Do you maintain your own wordpress site? Do you regularly backup your website?
What if you lose access to your website, because you will never know when a problem might arise and you are at a risk of losing all your data. That’s why you should keep backups, as they say “Better be safe than sorry”.
In this article, I will show you how you can backup and restore your wordpress site for free.
What to consider while choosing a backup system?
There are several free wordpress plugins you can choose from but few things to consider while choosing –
Complete backup: Make sure the plugin takes a complete backup of your site, not just the database backup because then you have to manually backup other files.
Schedule backup: The plugin should have scheduled backup option to make the entire process automated.
Multiple storage option: Your plugin should allow you to store backups in multiple places including third party storage services like Dropbox, Google drive, Amazon S3 etc. Because these storage companies have their own high level of security and you can trust them for the safety of your backup.
With that in mind let’s see which plugins we can use.
Disclosure: Some of the links here are referral/affiliate links that means if you decide to buy through those links I’ll earn a commission at no extra cost to you. This is how I keep Designtheway.com up and running.
Updraftplus is one of the most popular wordpress backup and restore plugin, at the time of writing it had over 6 million active installations.
The plugin allows you to set up scheduled backup along with manual backup option. You can store your backup in Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, Microsoft OneDrive and more.
If you buy updraftplus premium you can use their own storage system UpdraftVault along with many other features like auto backup before any theme or plugin update, support, set exact time for backup and deletion, multisite backup, clone/migration and many more.
These are the reasons why I use UpdraftPlus here at DesignTheWay.
Backup with UpdraftPlus
The plugin is very easy to use, once installed you will see these options, you can create a manual backup immediately or can set up a schedule.
To set a schedule go to the Settings tab where you will see scheduling and storage options, here you can set the backup to manual, hourly, daily, weekly, monthly etc. For small websites, you can keep the schedule to daily or weekly.
Now choose the storage location by clicking on any one of the options listed, though all are not available with free version.
Once you click on an item it will show more option, fill it up accordingly and click on save changes (in few options you have to click save changes before you can authenticate updraftplus with that particular service).
With that your auto backup system is ready and it will keep regular backups as per your settings.
Restore with UpdraftPlus
If you want to restore your site in the same location then first you need to download the backup to your local computer.
Install Updraftplus plugin and go to Existing Backups tab, click on Upload backup files, upload your backup and follow the steps.
In case you want to roll back to the previous state in an existing setup then again click on Existing Backups tab here it will show all the available backups, just click on the restore button of the item you want the backup from.
BackupGuard is another popular backup and restore plugin, but the free version has very limited features. Scheduling and remote storage are in pro version which makes it a less than an ideal free backup solution.
The free version only allows manual backup with local storage facility i.e. you can only store backups in a local computer, if this caters your needs then this plugin can be a very good option for you.
To backup your website with BackupGuard click on the Backup button in the Backups tab. A pop up will appear where you can choose Complete or Custom backup, once selected just click on the Backup button. That’s it your backup will start.
Once the backup is complete it will show in the backups tab from there you can download it to your local drive.
The restore process is very simple, click on the Import button and choose your storage location for free version it will be Local PC.
Select the backup file then click on Import button and your backup process will start, it’s that simple.
The other tabs like Cloud, Schedule etc are for paid version only.
Duplicator is a hugely popular plugin not just for backup and restore but migration as well. With this plugin, you can move your entire site from one location to another like localhost to server, server to localhost and one server to another.
Though its popular it’s not as simple to use as some of the other plugins, it may require some technical knowledge especially for restoring a site. So, it may not be an ideal choice for non technical persons.
You need Pro version for schedule backups and remote storage. The backup and restore process is a bit long you can check their official video for step by step guide.
All-in-One WP Migration is another highly popular and easy to use plugin for a complete wordpress site backup and restore. The plugin doesn’t have schedule backup feature, you have to manually backup your site every time this makes it less than a perfect free solution.
The free version only allow local storage, you have to buy extensions to get additional storage option and schedule backup.
Though the free version has very limited options but it’s extremely easy to use. Go to Export and click on Export To button, it will show a list click on File (for free version).
The backup process will start in a pop-up showing the progress, once complete it will ask you to download the backup files.
The restoration process is equally simple go to Import > Import From > File choose your file from local drive or you can simply drag and drop the files there.
A pop-up will show the progress once done it will display a success message, your restore process is complete.
This is another popular option you can choose, as the name suggests you can create a complete site backup and restore from Dropbox.
You have to use pro version to get automatic schedule backup and additional features.
You can create two types of backup with this plugin local and dropbox backup. To create a backup go Dropbox Full Backup > Settings.
In the settings section, you can connect to your dropbox account click on Connect to Dropbox button, it will connect with dropbox and provide you a key, add that key to the settings section and click on Save, now the plugin is connected to your dropbox account.
You can also see your local storage location from the settings panel.
Now click on Create Dropbox Backup or Create Local Backup button depending on your preference, it will show the progress details. Once the backup is complete it will be listed in a table below.
If you want to restore your old site to a fresh installation then install the plugin and connect to your dropbox account as mentioned above, if the previous backups exit in the old directories then you should see a table with all your backup files listed.
Click on the Restore button and simply follow the steps to restore your old site.
BackUpWordPress is another handy option you can look into, it offers complete backup as well as only database backup. You can schedule multiple tasks at a time allowing you to store files locally.
To get access to cloud storage like Dropbox, Google Drive you need to buy separate extensions. One noticeable downside is it doesn’t allow one click restore, this makes it less preferable for a non technical person.
Once installed, the plugin automatically schedules two separate backups one for database and other for complete site. To see the schedule go to Tools > Backups.
Click on Settings to modify the schedule, once done you can click on Run now to get instant backup.
You can add more schedules by clicking on the add schedule link.
As mentioned earlier there is no restore option within the plugin you have to use FTP or Cpanel. The plugin has a detailed guide on how to restore with FTP.
BackWpup is another very popular wordpress backup plugin, with scheduled backups and cloud storage option makes it a very good choice. You can store your backups to multiple location this feature is not available in most free plugins.
But as far as restoring a website is concern this plugin doesn’t have any restore option however, you can manually restore from the backups via FTP or Cpanel.
The plugin comes with very helpful videos within its dashboard explaining everything needed to get started. On a side note for using cloud storage, you need to authenticate each services separately.
Even if your hosting provider keeps a backup for you they won’t keep it regularly, so you should keep a regular backup because they are the only option you have if some how you locked yourself out of the site.
Always store your backups in multiple places like local PC and cloud storage, but you shouldn’t keep backups in the same server as your website because if your hosting server is hacked you will lose your backups too.
So which plugin do you use to backup and restore your wordpress site? Do mention it in the comments section below.