UpdraftPlus is a very popular WordPress backup plugin that is installed on over two million WordPress sites while maintaining an excellent 4.8-star rating on over 3,500 reviews.
UpdraftPlus lets you run manual or automatic backups for your WordPress website. Choosing automatic backups, you can create a custom schedule to back up your site files and database.
When you back up your site, you can choose to back up:
- Your entire site (files + database)
- Just your files
- Just your database
You can also automatically offload your backups to remote storage options such as:
- Google Drive
- Amazon S3
- Google Cloud
- Microsoft Azure
- UpdraftVault (the developer’s own cloud storage service)
Restoring your website from a backup source uses UpdraftPlus own tool that makes that easy.
Most WordPress sites will only need the free version of UpdraftPlus, however, there are a number of premium extensions available:
- WordPress Multisite backups
- Scheduling backups at specific times of day (instead of just a rough schedule). For example, you can run your backups during low-traffic periods.
- Multiple off-site storage locations. For example, you can back up your site to both Google Drive and Amazon S3 at the same time.
- Incremental backups.
- A WordPress migrator tool.
- More options for backing up your database.
Price: Free. You can purchase individual add-ons or get a bundle of all add-ons for $US70. The bundles also include storage in the UpdraftVault.
How to Back Up WordPress Site With UpdraftPlus
We recommend that most people with e-commerced sites and sites using email marketing use UpdraftPlus as it’s much simple and easy to use with automatic settings for scheduled backups available.
How to Make Your First Backup
To get started, install and activate the UpdraftPlus plugin from WordPress.org if it isn’t already installed. Then, visit Settings > UpdraftPlusBackups in your WordPress dashboard.
To create your first backup, simply click the blue Backup Now button:
This will open a popup where you can choose what content to backup including your website’s files, database, or both.
If this is your first backup, select both boxes. Then, click the Backup Now button:
This will start the backup process, which depending on the size of your site may take several minutes.
Once the backup finishes, you’ll see it listed in the Existing backups section. You should also receive an email informing you of the status of the backup.
Download Backup Files
To download the backup files to your local computer, you can click the five buttons under Backup data. Make sure to download all five blocks of data so that you have a full backup of your site.
How to Set Up Remote Storage
When you create a backup using UpdraftPlus you can store those files on your WordPress site’s server or on a remote server.
Storing your data on your server is better than nothing but it’s still not ideal because you have a single point of failure, your server.
Instead Kodako recommends, you configure UpdraftPlus so that it automatically stores your backups on an external storage service such as:
- Google Drive
- Amazon S3
- Microsoft Azure
To set up a remote storage destination, go to the Settings tab and click on the icon for the service that you want to connect too. Instructions will appear below the list of icons to help you connect that service.
Connect To Google Drive
For Google Drive, you need to have an account with Google:
- Save your changes.
- Click the authorization link in the popup that appears after you save your changes.
You’ll then go through the standard Google login authorization process. Once you do that, UpdraftPlus will ask you to click a button to complete the setup process:
You’ll be able to back up your site to your remote destination by checking the box to Send this backup to remote storage after clicking Backup Now button. It’s recommended to make two complete backups of your site.
How to Create an Automatic Backup Schedule
To make it easy, UpdraftPlus lets you create your own automatic backup schedule however using the free version this may happen during peak times. The Premium version allows you to set specific times of the day.
To create your schedule, go back to the Settings tab and look for two drop-downs at the top:
- Files backup schedule
- Database back schedule
You can use the drop-down to set your preferred frequency for each type of data. You can also choose how many backup copies to retain.
For example, if you retain two backups, UpdraftPlus will store the last two copies of your backup and then overwrite the oldest copy when it needs to make a new backup.
Again, the optimal backup schedule depends on your site. However, a good starting point that should work for most WordPress sites is the following:
- Files backup schedule – Weekly
- Database backup schedule – Daily
How to Restore a Backup With UpdraftPlus
If you need to restore from one of your backups, UpdraftPlus also makes that easy.
To restore a backup, go to the Existing backups section and click the Restore button:
That will open a popup where you can choose what content to restore. For example, you could opt to only restore your database. To restore everything, check all five boxes. Then, click Next to finalize the process and restore your all your site content:
If you want to manually upload a set of backup files to restore, such as files from your local hard drive, you can click Upload backup files next to More tasks in the Existing backups section.