Taking your own WordPress backups with UpdraftPlus

Today I’m going to walk you through how to set up your own backups using the free plugin UpdraftPlus

Your hosting company may or may not backup your site, but either way, it’s REALLY important to take your own backups regularly. And for bonus points, store them separately from your site.

Adding UpdraftPlus

Log in to your site and go to Plugins. Click Add New and search for UpdraftPlus. Install and activate the plugin, then go to Settings.

Automating backups

If you just want to take a quick backup, you can click “Backup Now.” However, I think it’s important to automate this process, so go to the Settings tab.

For “Files backup schedule” and “Database backup schedule” the default is manual. Change that to daily, weekly or monthly, depending on how often you update your content. Weekly is a good option if you’re not sure.

I also like to keep more than 2 backups, so you can change the 2 to 3, 4 or whatever makes sense for you.

Storing backups separately

If you just save changes now, the backups will be stored in the same place as your WordPress website. This is okay, but I like to store these separately. It’s kind of like keeping your passport and other important documents at the bank instead of your house (in case something happens).

Dropbox and Google Drive are the two that I like to use. There are other options and some are paid — choose what you like best!


In the video below, I’ve already signed up for Dropbox. If you don’t have Dropbox and want to use it, go to dropbox.com. You should see an option to “Get Dropbox Basic” — click that. Create an account and you’re good to go!

Back to the settings in UpdraftPlus. Choose Dropbox or Google Drive and save your changes. After you save, you’ll be prompted to authenticate. This is basically a handshake between the two applications (WordPress/Updraft and your off-site storage) to say that it’s okay for them to work together.

Now that everything is configured, your first update will start shortly. 

Backup/Restore tab

You can also go to the Backup/Restore tab and take a backup at any time by clicking “Backup Now.” This is good to do right before you’re going to make a lot of changes or updates (just in case something breaks) or after you make a lot of updates (to make sure you have that content saved).

You’ll see your backups listed on the Backup/Restore tab along with the date/time they were taken. You’re also able to download the backups to your computer from this tab; you’ll have to download each piece separately — database, plugins, themes, uploads and others.

Hey, a video!

If you prefer video, watch how I do this above. And as always, if you have any questions, give me a shout!

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