How to Back Up Your WordPress Site in 2021

How to Back Up Your WordPress Site in  2021

Backing up your website is one of the most crucial practices for successfully maintaining a site.

Without site backups, you risk losing your entire site due to an error such as a corrupted database or due to security breaches like hacking and malware.

If this happens, all of your posts, links, and comments can disappear in the blink of an eye.

WordPress backups can prevent this. Simply restore a backup of your website from a certain date, and you may just salvage the website along with most, if not all, of its content.

With all of that said, this article will explain what a WordPress backup is, why it is important, and how to backup a WordPress site properly.

Explaining What Is a WordPress Backup

A WordPress backup is a copy or duplicate version of your WordPress site.

A WordPress site usually consists of two main elements – website files and a database.

Website files refer to the WordPress files stored in the public_html main directory. These include the WordPress core installation files, plugins, themes, images, code files, static web pages, and various additional WordPress files.

Your database stores site data not included in the site files. These include posts, pages, and comments.

A proper WordPress backup requires you to back up both the website files and the database.

Importance of Backups And How Often You Should Backup Your Site

Performing a backup is crucial for maintaining a site. It ensures the way to restore your site if the site falls victim to various errors or security issues, such as malware threats or hacking.

If you don’t back up your site, you risk having to start from scratch again.

Here are some preventive measures to avoid errors and security issues in the first place:

  • Robust username and password. Unique usernames and passwords make your site harder to hack. Use a password manager to keep track of your usernames and passwords.
  • Modifying database prefixes. Hackers tend to target the default database prefix wp_ to gain access to the WordPress database storing the site’s information. Changing the prefix adds another layer of security to your site.
  • Update themes and plugins. Theme and plugin updates usually contain bug fixes and improvements.

How often you should perform a website backup depends on how often you update your site’s content and design. More frequent website updates mean you should also back the site up more frequently.

A good rule to follow is to perform a website backup whenever there is a significant change to your site, for example, when you publish a new post or update your site’s theme.

Most web hosting providers offer to backup your site automatically, but it is good practice to store multiple copies of your website files and database.

How to Backup Your WordPress Site Manually via FTP and phpMyAdmin

There are many reasons to choose a manual backup rather than an automated backup or backing up via a WordPress plugin.

It might be a good option for a more customized backup process and can reduce the number of plugins used, considering plugins may slow down your site’s performance and pose a bigger security risk to your site.

Follow the instructions below to perform a manual backup for your WordPress site via FTP and phpMyAdmin.

Backing Up Website Files Manually via FTP

First, we’ll guide you through downloading website files via FTP.

In this tutorial, we’ll use FileZilla and Hostinger’s hPanel. Make sure to download and learn how to configure FileZilla before following these steps:

  1. Log in to hPanel. Click Hosting on the menu bar, find your domain name and click the Manage button.
Accessing domain name settings in hPanel.
  1. Scroll down to the Files section and click on FTP Accounts.
FTP accounts in hPanel.
  1. Copy your FTP hostname, FTP username, and FTP password. Click the Change account password button if you have not set your FTP password or you want to change it.
FTP hostname, username and password information in hPanel.
  1. Fill in the information you copied before – FTP hostname, username, and password – into their respective fields and click Connect.
Filling out new site information in FileZilla.
  1. Right-click on the site’s public_html folder and select Download to start downloading. FileZilla will notify you once all website files are downloaded.
Downloading public_html folder in FileZilla.

Next, let’s lead you through uploading your website files via FTP. Follow the guide below:

  1. Connect via FTP by following steps one to four in the previous guide on downloading your website files via FTP.
  2. Open the public_html folder on the right side of the screen by clicking on it.
Accessing public_html folder in FIleZilla.
  1. On the left side of your screen, navigate to the folder containing the files you downloaded. Select the ones you want to upload, right-click on them, and select Upload to begin importing.
Uploading files in FileZilla.

