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How To Create A Backup Of Your Website ( And Restore When Needed)

Have you ever experienced losing all the data on your website? It’s a nightmare, isn’t it? 

Losing your website’s information can be devastating, whether it’s due to a hacker attack or a technical issue. 

In such situations, having a backup can save you from serious digital heartache. 

In this blog, we’ll guide you on creating a backup of your website and restoring it when needed. 

So, let’s get started!

Importance of backing up your website

Backing up your website is an essential task that every website owner must perform regularly. 

A backup ensures that all the data and files on the site are stored in a secure location, making it possible to restore the site in case of any mishap, such as a hacking attempt or a server crash. 

You can lose all your hard work and investment without regular backups within seconds.

In addition to this, having a backup of your website also makes it easier to move your site from one host to another. 

If you need to change hosting providers for any reason, having a recent backup can help ensure no data loss during migration. 

Moreover, if you make any changes to your website frequently, having backups at different intervals will allow you to go back and recover previous versions if necessary.

Different methods of backing up a website

You can use different methods to create backups of your website and restore them when needed.

One way is to manually download all the files and folders that make up your website using FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software. 

This method involves logging into your web hosting account, navigating to the root directory of your website, selecting all the necessary files and downloading them onto your local computer. 

You can then store these files on an external hard drive or cloud storage for safekeeping.

Another method involves using a backup plugin for content management systems like WordPress. 

You simply install these plugins on your CMS platform and configure their settings according to how often you want backups created. 

The plugin will automatically back up all content within the platform at specified intervals and store them either locally or in cloud storage like Dropbox or Google Drive.

Choose a backup method that suits your website owner needs while ensuring that you have multiple backups stored safely in various locations.

Pros and cons of each method

Using a plugin/software

This method is advantageous because it saves time and effort by automatically backing up your website at regular intervals. 

However, relying solely on automation can lead to complacency and neglect in checking if backups have been completed successfully.

Manual backups

Another method is manually creating a backup by downloading all the files from your hosting account onto your computer or cloud storage platform. 

This option puts you in complete control of the process but could be time-consuming depending on your site size. 

Additionally, manually restoring a backup requires technical know-how which may not be accessible for everyone.

Finally, some hosting providers offer automatic backups as part of their service package. 

It’s convenient since there’s no need to install an additional plugin or software for those who choose this option.

However, there’s limited control over when and where the backups occur, so keep that in mind when deciding whether this might suit your needs best.

Ultimately, choosing the right method will depend on factors such as budget constraints, frequency of updates to website content, and technical expertise required for manual restoration if something goes wrong during the restoration process- all important considerations before settling on any particular strategy!

Step 1: Choose a backup tool

Some popular backup tools you can consider include UpdraftPlus, Jetpack Backup, VaultPress, BackupBuddy, and BlogVault.

  • UpdraftPlus is a free plugin that allows you to back up your entire site or select specific files and databases. It also offers scheduling options and remote storage integration with cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive. Jetpack Backup provides daily backups with one-click restore options and malware-scanning features to keep your site safe from potential attacks.
  • VaultPress is another reliable option offering real-time backups, spam protection, and priority support from WordPress experts. BackupBuddy provides both manual and automatic backups with easy restoration features while allowing you to store backups locally or remotely via FTP/SFTP, Amazon S3, or Dropbox.

Based on our research and experience, we recommend UpdraftPlus as the best backup tool for your website due to its affordability (free version available), ease of use, versatility in terms of remote storage integrations, and reliability in restoring backups when needed. 

However, depending on your specific needs (e.g., real-time backups vs scheduled backups), any of the other tools mentioned above could also be a suitable choice. 

Step 2: Create a backup

Once you have selected a backup tool that suits your website, it is important to walk through the steps of creating a backup. 

If you decided to use UpdraftPlus, go ahead and install it on your website.

Then follow these steps to backup a website:

  • Navigate to Settings > UpdraftPlus Backups.
  • Click Backup Now.
  • By default, the plugin creates a full backup. You can choose to store the backup on the server, or in configured cloud services. Adjust settings as desired and click Backup Now.

