Backing up your WordPress website regularly is a must. Doing so could save you a lot of hassle should your site run into technical issues, get hacked, or you if you accidentally delete or overwrite important files. Having regular backups will let you easily restore your site to a recent version if the need arises.
Fortunately it doesn’t need to cost much to carry out regular backups of your website. In fact, it doesn’t need to cost anything at all. I’m going to share three ways you can backup your WordPress website for free.
1) Your Hosting Provider
The simplest way of ensuring your site gets backed up frequently, is to choose a WordPress host that includes it in their services. Web hosts understand the importance of securing your site’s data and files. That’s why many WordPress hosts offer automatic backups when you purchase your WordPress hosting through them.
SiteGround, InMotion, and HostGator, for example, all include backups as a standard across all their WordPress plans. Hostinger also includes the service for free when you purchase their Business or Pro plan.
This is why your first port of call should always be to check with your host to see if they offer free backups, and if so, how frequent they are. If your host doesn’t offer the service, consider migrating your website to a host that does. This may save you time and money moving forward.
2) Free Backup Plugins
If you have no luck with your hosting provider and you don’t fancy switching, your next most convenient option is to install a free plugin that does the job for you. The huge choice of plugins is one of the best features of WordPress and its always worth using that to your advantage.
Lets have a look at some of the freebies available that will take the stress out of backing up your website:
With more than 3 million active installations, UpdraftPlus is the most widely-used plugin for scheduled backups. It has an average rating of 4.8/5 stars and over 5,700 5-star reviews out of 6,124 (at the time of writing). Much of the plugins impressive popularity and reputation is due its ease of use, functionality, and effectiveness as a backup and restore solution.
Although its free, the basic version of UpdraftPlus will suit the needs of most. You simply schedule your backups, and let it do the work for you. And if your site crashes or you run into any problems, your website and its files can be restores quickly and easily.
It’s also worth noting that there is a Premium version of UpdraftPlus if you would like more features. These include multisite compatibility, advanced reporting, and database encryption.
Jetpack is a fantastic (and free) multi-functional plugin. It helps with everything from website speed, growth, security and, of course, backups. Installed by more than 5 million users, Jeckpack enables automatic backups and one-click restoration. Users have unlimited storage for their backups, making it an ideal choice for eCommerce stores.
Aside from hassle-free backups, Jetpack incorporates features such as:
- Malware and security scans
- Automatic updates
- Auto-optimising images
- Site stats and analytics
- Plus much more!
In short, Jetpack is a convenient all-in-one solution. And like with UpdraftPlus, you can upgrade Jetpack for more features.
WP Staging creates a copy of your website and backs it up in a matter of seconds. Perfect for backups, staging, cloning, and migration, WP Staging is fast, reliable, and SEO-friendly. It is powered by a high-performance background processor which ensures optimum performance without slowing down your website. It also supports all major web servers. Furthermore, there is a team on-hand to help should you have any queries or concerns.
At 70,000, WP Staging has significantly fewer installations than my previous two recommended backup plugins. However, it boasts an average rating of 4.9/5 and the team has resolved all 13 out of 13 issues reported in the last two months.
3) Manually Backup Your WordPress Site
My third and final method of backing up your WordPress site for free is to do it manually. However, if you’re not experienced with working with the backend of websites, it is safer to opt for the plugin method or ask your host for assistance. The last thing you want to do is to accidentally delete an important file.
When you back up your website manually, you will need to download two parts onto your computer; your files, and your database.
To backup and download your website’s files, your best option is to use an FTP (File Transport Protocol) like FileZiller. This is a solution for moving files between your local system and your web server. To set up an FTP account, you will need your website ftp address, your ftp username, and your ftp password. If you don’t know these, they can be obtained from your web host.
Once your account is all set up you will be able to connect to your ftp server. And then, you can go ahead and download your website’s files onto your computer. Once downloaded, it is a good idea to compress them into a zip file. This will save space so that you can keep a number of different versions safe on your computer.
To manually download your website’s database, you will need to locate and access your website’s phpMyAdmin panel. In cPanel, for example, this can be found by clicking on ‘MySQL Databases’. From their, take the following steps:
1) Click the ‘Databases’ tab.
2) Click on the database containing your WordPress data.
3) Click on the ‘Export’ tab.
4) Choose the ‘Quick’ method and the ‘SQL’ format.
5) Click on ‘Go’.
And you’re all done.
I have shared three ways to backup your WordPress website for free. By far the most productive, convenient, and fool-proof methods are to go directly through your web host or install one of the many reputable free plugins. With these free methods available, protecting your website with backups is simple.