How to Backup WordPress Site for Free?

In this article, we are going to discuss how to backup WordPress site for free in just a few minutes. Here I will show you not only how you can backup your WordPress site for once but also how you can schedule an automatic backup for every week. So, in case you forgot to take a backup for a while and all of sudden your website is down due to some issues, you don’t have to worry about it much.

What does creating a backup WordPress site mean?

Backing up your website simply means that you’re saving a copy of your website at a designated date and time. So that if your website crashes or you aren’t happy with some of the recent changes that you’ve made, you can restore the backup to recover your old website.

Backup your WordPress website for free

Below I’m going to show you how to do this in just three simple steps. Let’s get started.

Step 1 – Install the WordPress backup plugin UpdraftPlus

To do this from your WordPress dashboard, simply go over to “Plugins” and then go to “Add New”. Go up to the search bar and type in a plug-in called UpdraftPlus. And you’ll see it right there. Click on “Install now” and then click “Activate”. Now UpdraftPlus is going to walk you through it with a simple tutorial. You can then click on “Press here to start” or you can simply go to the “Settings” option.

Install Updraft Plugin to backup WordPress site
Updraft - Press here to start

Step 2 – Take a backup

To take a backup all you have to do is simply click on the “Backup now” option. Make sure these two boxes are checked and then just click on “Back up now”. UpdraftPlus is now running and creating a backup of WordPress site. It should only take a few seconds before it completes. Once it’s done, then you can see that back up by scrolling down.

Backup Now option

Step 3 – Schedule an automatic backup

That way you don’t have to do this manually every time. I highly recommend doing this. To schedule automatic backup, go to UpdraftPlus plugin “Settings” and then change the files backup schedule from manual to weekly. Same with the database backup.

Then it will also ask for how many backups do you want to retain, “retain this many scheduled backups:”. Set this to four, which basically means that it will take one backup every week and it will only retain the backup for the last four weeks. That way you have an entire month worth of backups that you can go back to. Next, we’re just going to choose where we want these backups to go. I generally go ahead with Google drive, but you can choose the one you are most comfortable with. Do remember to choose a free service, so that you can backup WordPress site for free. And if you are also a regular googler, then choose “Google drive”.  Now scroll down.

Automatically backup wordpress site for free

You will see the rest of the settings depending on the storage option you selected. For e.g., if you selected “Google drive”, it will ask you to if you want to save your backups in Google drive in the folder “UpdraftPlus”. You can change the folder name here if you want.

Updraft Backup provider options

It will also ask you what all files you want to include in your backup? By default, all Plugins, Themes, and Uploads are selected. If you do not have a significant reason to exclude any one of those, I would recommend keeping them all checked.

Files to include in wordpress site backup

And if you’d like you can allow updraftPlus to email you whenever its backup is taken, you can check the email box as well. It’s the second last option. That says, “Check this box to have a basic report sent to your site’s admin address”. Along with your email mentioned below it. I generally don’t like a lot of emails flooding into my inbox every week, so I’m don’t check it. But it’s your choice. Then click “Save Changes”.

Send backup notification to email

Once the changes are saved, UpdraftPlus will now ask for permission. You will have to give UpdraftPlus permission to go to your Google Drive account. Go ahead and click on the link. The link says, “Follow this link to authorize access to your Google Drive account”.  Then sign in to your Google account and click allow. Then, click on “Complete Setup” to go back to WordPress.

Now every week these backups will accumulate until it hits four and then UpdraftPlus will continuously replace all backups with new ones.

Download your WordPress site backups to the local computer

You can not only backup WordPress site for free but can also download it to your local PC for free. If you have chosen Google drive as a storage service for UpdraftPlus as we did above. Then you can easily download your WordPress site backup to your local computer as well. Just login to Google Drive and search for the “UpdraftPlus” folder. If you changed the name of the folder in the UpdraftPlus settings then search for that folder. Then download the folder from Google Drive to your computer.

Google drive backup folder name

This option is particularly useful if you are running out of storage space on Google drive and want to consume less storage. If you are using any other service, different than Google Drive then the steps should be similar as well.

How to use these WordPress site backups?

Once you have created a backup, an important point comes to mind which is how to restore your website backup? So, let’s say we goofed up and deleted our home page. And now it looks like this it’s completely missing. Well, we can restore it back to normal by going back to our UpdraftPlus plugin settings, scrolling down to our existing backups. Then going to an old backup and clicking on “Restore”. Make sure you check all of the boxes it asks you to restore. Like, select “Plugins”, “Themes”, “Uploads”, “Others” and “Database”.

Restore wordpress site backup for free
Restore Backup for WordPress

Then click on “Restore”. It will start retrieving your WordPress site back.  Once it’s done, it will ask you to click on “Restore” again. Do that. And now your website is finished restoring. So, now if you go back to your home page and then click on refresh, your website is back.

Why to create backups of your WordPress site?

I highly recommend that you take regular backups of your website and here’s why:

#1 Helps to fight back if you are hacked

It is an unfortunate possibility. Once your website becomes popular and there are thousands of visitors on your site, some of them will be technically very savvy. They might give you the attention you do not need. In such cases, it is always good to have a backup.

Also see – How to fix webpage not available error?

#2 Saves time when updates go wrong

Plugins and themes require occasional updates, and an update can sometimes cause your website to break. The update may not be compatible with your version of WordPress. It may not have been checked for the latest features that have been added properly. Or you might have tweaked the plugin version in the past and do not remember it. There could be a million reasons. But the solution is one and preventive, which is to take a backup of your WordPress blog.

#3 Your web hosting plan expires

This is rare but could still happen. Maybe you get a new credit card because your previous one expired. Maybe you forgot to update your billing info with your hosting company and now your website is removed. Not all hosting companies keep the backups of websites they are hosting. And since creating backups of WordPress site is free, it is better if you one for your own. And not be dependent on your hosting provider.

#4 Random uncertainty

Random errors and crashes can come out of nowhere and for seemingly no reason. So, it’s always a good idea to back up your site.

Also see – Download best free Google chrome extensions.

This was a short tutorial on how to backup WordPress site for free? Let us know how you backup your website currently and if you feel this is an easier and simpler approach.

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