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Security, Spam and Backups

How to backup your site

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In this lesson, we will talk about an essential part of managing your WordPress website. Backing up your valuable data. Accidents can happen, and it’s crucial to have a site backup in case anything goes wrong. It is also advised to back up your site before updating WordPress core, themes, or plugins, before installing new plugins or themes, before migrating or moving your site, and after significant content updates. We’ll explore two methods to back up your WordPress site. Number one, use your hosting company, and number two, use a backup plugin. There is also a manual way of backing up your site, but we will briefly touch on that at the end.

Using a hosting company

The method of using your hosting company for backups is probably the easiest way. Different hosting companies have different interfaces or ways of backing up your site. But you can learn how that works if you make your way to the backup and restore page of the control panel of your hosting company. I will use my Pressable website to explain how the process works, as this is where I have a hosting account. Once I have logged into my control panel, I will make my way to backups and restores. At the top, we will see available updates for the file system and the database. My hosting company automatically makes these updates.

You might be asking, what is the difference between the file system and the database? When talking about file system backup, we refer to backing up the files and folders that make up your website. These files include your WordPress core files, themes, plugins, media uploads, and any other files associated with your website. On the other hand, database backup focuses on backing up the data stored in your website’s database. In WordPress, the database is where all the textual content, settings, user information, and other dynamic data are stored. It includes posts, pages, comments, user profiles, etc.

As mentioned, my hosting company automatically updates my site. But below the automatic updates, you will notice I can also choose to back up my site right now, which is called on-demand. Let’s go ahead and update my file system and database on demand. We can now see our most recent on-demand file system and database backup. These backups will also appear in the list of available file system and database backups. So if something goes wrong and you need to backup your site to a previous version, you can merely select the backup and then click Restore. So, if you have backups of your site, you never have to panic.

Using a plugin

Next, we will look closer at using a plugin if this is your preferred option or if you don’t have the option with your hosting company. Various plugins are available in the Plugins Directory, such as Updraft Plus, Jetpack, Duplicator, etc. For this demo, we will go ahead and install and activate the Updraft Plus plugin. Once activated, we can make our way to settings. Below the backup and restore tab, we will see the next scheduled and existing backups. At the top right, we will notice the large call to action or buttons block backup now, allowing you to make an on-demand backup of your file system and your database. I will go ahead and make a backup of my site right now. Then, you will also see options to configure backups for your database, your file system, or both. Then, we can select backup now.

Once backed up, we will notice that this on-demand backup displays the existing backups below. If anything goes wrong, you can merely restore your website below actions. When you go to settings, you can set up a backup schedule for your website. For this example, I will say I want my site to be updated daily. On the right, you can choose how many backups you want your plugin to retain or store. Below that, you can select where you want your backups to be stored. There are more options worth exploring, but once you have set up your plugin, you can rest assured that you have a backup if needed.

Store a copy on cloud storage services

At this stage, it’s worth highlighting a best practice when backing up your site. Store a copy of your backups in a location separate from your web server. Cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc., are good options. This ensures that your backups remain safe even if your server experiences issues.


Finally, you also have the option to manually update your database via PHP, my admin, and your file system via your website’s server using an FTP client or a file manager in your hosting control panel. These methods are more technical; therefore, we will add links to other resources if you want to learn more. It does not matter which method you choose, but it’s crucial to regularly perform backups to protect your website and its valuable data.

Resources for manual backups

WordPress Backups

Using FileZilla


Complete one of the following activities depending on your circumstances:

  • Back up your site via your hosting provider.


  • Backup your site via a plugin such as Updraft Plus, Jetpack, Duplicator, etc.