How to backup your WordPress website in 2022

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Kelly Sparkes Opal and Onyx Founder

Hi, I’m Kelly and I help female entrepreneurs translate their brand and message into a beautiful, responsive website, optimised to draw in and convert their ideal customer.

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Video Transcript

The most important thing to have on your WordPress website is regular backups, then you’re protected should the worst happen and your website goes down or gets hacked. 

Hey everyone, I’m Kelly from Opal and Onyx, and today I’m going to teach you how to install a backup plugin on your WordPress website. 

I’ve been backing up websites for a long time and I’ve used lots of different backup plugins (both premium and free over the years) but my favourite now is UpdraftPlus, [which] the basic version is free, so that’s good. The best thing about it is that it allows you to backup to an external destination like Google Drive or Dropbox, so it means that you’re not filling up your server with lots and lots of backups. Also, it means that your backups are stored in a separate location, so they’re even safer. 

Installing Updraft

So let’s install Updraft. This [see video] is my YouTube demo website, and what you do is come down here to ‘plugins’ and then ‘add new’. I’m going to search for Updraft, so, U.P.D.R.A.F.T, and there it is. 

So we say it ‘install now’ and then ‘activate’, and now you can see here that it says, ‘press here to start’. Super helpful, just click on that, or if you missed that, there’s also a ‘settings’ button there in the plugins, and you can literally just do a backup straight away. You just click on that and do a simple backup. Let’s just set that up. 

Here it’s saying ‘include database in the backup’ and ‘include your files in the backup’. The database is the back end of your website, where all the data is stored, and then the files are the bit, that make your website look pretty on the front. Things like plugins, WordPress, themes you’ve got installed, all of that, are the ‘files’. Say yes to both of those and then click ‘backup now’. And there you go, simple as that; it’s starting a backup for you, and you should always do that. Do a quick backup now, before you do anything to your website. 

If you were just going to install a new plugin, if you were going to edit, do some edits to some pages, then do a quick backup, just so you know for sure that you’ve got something to roll back to if you have any issues. 

Setting a Backup Schedule

Okay, then we can go in and set up a schedule for this. What we want to happen is that your website is getting backed up at least once a day to a secure location, which you can then access if the worst should happen. You don’t want to have to be having to come in here and remember to click ‘backup now’ every day, at all, so what we do is go to ‘settings’, then ‘files backup schedule’, and you can choose how often you want this to happen. I think, for a standard, it’s just daily, and then if you weren’t doing anything to your website, you could maybe move that to weekly, but I only do that if you’re really struggling for space on the location where you want to save it. 

Database Backup

Then the database backup. Again it depends on how many transactions you get, so if you’ve got a really high transaction site – you’re getting orders all the time – then you might want to put this as more, but again, just do daily. It says here, ‘and retain this many scheduled backups’, so each backup takes up space on the location, wherever you put it, and if it’s on your web server, it’s going to take up space on your web server and then your host might charge you more if you’re using up loads of space. It’s basically a complete copy of your website, and the same thing if you’re sending it to Dropbox or Google Drive, so you have to think about how many backups you want to retain. 

Ideally, you want at least a week, you know, a month is perfect. What you don’t want, is hundreds and hundreds of these on your server or Dropbox, filling up all your space. I’d recommend 30 days; keep it for 30 days. 


Now, there are a few different things here. It’s just telling me the backup’s finished; that’s good. This is UpdraftVault, which you have to pay for, but please feel free to have a look at that, but if you’re already paying for Dropbox or Google Drive, then it’s easier to just use one of those. So I’m just going to show you how to set it up with Google Drive today. 

Google Drive

Click on Google Drive, and then what it’s going to do, it’s going to create a new folder for you in Google Drive. You can say what you want the folder to be called (UpdraftPlus) and then you just need to click, ‘sign in with Google’. So I want it to be on that one, and just say ‘allow’ to that, and then click ‘complete setup’. Now that’s just linked up to Google Drive with your website. Then if we go back to ‘settings’ here, and just reset these, so daily and daily, and 30 and 30, and now you can click Google Drive and it’s connected, and just leave all of that. You don’t need to worry about any of that. 

Email Notifications

Now what you can have, is an email sent to you. So if you want to get an email every time your website’s backed up, then you can do that. That’s quite good, because then if you don’t get the email, or you get an error message about the backup, you know that your backups aren’t working properly, so it’s quite handy to get that. Then just click save changes when you’re finished, and that’s it, all done. 

Dropbox and Other Sites

Now, my website should be backing up every day to Google Drive and it should be storing it for 30 days. Now, if you wanted to use Dropbox or any of these other ones, then it’s just the exact same process:

  • Click on it. 
  • Verify who are. 
  • Allow Updraft to have permission. 
  • And that’s it. 

It’s great to have backups in more than one place, as I said before, so if your host is backing up your website and then you’re doing these backups as well to Google Drive or Dropbox, that means your website is stored in two separate locations, plus the location on the webserver, so that is really good. 

If you’re not sure, then speak to your current host and ask them if they are backing up or have a look yourself, go into your control panel and see if you can add your own backups in there, and you should really be backing up at least once a day because sometimes your site might get hacked and you won’t notice it for a month, and then you want to make sure you have some backups from the past in there and not just have one a month, or if you have high transactions and lots of things are going on, you don’t want to lose a lot of data. 

Opal & Onyx Hosting and Maintenance

If you use our hosting and maintenance service at Opal & Onyx, we will back up your website at least once a day and restore it for free in case of a hack or data corruption. So if you’re not feeling comfortable with doing this yourself, then please get in touch. 

Thank you so much for watching. Please like this video if you’ve enjoyed it to let me know, and I’m thrilled to be able to help you. The thought that this video could save someone’s website in the future makes me super happy. Please don’t forget to subscribe before you go, so you’ll be notified when my next video comes out, and I’ll see you again soon.

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