Backing Up Your Website Database via phpMyAdmin

In this example, we’ll use phpMyAdmin and Hostinger’s hPanel to export the WordPress database.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to hPanel. Click Hosting on the navigation bar, find your domain name and click the Manage button.
  2. Scroll down to the Databases section and click on phpMyAdmin.
phpMyAdmin in hPanel.
  1. Find your site’s database name from the List of Current Databases and click the Enter phpMyAdmin button.
Accessing phpMyAdmin in hPanel.
  1. Tick the Check all box at the bottom of the page to select all tables and click Export.
Export feature in phpMyAdmin.
  1. Select SQL from the Format drop-down menu and click the Go button to start downloading.
Exporting database tables in phpMyAdmin.

After exporting your database tables, take a look at this guide on how to import your database via phpMyAdmin:

  1. Enter phpMyAdmin by following steps one to three in the previous guide on exporting your website database.
  2. Click Import.
Import feature in phpMyAdmin.
  1. Click the Choose File button and browse your computer for the file you want to import into the database. The file should be in .sql or .sql.zip format.
Importing a database in phpMyAdmin.
  1. Leave the rest of the settings as they are and click the Go button at the bottom of the page.

Backup Your WordPress Website via hPanel Backups

If you want a more hassle-free way to back up your WordPress site, use hPanel – Hostinger’s control panel.

Users of Hostinger’s Shared Hosting or Cloud Hosting plans get to enjoy hPanel’s one-click restore backup system, which is a much easier way than downloading the files and database and uploading the backup manually.

Let’s guide you through using hPanel to restore your WordPress site from a certain date.

Restoring Your Website Files Using hPanel

Follow these steps to restore site files:

  1. Log in to hPanel. Click Hosting on the navigation bar, find your domain name and click the Manage button.
  2. Scroll down to the Files section and click on Backups.
Backups option in hPanel.
  1. Click on the Select button for Files backups.
Files backups option in hPanel.
  1. Choose the date you want from the drop-down menu and click the Show files button. Select the files you want or select the public_html folder to restore the entire site. Click on the Restore files button.
Restoring public_html folder in hPanel.

Restoring Your Website Database Using hPanel

Use the following steps to restore the website database:

  1. Follow steps one and two from the previous guide to restore website files using hPanel.
  2. Click on the Select button for Database backups.
Database backups option in hPanel.
  1. Select the database you want from the drop-down menu and click the Show databases button.
Selecting a database in hPanel.
  1. Choose the backup date you want from the list of available dates and click on the Restore button.
Backup database list in hPanel.

Using a Plugin to Backup Your WordPress Site

Another way to back up a WordPress site is to use a backup plugin.

However, we do recommend using other methods when possible.

Some reasons to minimize plugin use include:

  • No customized website backup. Using a plugin means using a basic file backup system. If you want more control over the backup process, the manual backup method may be better.
  • Plugins are prone to hacking. The more third-party plugins you use on your website, the more vulnerable your website security is.
  • Slower load time. As more plugins lead to more resources used, they may result in slower website performance.

Regardless of its drawbacks, many people – especially beginners – may find plugins to be the easiest way to back up a WordPress site.

If a plugin is your tool of choice, take a look at some of the best backup plugins recommended by our experts.

1. BackWPup

BackWPup web banner.
  • Downloads: 700,000+
  • Rating: 4.4/5
  • Notable Features: Scheduled backups, cloud-based backup storage, database check and repair, WordPress XML export, multisite support, log report via email
  • Price: Freemium

BackWPup is a WordPress backup plugin for creating website backups with ease.

Let’s take a closer look at some of its features:

  • Scheduled backups. Decide when and how often you want the WordPress plugin to perform automatic backups of your website files and database.
  • Cloud-based backup storage. Store backups of your WordPress site using an external cloud storage service, such as Dropbox, Rackspace, or Amazon S3.
  • Database check and repair. Check your database for any data corruption issues and repair them.
  • WordPress XML export. Export your WordPress site’s data in the form of a .xml file.
  • Multisite support. Create backups of multiple websites.
  • Email reporting. It sends the log report to your email address to help you keep track of your backup progress.

The BackWPup plugin is free to use, but the premium version provides even more features, such as storing backups via Google Drive and Amazon Glacier.

