Having a live website means that content is added to it regularly. With regular update comes the need to back-up the website frequenly. In their simplest form, backups are done by archiving the directory the site is in along with MySQL or other database. This method is automated by some web hosts to allow people to have backups. The same technique can be used for WordPress.

But when it comes to WordPress, we don’t have to rely on the web-host or other external or manual backups. We can simply use free backup plugins. One of such popular plugins is called UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration. It has over 2 million installs and 4.8 star ratings. This is a free plugin which can be upgraded to a paid one for more features. But the multitude of features in the free version is enough for us.


Here are 5 attractive features of UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration

  1. Backs up both files and database.
  2. Stores backup files in the server space.
  3. Ability to use remote cloud storage like Dropbox and Google Drive for backup storage.
  4. Schedule the backup processes.
  5. Restore the backups selectively when there’s a need.

These four features are everything that I look for in a backup plugin. I want to be able to back up entire WordPress files and database automatically every week to Dropbox with the option to store it in my web space as well. It’s all there in this plugin.

There are also additional features like separating the file and database backup schedules, resuming failed uploads, splitting the backup archives into multiple files when they are large, and the ability to select between plugins, themes, content and other files to back up. These features make UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration plugin a complete backup solution for WordPress.

Performing Backups

Simple One-time Backup

UpdraftPlus Backup

After installing the plugin, access the plugin from Settings > UpdraftPlus Backups. To perform a simple one-time backup click on the Backup Now button and then click on Backup Now in the options pop-up. The process will start immediately and we can see the progress bar. After completion, it is accessible under the tab Existing Backups. We can selectively restore or download database, plugins, themes, uploads and others.

Schedule Backups

To schedule backups, visit the Settings tab and we will find the configurations as Configure Backup Contents And Schedule. We can select the file and database backup intervals. Intervals can be anything like 4 hours, 8 hours, 12 hours, daily, weekly, fortnightly, and monthly. We can also choose how many schedule backups to retain because we don’t want to have too many backup files. I prefer to have weekly backups and 4 backups retained for both the files and database. That’s a month worth of files and databases.

Additional options includes the ability to select between plugins, themes, uploads and other directories inside WordPress. Checking all those options is the best option.

Remote or Cloud Storage Backups

We can’t just store our backups in the web host where WordPress is hosted. Backups will truly be safe when a copy of the archive file is saved in a cloud storage server. The free version supports adding one cloud storage and it is enough.

In the settings tab under Copying Your Backup To Remote Storage, set the option for Choose your remote storage with a cloud backup service. We can choose between Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud Files, Google Drive, FTP, S3-Compatible (Generic), OpenStack (Swift), DreamObjects and Email. To keep it simple, I prefer to choose Dropbox. It’s free and great.

After hitting save, we have to authorize Dropbox or others by visiting the link that shows up on the top as UpdraftPlus notice: Click here to authenticate your Dropbox account (you will not be able to back up to Dropbox without it).

Click on it and you will be redirected to an authentication page. Allow the app to access the cloud storage. The next time we backup—whether it’s automated or manual—the archives will also be copied to the cloud storage. This option can be unchecked in manual backups.

Final Words

This plugin UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration is great for WordPress site backups. The free features will be enough for most users. The backup archives can also be used for manual site migrations. But if someone needs to use premium features like storing backups in multiple remote storages, encrypting the backups, automatically cloning/migrating the website, and use other add-ons, then the premium version is available at a price range of $70.00–$145.00, depending upon the license type.

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