to download and use this plugin.

How to install Updraftplus

First thing you need to do is install the plugin.

To install plugin you go to your WordPress admin and hover your mouse over the word ‘Plugins’ in the side menu. Once you hover your mouse over plugins you will get this popup menu.

How to install Updraftplus

In this popup menu you will see ‘Add New’, click on that and you go to this page.

How to install Updraftplus

On this page you need to type ‘Updraftplus’ into the ‘search plugins’ box on the top right.

Like this.

Once you start typing the screen will go blank. This is WordPress trying to find plugins that fit your keyword.

Once you finish typing you will see the plugin you require is the first plugin on the top-left. It’s full name is ‘Updraft WordPress Backup Plugin’. This is the one you need.

Once you find this then click on “Install Now’. The plugin will be installed to your WordPress site.

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

Install Updraft WordPress backup plugin

From here you click on ‘Activate’. After a few seconds the plugin will be active and you will then go to this screen.

Activate Updraftplus plugin

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

How to set up Updraftplus to backup your site

If you hover your mouse over ‘Settings’ in the WordPress admin menu on the left. You will get a popup menu. In this popup menu you will find Updraftplus.

Like this.

How to setup Updraftplus

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

Click on ‘Updraftplus’. Then you get this page.

Setting up Updraftplus to backup your site

You can see from my WordPress site that I have two existing backups with another backup scheduled for February 9th. If I chose to backup my site now. Then I just click on the blue ‘Backup Now’ link on the right.

Existing Backups

My two existing backups are from January 12th and January 26th. To the right of those dates I have an option to download my backup data. The database, Plugins, Themes, Uploads, and Others.

On the far right I have more options to ‘Restore’, ‘Delete’ and ‘View Log’. Should have a problem like I did where I had to do a fresh install of WordPress.

Once I finished with the frsh install of WordPress, I would install the Updraft plugin again and come here to select restore. To get my site back.

With the ‘backup data,’ I have the option of downloading this data to my PC. Aalways keepa copy of your backup data somewhere other than your WordPress admin.

I use Dropbox.

How to setup your backups

To setup a regular backup for your site you need to go into the ‘settings’ tab.

Once you click on ‘settings’ you will come to this page.

Updraftplus settings

Here you can set how often you want Updraftplus to backup your site. You have options for both your files and database. I always run them together. It is up to you.

I run a backup every two weeks. This is because I am not currently working on this site. So nothing is changing.

If you are currently working on your site then you would need to change this to match how often you change your content.

The options you have in the drop-down menu are as follows.

How to backup your WordPress site

The options you have are to do you backup manually, every 4, 8, or 12 hours, daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

If you are working on your site every day then it makes sense to do a backup daily. You may even want to do it every few hours. It is up to you. To the right of this you can also set how many backups you want to keep. I set mine to two. Again it is up to you.

The next section of this page is for you to choose where you want to store your backups. It always makes sense to store them in another place.

Dropbox offers free storage

I store my backups on Dropbox. Dropbox offers 2GB of space for free.

I have a way to backup my site and store my backup files and I do not have to spend any money.

If you are just starting out with your blog. These things help you keep your costs down.

How to connect Updraftplus to Dropbox

Staying in the settings tab of Updraftplus. You can see that there are many options for you to store your site files and database backup.

Dropbox, Google drive and Microsoft one drive all offer free storage. If you already have an account with any of them then just select that icon in the list on this page.

As you can see from the page above I have selected Dropbox.

Once you select your preferred option you go to the bottom of the page and click on ‘save changes’.

Once you click on ‘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 you need to click on the link in the popup box. Once you click on that link you will then see this page.

On this page you click on ‘Complete setup’. After this you are then taken back to your WordPress admin.

From now on every time a backup is run on your site. A copy will be saved to Dropbox.


Here is a screenshot of my Dropbox account. You can see copies of backups from my websites.

How to backup your WordPress site

Everything is automated. On my site a backup runs every two weeks. Once the backup is complete a copy is uploaded to Dropbox. I don’t have to do anything.

It is nice to know that my hard work is being saved like this.

I have had to restore one of my sites from backup. To see your site return to its original look is a huge relief.

If you have not set up a backup on your site yet. I would highly recommend that you do it as soon as possible.

If you have a Dropbox, Microsoft one drive or Google drive account. Here are video tutorials from Updraftplus showing you how to configure your site.

Backup Your WordPress Site to Dropbox

Configure your Google Drive account with your UpdraftPlus

How to Backup your WordPress site to Microsoft’s OneDrive

Updraftplus homepage

If you would prefer to download the Updraftplus plugin direct from their website. You can visit their homepage at

This link is an affiliate link which means that should you buy the premium version I will get a commission at no extra cost to you.


Not having a backup for your site is very risky. If you are constantly adding new content or updating old. You will lose everything if something happens to your site.

I have experience of having something happen to my site. All I did was disable a plugin and then I could not get access to my WordPress admin.

I tried everything to fix what I thought should be easy to fix. I had no success. In the end I contacted my website host support. All they could recommend was for me to do a fresh install of WordPress.

I did that and my website was gone. But I had a backup. It was a week old but I was fine with that.

After I completed my fresh install of WordPress I activated the Updraftplus plugin. Went to the restore option and within minutes I had my site back.

Once you setup your backup it runs in the background. You do not have to do anything with it.

Updraftplus is very well known and reliable. I have been using their free version for over a year now on all my sites. I am very happy with them.

If you have not got around to doing a backup of your site I highly recommend you get that done as soon as possible. Don’t risk losing all your hard work.

Frequently asked questions

How do I backup my site for free?

Updraftplus backup has both a free and premium version. I use the free version for all my sites and have been using it for about one year now.

I do not feel the need to use something else because the free version of Updraft does such a great job for me.

Why is backing up your website so important?

Backing up your website is so important because if you don’t, then you risk losing all your work.

At some point you will have a problem with your site. If you can not solve the problem then starting from scratch might be your only solution.

If you have a backup, a copy of your website files. Then all you need to do is import your files and databases back into your site and all will be returned to the way it was.

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 in your WordPress admin. You will see a ‘restore’ option to the right.

Just click on that. You will be given a choice of what files you want to import and then Updraftplus does the rest for you. It is so easy.

How do I backup my WordPress theme?

With Updraftplus everything is backed up. Including your theme.

After a few minutes of setting up Updraftplus you can leave it to run automatically. Updraftplus will backup your site as often as you set it and then will upload your backup files and databases to your seleted remote storage.

If you are looking to change your WordPress theme. Be sure to check out my ‘can I change WordPress themes without losing content?‘ post.


Do you have a backup of your site?

How do you backup your site?

Have you ever used Updraftplus?

Let me know what you think of my post. Did you find it useful? Would you like me to include anything else?

I look forward to reading your comments.

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