How To Backup A WordPress Site with UpdraftPlus

This week we learn how to backup a WordPress site with UpdraftPlus, a free plugin. I am sure that I do not have to tell you how important it is to backup your site weekly, or more often if you post a lot.

Updraftplus makes backups a breeze. and you are safe knowing that you can easily restore your website in case of accidents.

This post was originally published November 8th, 2017 and has been updated to be current with new information. This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Full disclosure is here.

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Why Must I Do Backups?

What is a backup?

A backup is a copy of the files or data on your website. It includes posts, pages, comments, and any links you have within. It also includes your theme, uploads, and plugin information.

In the case of a website or computer crash, you can upload your latest backup file into WordPress, and pick up from there.

You can easily do your weekly website tidying after publishing, or weekly. Keep your backups in one place, ready for re-install whenever you need them.

There are multiple reasons why you want to do regular backups:

  • Vulnerabilities with open source software downloads. You may update your theme or another plugin, and poof, computer crash. It happens.
  • Possible problems with your hosting provider and their security, including upgrades and outages.
  • WordPress is popular with hackers because 35% of bloggers are using it. They might be spreading Malware or spamming.
  • Your computer could crash after one of its updates. I had a computer crash during the installation of virus software from my cable internet. It wiped my hard drive. #sucks

Doing manual backups allows you to manage what happens with your website.

Related Post: Start Blogging with WordPress

But not today! Today you will install and activate a free plugin that you will use to backup your website.

Enter The Updraftplus Plugin

UpdraftPlus is one of several products from a UK based team of website tool creators. You can use free UpdraftPlus on your WordPress website.

Or you can upgrade to Premium starting at $42/year. Pricing depends on how many websites you run and the options you want.

Premium comes with all add-ons, 1 year of support, 1 year of free updates, and minimum 1 G of storage. As well, there are a bunch of geeky options that go over my head. Read about them here.

*NOTE* Watch for information boxes with links to sales in the main window for your plugins in WordPress. That’s how to get the best deals when you find quality plugins that you like using.

Free Updraftplus is perfectly fine for new bloggers.

It is simple to use, and you want to keep it simple in the beginning of your blogging.

But please do not mistake my attitude to mean that you can skip over doing your website backups. It is imperative that you maintain regular backups of your precious work.

If you remember to click that “SAVE DRAFT” button while writing blog posts, then you will want to do backups as well.

Your first backup using the Updraft plugin.

Install UpdraftPlus Plugin

Go into your WordPress dashboard/back office, scroll down to plugins, and then click ADD NEW.

Search for “backups” and you will see UpdraftPlus at the top. Or type UpdraftPlus into the search bar.

Go ahead and install and activate UpdraftPlus and follow along with this article while we will do a backup.

Updraft Settings

photo of updraftplus in wordpress menuYou will find your download in your back office dashboard under SETTINGS.

Click on UPDRAFTPLUS BACKUPS and then choose the SETTINGS tab, where you will set up your schedule, if you want, or you can choose to backup manually.

This will allow you to deactivate the plugin when not in use, if you like to keep plugins at a minimum.

How Often To Backup?

I would base this on how often you post. When I first started blogging I was posting 3 times a week, and I did a backup right after I hit publish every time.

Now I post weekly and I still do backups right after publish, along with my other weekly chores.

Related Post: Maintaining Your WordPress Website

Using Dropbox for Backups Storage

Choose DROPBOX from the choices and then scroll down and click SAVE CHANGES.

This will open a popup telling you that you need to authorize remote storage access to Dropbox, so click the link to be taken to Dropbox and then click the COMPLETE SETUP button.

If you are new to Dropbox, you will be asked to allow Dropbox to be your storage, so you can click ALLOW.

Another great option is to choose EMAIL

UpdraftPlus will email you a copy of the backup. You can download the file and save it to where you want like a folder on your pc or a usb device.

It is a good idea to have a secondary backup like a usb flash drive on the off chance that your computer crashes (it happens!).

Or You Can Use Google Drive

Using email for backups is great when your website is new and file storage is small. As you build out your blog, you will require a larger storage option, like Google Drive.

If you use Drive for other blog tasks, this is a perfect storage option, keeping important information in one spot.

All UpdraftPlus Storage Options

Each storage option has its own set of instructions for use. Click each one to see next steps.

You require upgrading to Premium if you want to use more than one storage option at a time. Or purchase an add-on, Multiple Storage Destinations.

UpdraftPlus Remote Storage Options
UpdraftPlus Remote Storage Options

Updraft can backup on a schedule that you create, or you can do it manually.

From your dashboard, go to SETTINGS > UPDRAFTPLUS BACKUPS  and choose the CURRENT STATUS tab.

Click the button that says BACKUP NOW. You will get a popup window showing you the pre-selected options of what to backup.


It may take a few minutes, but you can watch the progress. Your backup is also being uploaded to your remote location at the same time.

You will then you will get a message that your backup was a success and you can see it in the EXISTING BACKUPS tab.

If you are using free Updraft, you can see your last 3 or 4 backups listed.

Backup WordPress With UpdraftPlus
PIN IT!! Backup WordPress With UpdraftPlus

To Restore Your Backup

If you get hacked or want to do a reinstall, you will need to delete everything first and reinstall WordPress and any plugins that you had before. Do your updates first as well.

Then reinstall UpdraftPlus and activate it.

