How to backup your WordPress site

How to backup your WordPress site for free

I show you how you can backup your WordPress site using a free plugin. This plugin automatically backs up your blog so you don’t have to.

The plugin is called Updraft Plus, in my post, I show you step by step how to install and set up Updraft to run site backups automatically.

Let’s get started.

Why are backups important?

All your hard work is stored on a server you have no control of. If anything should happen to that server or your website files saved on there, you could lose everything.

The solution is to back up your work, make a copy of your files and save them to an external drive that is not controlled by your hosting company.

When I started blogging I did not know about backups. I was lucky that I did not have any problems, if I had, I would have lost all my work.

Setting up a backup for your site is easy and takes a few minutes. Once you have it set up, it runs site backups automatically.

Let’s move on to installing Updraft Plus.

How to install the Updraft Plus plugin

To install Updraft Plus, go to your WordPress admin and hover your mouse over ‘Plugins’ in the side menu to get a mini menu.

How to install Updraftplus

In this popup menu select ‘Add New’. Now you have access to the WordPress 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 active and you will go to this screen.

Activate Updraftplus plugin

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

Backups in Updraftplus

Hover your mouse over ‘Settings’ in the WordPress admin menu on the left. From this 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

You can see from my WordPress site that I have two existing backups with another backup scheduled for February 9th. To run a backup now, I select 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.

On the right, I have more options to ‘Restore’, ‘Delete’ and ‘View Log’. Should have a problem with my site, I can use these backups.

How to set up backups

To set up UpdraftPlus to run automatic backups for your site, go to the ‘Settings’ tab.

After you select ‘settings’ you 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 databases.

If you are currently working on your site then you would need to change this to match how often you change your content. Use the drop-down menu to select the frequency.

How to backup your WordPress site

If you are working on your site every day, set this to daily. To the right of this, you can set how many backups you want to keep.

Next, choose where you want to store your backups. I use Dropbox because they offer 2GB of free storage. Next, I will show you how to save your backups to Dropbox.

How to connect Updraftplus to Dropbox

Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft one drive all offer free storage. If you have an account with any of them select that icon on the list.

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

Once you select ‘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. Once you click on that link you see this page.

On this page you click on ‘Complete setup’. After this, you go back to your WordPress admin dashboard.

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

Backups in Dropbox

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

How to backup your WordPress site

Everything is automated. 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 is a huge relief.

If you have not set up 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

Configure your Google Drive account with your UpdraftPlus

How to Backup your WordPress site to Microsoft’s OneDrive

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.


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

Once UpdraftPlus is set up, it will run backups automatically.

Updraftplus is well known and reliable. I have used their free version since I started blogging on all my sites.

If you have not got around to doing a backup of your site I 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.

I do not feel the need to use another plugin because the free version of UpdraftPlus does an excellent job.

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.

At some point, you will have a problem with your site. If you can not solve the problem then reinstalling WordPress 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 to get your site back.

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.

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 and then upload your backup files and databases to your selected 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?

I look forward to reading your comments.

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