BackWPup Pro is available for $69 for one year, with an annual renewal fee of $39. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

[DOWNLOAD]

2. UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus web banner.
  • Downloads: 3,000,000+
  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Notable Features: Scheduled backups, cloud-based backup storage, multilingual support, email reporting
  • Price: Freemium

UpdraftPlus is one of the most popular WordPress plugins for website backup and restoration, used by millions of users worldwide.

Let us examine the features of this plugin:

  • Scheduled backups. Its automatic backups follow the backup schedule you set.
  • Cloud-based backup storage. Upload website backup files to various cloud storage services, such as Dropbox and Rackspace.
  • Multilingual support. It’s available in 16 different languages.
  • Email reporting. Track the backup progress via log reports sent to your email address.

This plugin is available for free. The premium version has extra features, such as multisite support, incremental backups, and advertisement removal.

There are four types of UpdraftPlus Premium licenses: Personal at $70, Business at $95, Agency at $145, Enterprise at $195. These prices are for one-time purchases with no automatic renewal.

People who purchase the premium version can use it as long as they want, but access to the latest plugin updates is only available for a year.

After a year, access to updates requires license renewal.

[DOWNLOAD]

3. VaultPress

VaultPress web banner.
  • Downloads: 60,000+
  • Rating: 3.8/5
  • Notable Features: Daily backups, spam protection, security scanning, one-click restoration, site migration, activity log
  • Price: Freemium

VaultPress is a backup and security scanning plugin built by Automattic. Now it’s a part of Jetpack and has been rebranded as Jetpack Backup.

Here is more information on the plugin’s features:

  • Daily backups. Enjoy automated daily backups of your entire website with unlimited storage space.
  • Spam protection. By partnering with Akismet, the plugin automatically blocks spam from your site.
  • Security scanning. It automatically scans the entire website, locating and eliminating dangerous files and security threats.
  • One-click restoration. Restoring your site is done quickly through just one click using an SSH or FTP connection.
  • Site migration. Transfer or duplicate your website with ease from one web host to another.
  • Activity log. Monitor the changes you make in real-time through the activity log.

The VaultPress plugin is available for free with limited capabilities.

As for the premium versions, Jetpack Backup offers two plans: Daily backups at $7.95/year and Real-time backups at $39.95/year.

[DOWNLOAD]

4. Duplicator

Duplicator web banner.
  • Downloads: 1,000,000+
  • Rating: 4.9/5
  • Notable Features: Site migration, manual backups, file bundling
  • Price: Freemium

Duplicator is a powerful website migration plugin equipped with backup features.

Here are more details on its features:

  • Site migration. Migrates, clones, or moves your site between hosts or domains with zero downtime.
  • Manual backups. Creates manual backups of your site or parts of it.
  • File bundling. Bundles all of the site files and database into a ZIP file called a package, making the process of migrating or backing up your WordPress site much easier.

The plugin is available for free with limited features. The premium version comes with more extensive capabilities, such as scheduled backups, the ability to use an external cloud storage service, and professional support.

Duplicator Pro offers a 60-day money-back guarantee. There are four plans available: Personal at $69, Freelancer at $89, Business at $149, and Gold at $999.

All the prices listed above are for license keys which will be active for one year. The plugin is still usable after one year, but the latest updates won’t be available.

Users can renew the plans for 40% off the original prices.

[DOWNLOAD]

5. BlogVault

BlogVault web banner.
  • Downloads: 70,000+
  • Rating: 4.2/5
  • Notable Features: Daily backups, incremental backups, multisite support, staging environment, site migration, fast restoration
  • Price: Freemium

BlogVault is a WordPress backup plugin categorized as a Software as a Service solution (SaaS).

It creates encrypted off-site backups on its server, resulting in zero loads on your server.

Let’s explore this plugin’s features:

  • Daily backups. Creates automatic daily backups and provides the user with the tools to do manual on-demand backups.
  • Incremental backups. It has a smart backup system to sync changes regularly and avoid slowing down your site’s performance.
  • Multisite support. Manage backups for multiple websites.
  • Staging environment. The built-in staging site feature tests your site’s updates and changes, ensuring they work properly before going on the live site.
  • Site migration. It has a one-click website migration feature with automatic rewriting of your website’s URLs to avoid broken links.
  • Fast restoration. It has a quick one-click restoration system for the whole website or parts of it with zero downtime.