Step 3: Test the backup

When it comes to creating a backup of your website, testing the backup is an often overlooked but crucial step. 

Testing the backup ensures that all the data and files are backed up correctly and can be restored without any issues in case of any unforeseen circumstances. 

A failed restore could result in losing irreplaceable data, which could be devastating for any website owner.

To test the backup, you can create a test environment or a staging site where you can restore your website’s backup without affecting your live site. 

You should choose a web hosting provider with an option to create staging sites. 

You may also use WordPress plugins like WP Staging or Duplicator to help you set up these environments.

Once your testing environment is ready, you need to perform the restoration process using your chosen backup method. 

After restoring the backup, ensure everything works as expected by carefully checking all pages’ links and functionalities.

Step 4: Schedule regular backups

Regularly backing up your website is crucial to ensuring you have a restore point in case of unforeseen circumstances such as a cyber attack or accidental deletion. The frequency at which you schedule your backups will depend on how often your website’s content changes, but a good rule of thumb is to do it weekly or monthly. If your website has e-commerce functionality, the backup frequency should be increased to daily.

Scheduling regular backups ensures that you have recent content saved in case of an emergency and saves time and effort when restoring the website. Without regular backups, restoring a website can take hours or even days if data needs to be manually recreated.

Setting up automatic backups is highly recommended to make the process easier and more efficient. Most hosting providers offer this service for free or for a small fee depending on the frequency and storage capacity needed. To set up automatic backups, log in to your hosting control panel and navigate to the backup settings section. From there, select the frequency at which you want the backups to occur and where you want them stored either locally or remotely using cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive. By automating the process, you can focus on creating great content while having peace of mind knowing that your work is protected from loss due to technical difficulties or human error. 

Step 5: Restore the backup

Several situations may require you to restore a backup, such as when your website gets hacked, your data gets lost or corrupted, or you make significant changes that break your website. 

In any of these cases, restoring a backup can help you revert to a previous version of your website and minimize downtime.

To restore a backup, you must access the backup files you previously created and follow the instructions provided by your hosting provider or content management system (CMS).

Depending on the size of your website and the complexity of its setup, restoring a backup can take anywhere from minutes to hours. It is crucial to ensure that all files and databases are fully restored before making any further updates.

Keep in mind that restoring a backup should be done only as a last resort when other troubleshooting options have failed. 

Since we used UpdraftPlus earlier, to restore a website, you need to follow these steps:

  • Install/Activate UpdraftPlus. If you are starting with a fresh installation of WordPress, or if UpdraftPlus is not currently installed, you will need to install and activate UpdraftPlus. For full instructions on how to do this, please see our installation guide.
  • Find your backup files. Go to WP-Admin > Settings > UpdraftPlus Backups and navigate to the backup and restore tab and you’ll find a list of backups of your WordPress website. The list is sorted by date and they show the components that are backed up.
  • Start the restoration wizard. Click on the Restore button next to the backup that you want to restore.
  • Begin the Restoration. After clicking ‘Restore’, UpdraftPlus will download (if needed) and process your backup files ready for the restoration. Once this is done, you will receive a confirmation message and warning of any problems that UpdraftPlus encountered during the restoration process1.


A backup of your website ensures that you can restore your site in case of any unexpected events like hacking or server crashes. 

While there are various methods and tools to create a backup of your website, choosing the most reliable and efficient one is crucial.

Our analysis recommends using cloud-based backup solutions like Google Drive or Dropbox, as they provide secure storage and easy accessibility from anywhere. 

Or if you can’t access them, use free plugins like UpdraftPlus.

These services also offer automatic backups regularly, so you don’t have to worry about manually creating backups every time.

Take action and back up YOUR website regularly using the best method and tool available. 

It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to safeguarding valuable data and content on your website. 

Remember, backing up your site is not just an option; it’s a necessity for all webmasters! 

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