How to Backup a WordPress Site for Free: Step By Step, Using UpdraftPlus?

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By Sina Nasiri

When you are running a site, small or big, it is very important to take backup. Every link, every post, every piece of information posted on your website can vanish in a second if anything goes wrong.

When you talk about backing up your site, the cost can range from $300 to as high as $30,000. But isn’t it too expensive for a backup? Maybe. But it all depends on your website.

But what if you could back up your website for free? Yes, it is possible. This article answers the question, “How to back up a WordPress website?”

Several websites offer numerous free services. A very useful among the herd is UpdraftPlus that allows you to back up your website for free. This article will guide you to back up your WordPress site for free in a few simple steps.

Why do You Need to Back Up a Website?

You take backup on Whatsapp. Why? So, you can retrieve your data when required and also ensure that even if something goes wrong with WhatsApp, you can have your data. The same applies to a WordPress site.

Backing up data is an important part of managing a website as it is prone to hackers, server outages, wrong updates, etc. You need to take a backup of the website due to the following reasons:

1. Hackers are Right Out There

Installing security plugins is not enough to protect your website’s security. Hackers are always looking for a vulnerability, and even though your website may not contain any sensitive information, hackers may make you a target just for fun, or to get around security controls and spread malware, or attacking someone else via you, etc.

A backup can be very useful if your site is attacked. You can restore it to its former condition.

2. Server Outages

Not everyone has private hosting, and not every hosting company can recover your lost files in case the unwanted happens. Heavy traffic, hacking, hardware or software failure may cause server outages many times. In case the company is unable to recover the lost file, you can recover your website from the backup.

3. Wrong Updates

You are always advised to keep your plugins, themes, WordPress, etc., updated to secure the website’s safety and security. But what if an update goes wrong and changes certain essential features of your website, loses certain functionality, or changes its look.

In this case, you may be under the need to restore your website to its former situation. Here is a tip. Always try a plugin update on your testing site first. If all goes well, then implement it.

How Can You Back Up a WordPress Site Without Any Cost?

Now you know why you should take regular backups of your website. Now, you must understand how you can do it with UpdraftPlus. So, first of all, you need to have UpdraftPlus. This is how to install it:

How to Install UpdraftPlus?

Whenever you start a WordPress site, you are always advised to install plugins. There are certain plugins like WordFence Security, Yoast SEO, Optimole, WPForms, and UpdraftPlus you should install at the earliest. But if you have not installed UpdraftPlus, do it now using these simple steps:

  • Step 1: Go to your WordPress dashboard; you will see “Plugins.” Click on it.
  • Step 2: Click on Add New and find UpdraftPlus.

Add New and find UpdraftPlus

  • Step 3: Press Install Now and then Activate.


How to Take Backup of Your Site?

The plugin is installed, and you are ready for the first backup. You need to make certain changes that will ensure the security of your data that it is stored properly at the desired location.

Step 1: To schedule the backup, go to UpdraftPlus Backups and click on Settings. Here you can set the frequency at which you want UpdraftPlus to back up your site. You have the option to create backups every 4 hours, or 8 hours, or 12 hours, or it may be daily, weekly, monthly, etc.

Choose your frequency and how many backups do you want to store. Every new backup deletes the last one. So, change the settings. as per your need

Change the settings

Step 2: Choose a backup location. Here you will have several options to choose from. You can choose Google Drive for example.

Step 3: Follow the instructions and then click on “Save Changes.”

Save Changes

Done. You have scheduled the backup now. Now you don’t have to worry about a thing. If you want added features regarding multiple storage spaces or customization, you can upgrade to Updraft Premium. It offers you features like:

  • Multiple storage locations.
  • Choosing and taking backup at a specified time that disrupts the least amount of users.
  • Cloning your website to provide you with a secure testing environment.
  • Password protection for your existing backups.
  • Automatic backups before every update.

To make things even better, it only costs $70 per year.

How Can You Restore Your Website Using UpdraftPlus?

You have created the backup, and if the unwanted happens, how will you restore your data? Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to the UpdraftPlus Backups, and you will see the settings section once again.

Step 2: Click on Existing Backups.

Existing Backups

Step 3: Find the most recent backup or the desired one.

Step 4: Click on the Restore button.

Step 5: You will be asked via a pop-up if you want to restore the changes and exactly which part do you want to restore. Select the required ones and click Restore.

Updraftplus - Restore Backup

Step 6: Now, your website is restored.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is UpdraftPlus supported on every platform?

Answer: If you talk about UpdraftPlus 3.2 and later versions, it supports everything. If a platform is supported by WordPress, it is supported by UpdraftPlus too. Be it macOS, Linux, BSD, or any other WP-compatible OSs, UpdraftPlus is the king of all WordPress backup plugins.

Question: What does UpdraftPlus back up?

Answer: If you are talking about the free version, it backs up almost everything apart from the WordPress site itself. Every plugin, every theme, every upload, every file, i.e. pretty much everything is backed up. For the WordPress site, though, you can get the UpdraftPlus Premium.

Question: How large a backup can I store?

Answer: Honestly, whatever memory size is available on your system, it can store a large backup. Sometimes you are shown an error that the file size is too large. Here you need to modify the settings and resume your backups. On unlimited cloud storage, you can store any backup, no matter how large it is.


In case of an emergency, a backup is nothing less than a boon. With UpdraftPlus, it’s free. So now that you already know the benefits of backing up, it is the right time to get this awesome plugin for your WordPress and forget any worries about your data loss in case anything goes wrong.

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