The BlogVault plugin is available for free. It also has a premium version called BlogVault Pro, which offers a seven-day free trial period.

BlogVault Pro has four types of plans: Personal for one site, Small Business for up to five sites, Developers for up to 20 sites, and Agency for more than 20 sites.

Each type of plan has three categories: Basic, Plus, and Advanced.

Personal plans’ prices are Personal Basic at $89/year, Personal Plus at $149/year, and Personal Advanced at $249/year.

[DOWNLOAD]

6. Total Upkeep by BoldGrid

Total Upkeep web banner.
  • Downloads: 70,000+
  • Rating: 4.7/5
  • Notable Features: Scheduled backups, backup content customization, site migration, security check, automatic fault protection
  • Price: $2.50/month

Total Upkeep is a backup software created by BoldGrid, a WordPress-powered website builder.

Here is more explanation on the features this plugin provides:

  • Scheduled backups. Set the time, and it’ll perform an automatic backup. Or order on-demand backups.
  • Backup content customization. Choose to back up all of your website files and database or customize the settings to back up selected files or database tables only.
  • Site migration. Migrate, clone, or duplicate your site with a few clicks.
  • Security check. Checks your site for potential problems that could cause site crashes and gives tools for site restoration outside of WordPress if WordPress is inaccessible.
  • Automatic fault protection. Automatically creates a backup before updates to restore the site to the latest version should the update fail.

The WordPress backup plugin is free to download and use.

The premium version unlocks more features, such as automatic uploading of backups to Google Drive or Amazon S3 and the option for single file restoration.

The Total Upkeep Premium license costs $2.50/month.

[DOWNLOAD]

7. BackupBuddy

BackupBuddy web banner.
  • Downloads: 500,000+
  • Rating: 5/5
  • Notable Features: Scheduled backups, cloud-based backup storage, backup content customization, site restoration, site migration, malware and server scan, database scan and repair
  • Price: $80–$199/year and $549 for the lifetime plan

BackupBuddy is a reliable plugin to backup a site straight from the WordPress admin dashboard with just a few clicks.

Here is more information on this plugin’s features:

  • Scheduled backups. Perform automatic backups according to a regular backup schedule of your setting.
  • Cloud-based backup storage. Automatically uploads your website backups to various remote cloud storage services, such as Dropbox, Rackspace, FTP, and email.
  • Backup content customization. Perform various kinds of backups, such as complete, files-only, or database-only. You can set customized backup profiles according to your liking.
  • Site restoration. Restore individual WordPress files or your entire site.
  • Site migration. Use BackupBuddy to move or migrate your website to a new host, server, or domain. Also, it can replace your site’s URLs automatically.
  • Malware and server scan. Scans your site and server, looking for malware and potential hosting problems.
  • Database scan and repair. It scans your database for common problems and fixes them.

BackupBuddy is a premium plugin. There is no free version, but four plans are available: Blogger at $80/year, Freelancer at $127/year, Gold at $199/year, and Lifetime at $549.

[DOWNLOAD]

Conclusion

To conclude, backing up your WordPress site means creating a copy or duplicate version of the website. It ensures the way to restore your site if it falls victim to various errors and security threats without starting from scratch.

To back up a website properly, backing up both the site files and database is necessary.

Moreover, how often a site needs backup needs depends on how often the site experiences significant updates or changes.

There are multiple ways to back up a WordPress website, such as via FTP and phpMyAdmin, through the control panel of your web hosting company like Hostinger’s hPanel, or using WordPress backup plugins.

This article has covered seven WordPress backup plugins:

  1. BackWPup
  2. UpdraftPlus
  3. VaultPress
  4. Duplicator
  5. BlogVault
  6. Total Upkeep by BoldGrid
  7. BackupBuddy

We hope this article has helped you learn about WordPress backups and how to perform them.

Author
The author

Tashia Tamara

Tashia is a Digital Content Writer at Hostinger. She is passionate about website development and digital marketing and strives to support people in their eCommerce journeys by spreading her IT knowledge. During her free time, she likes to travel to other worlds through movies and works of literature.