How to backup WordPress Site for Free

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How to backup WordPress Site for free – If that’s the question running on your mind for a long time, then you have come to the place where you could have the direct and detailed solution to this problem. If you own a WordPress site, then it is very important to back up the WordPress site.

Do you know that hundreds of WordPress websites are getting hacked on a daily basis and their contents are either deleted or infected which cannot function properly anymore? So, there is no 100% guarantee that your site can’t be hacked. You might have better security but still, there is no 100% assurance. Furthermore, what if you permanently delete some important files or folder mistakenly.

This is the situation where the backup of WordPress site plays an important role to bring your site to live as in the previous stage. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to learn how to backup WordPress Site on a timely basis so that you could restore whenever a problem arises with the live version.

But, before starting to backup WordPress site we all have a question of what to backup. Making a backup of the whole WordPress file system is truly time-consuming and unnecessary.

In this article, we are going to discuss two methods, firstly we will learn how to backup WordPress site manually, and then how to backup WordPress site using the plugin. In the second step, how to backup WordPress site using the plugin, we are going to use one of the popular WordPress backup plugin updraftplus.

What to backup while creating a backup for WordPress?

As already mentioned, we need to know what to back up before starting the manual backup process. In order to restore our WordPress site to a fully functional website, we need to backup:

  1. Database
    The database is the place where all the contents and settings are stored. So, taking back up of database is the must.
  2. Wp-content Folder
    This is the folder, which we can find in the root folder of your WordPress site. This folder contains all the installed themes, plugins, and other uploaded files.
  3. Wp-config.php (Optional)
    Wp-config is the configuration file of WordPress. It contains the information which is required to make a connection with the database. So, if you have information such as host, database name, database username, and database password stored somewhere else, then you can ignore this file.
  4. .htaccess file (Occasional)
    It basically stores information about the permalinks of your websites. Furthermore, you might have added other details such as forcing the site to load through https. So, you can save it only when you make some modifications to the .htaccess file after you saved it for the first time.
  5. robots.txt (Occasional)
    This .txt file contains instructions for search engines. So, if SEO is something that matters to you and your site, this is something you would like to save.

How to backup WordPress site Manually?

In general, backup means a copy of the certain files or folder that can be used to replace the original files and folder if originals are not available or malfunctioned. So, this is just like downloading the key files and folder.

Basically, there are two ways

1. Backup Database

To make the backup of the WordPress database follow the following steps.

    • Login to your cPanel.
    • Go to PHPMyAdmin
    • Select the database (If not created yet, you need to create first from cPanel Database Manager and assign a user on it similar to when you transfer WordPress from localhost to server)
    • Export the database and save it.

exporting-database

2. Download Important Files and Folder

You can download these files and folder by either directly downloading from the cPanel File Manager or using FTP. However, I am going to explain downloading through cPanel File Manager only. You can follow the steps as follows:

    • Login to your cPanel
    • Enter the root directory. It might be inside public_html/www or inside some other folder if it is running as a subdomain.
    • Select the required files and folder, then download them.backup-wordpress-files-folders

How to backup WordPress site using Plugin?

In this method, we are going to store our backup into Dropbox using WordPress plugin UpDraftPlus. To get started, let’s follow the following step-by-step guide.

1. Install Updraft Plus Plugin

First thing first, you need to download and install the updraft Plus Plugin successfully. Also, you can look some other backup plugin option if you wish. However, we are going to use updraft Plus. You can download directly updraft plus from here or you can search updraft plus on WordPress plugin.

    • Go to Plugins Add New Search UpDraft Plus Install Activate.

Install-plugin-wordpress

    • Link it with your favorite cloud storage and customize as your requirements.
      There are many cloud storage options available in updraft plus, however, we are going to use Dropbox as this is more familiar to many out there.
    • To set up updraft plus correctly you need to go to Settings UpdraftPlus Backups.
    • Then, go to the Settings tab Customize File backup schedule and database backup schedule as per your wish then pick Dropbox as cloud storage and save it. Here, retain this many backup schedules means how many backups you want to store at your cloud storage. For instance, you set it as ‘2’, this means once there are already two previous backups then it will remove the first database backups and keep only the latest two backups there.How to backup wordpress site for free using plugin updraft plus

After setting up updraftplus, it will ask to authenticate the dropbox account.


You just need to follow the link and authenticate your Dropbox account. After successful authentication, you will receive a success message.

Thereafter, it will automatically backup your WordPress files, folders, and database at the scheduled time. However, you can also make back up manually, whenever you wish.

On successful backups, updraft will store the necessary files and the database in the dropbox. Basically, it stores themes, plugins, uploads folder, and database. Also, it stores other necessary items such as languages and blog.dir folders and index.php in separate zip named as others.

After learning how to backup WordPress site manually as well as using the plugin, let’s move to see how we can restore it.

How to restore the WordPress site?

Here, we might have discussed two different ways of making backups of the WordPress site. However, both of the methods make back up of almost identical files and folders. Restoring files and folders is one of the easy steps, all we need is to replace similar files and folders on new WordPress files and folders with these backed up files and folders. Let’s discuss it stepwise:

To Restore WordPress Site

  1. Install ( Download and Upload ) fresh WordPress to the server
  2. Replace old wp-content folder, wp-config, .htaccess, robots.txt (optional) with the backed up ones. However, instead of the wp-content folder if you have backed up wp-uploads, themes, and plugins folder separately as like using the updraft plus then you can update these folders which will be located just inside the wp-content folders.
  3. Import Database
    • To import the database you need to go to MySQL Databasloggingr logging into your cPanel.
    • Create a database there with the same old name. If you don’t know what is the name of the database was you can find it in the wp-config file. On the contrary, create a new database and update the wp-config file with the newly created database name.
    • Go to Phpmyadmin Pick the database Click on the import tab and import the file.

This is how we make the backup of the WordPress site and successfully restore it. Now, you must be able to make your site live within an hour with these backed up data in case if your live website gets down.

Also, don’t forget to mention which one is your favorite method to back up your WordPress site among manual and plugin methods

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