Just like WordPress installing, there are various ways the backup WordPress. You can backup WordPress from your hosting control panel, see how to backup WordPress sites in cPanel, you can backup WordPress database with phpMyAdmin, you can backup WordPress by downloading site files through a FTP client. The easiest way to backup WordPress however is to use a WordPress backup plugin. In this guide, we will recommend a WordPress backup plugin and show you the steps to backup WordPress from dashboard. No FTP client or hosting control panel access required!
How to Backup WordPress with a WordPress Backup Plugin?
There are numerous WordPress backup plugins you can download and use for the task. Most of them are free. We recommend a free WordPress backup plugin called ‘
BackUpWordPress‘. You can find it in the WordPress plugin category from this link. ( BackupWordPress was created by our friends at HumanMade. It has been sold and now is under new ownership. We found it has not bee updated for more than half year till now. We recommend this WordPress backup plugin which is also free but more powerful). Log on your WP dashboard, go to Plugins >> Add New, search for this best WordPress backup plugin, install and activate it. You can then access it from Tools >> Backups. See below screenshot.
Select the Backups item below Tools menu. The Manage Backup main page shows as below.
Click Settings link from above screen, you can choose what content to backup, Database only, Files only or Both Database and Files. You can also schedule WordPress backup, so the backup plugin will run the backup schedule and backup WordPress sites automatically. You can set how often do you like it to automatically backup WordPress for you, such as once hourly, twice daily, once daily, once weekly, once fortnightly, once monthly. You can set the backup time when to start the automatic backup of WordPress. By default it will set to 23pm as it could be the less busy hour for your site.
There are also other two options that you can set, one is number of backups to store on this server. It defaults to 20 copies of backup files. If you do not want them to take up so much space on your web server, you can download and delete the backup files in time. You can also set the backup number limit to a small value, such as 8. Past this limit older backups will be deleted automatically. This schedule will store a maximum of 229 MB of backups. So make sure to download new WordPress backups in time. The other useful option is Email notification. You can enable it to receive a notification email when a backup completes, if the backup is small enough (< 10 MB) then it will be attached to the email. If you like to automatically send WordPress backups to different personal, separate multiple email address’s with a comma. This free WordPress backup plugin even comes with the option to exclude certain files and folders from WordPress backup. Very useful feature for big WordPress sites that need to shrink backup file size for easier storage and transfer.
How to Manually Backup WordPress and Download WordPress Backups?
This WordPress backup plugin can automatically backup WordPress sites and save them to your web server, you can download the backup files through FTP or from your WP dashboard. It also support manual WordPress backup. See below screenshot.
Click Run now button to backup WordPress file and/or database immediately. Once the backup completes, you will get a download link to download your WordPress backup on your web browser. And you can also connect to your server via FTP and download WordPress backup through it.
Update Aug 2018: this article was originally published in Jul 2014 and has since been updated. in this update, we added the links to this free backup plugin for WordPress and tutorial on partial WordPress backup without certain directories.
Updated Jan 2020: The backup plugin was sold and not updated to be compatible with recent WordPress releases. Thus we add a new and greater free WordPress backup alternative above.