Go to the SETTINGS in your dashboard and choose UPDRAFTPLUS BACKUPS and choose of backup menu for updraftplus

Updraft will search for existing backups but if you deleted everything there will be nothing to find.

Choose UPLOAD BACKUP FILES if you saved files to your computer.

Or go to SETTINGS > UPDRAFTPLUS BACKUPS > SETTINGS to choose your remote location, which in this case would be Dropbox.

Follow the instructions to authenicate Dropbox

And do not forget to save changes!


UpdraftPlus will now look for backups and display the results.

Choose the RESTORE button next to the backup.

UpdraftPlus will ask you what you want to restore, so select everything and then click the RESTORE button.

UpdraftPlus will now collect your files and start the restore process. Ta da!

Related Post: About Free WordPress Website Hosting


As you can see, UpdraftPlus is a great free backup resource.

If you want more features and options, you can choose to purchase the Premium version, which varies in price. You get more storage options, plus free upgrades, free support and free storage (1G) to the Updraft vault.

This is fairly inexpensive for peace of mind!

Are you ready to start your blog and/or side hustle? Now is the time to create your own future and future income. Please sign up for my weekly newsletter of tips and free stuff for bloggers, like my passive income checklists. See if a blogging “side hustle” is right for you!


Happy blogging and follow me on Pinterest!

-Irma ๐Ÿ™‚

How To Backup A WordPress Site with UpdraftPlus

22 thoughts on “How To Backup A WordPress Site with UpdraftPlus”

  1. Hi,
    ำ€ do believe this iั• a great website that I stumbled upon ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I will come back once again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change,

    May you be rich and continue to guide otาปer people!

    • Thank you Duane and I wish you the best of luck!


  2. Hi Irma,

    Great post and great reminder to keep backing up my site. This is a really great review and I love that it has a dropbox component.

    I will thoroughly check this out as it sounds like a really handy app.

    Thank you, Kev

    • Hi Kevin and thank you for visiting today!

      Yes, I found that being able to save to Dropbox is super handy.

      Irma ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hey Irma great article! I am going to get this plugin right now for my website and make sure I’m constantly backing it up. I think this will be more useful as my website grows bigger…

    Will bookmark this site for any further advice.

    • Hi Jeremy and thank you for visiting today!

      And best of luck with your website!!

      Irma ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Great article. I totally forgot about the backup of my website until I have read your lost. Easy instructions to follow. I was not aware of Dropbox option.
    Thank you for your article Irma!


    • Thank you for visiting today Saiprasad and I am glad that I could be helpful for you!

      Irma ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. This must be a sign. I was just talking to my partner about what would happen if i lost all my info on my site. To be honest I was like ‘its never going to happen’ but then i read this by a strange coincidence. Dont ignore the signs as they say. Thanks for the heads up!

    • Hello Greg and thank you for visiting today!

      That was actually my inspiration for writing this post. I deleted all of my Chrome bookmarks from my netbook, without realizing that it was synced to my desktop! I lost a lot of links to great sites, and it was a wake up call to backup my website. Best of luck with your future backups!

      Irma ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I wasn’t aware of this one, had been thinking of better ways to back up my site…

    Thanks Irma!


    • Thank you for visiting today Dallas, and it is great that you are being pro-active!

      Best of luck,
      Irma ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Hello Irma
    Great stuff again. I am backing up my website as I write here. And yess it succeeded.
    Thanks for the new tip.
    A question though, I use pretty links, what happens with those if I have to delete the whole website and plugins, are they gone?
    Hope to hear from you Stefan

    • Hi Stefan and thank you for visiting today,

      I am not too sure. I would hope that you would not have to delete your whole site, since most problems come from one plugin working against the others. And I believe that if you are making backups, your links would be intact, however do not quote me on that.

      If you ever have problems, it is best to deactivate all of your plugins and then add them back one by one until you find the one causing troubles. This is another good reason to keep your plugins at a minimum, and keep checking your speed etc especially before and after adding a new plugin. I have had to delete many plugins that seemed like a good idea at the time, but they really were either not helpful or interacted badly with plugins I was already using and that I want to keep using.

      Irma ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Hello and thanks for sharing this is good information I will take a look into this plugin that seems to be so beneficial.

    • Hello Norman and thank you for visiting today!

      I hope that it works as well for you as it is for me.

      Irma ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I never considered Updraftplus but I have 10 different plug-ins and I also have some coding plug-ins. Do you think that would that cause some incompatibility issues?

    • Hello and thank you for visiting today!

      That is always a possibility, and the only way to find out is by disabling all of your plugins and then adding them back one at a time to see which is causing troubles, adding back the most important ones first. Be sure to backup your site beforehand, and check your site after you add each one back, checking for problems. Refresh the page each time as well.
      I only ever have 5 plugins running, and I am always checking with my site manager to see how things are running. And of course there are several WordPress plugins that can check your site for incompatibility issues lol.

      Irma ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. This seems to be a worth while plugin and especially if your webhost does not provide backups. I like the fact that they have a dropbox option. There are some website backup plugins that do not and I think they should.

    Thanks for sharing these step by step details. Very easy to follow along.

    • Hello Nate and thank you for visiting and thank you for your positive comments ๐Ÿ™‚

      Irma ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. A timely reminder to backup my website.
    After reading your updraft review I will take a look at this option. Good info Thanks!

    • Thank you for visiting today Susie, and you are welcome!

      Irma ๐Ÿ™‚


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