Free Ways to Backup WordPress

All server owners maintenance their machines for a long time always say that you should “Plan for success, prepare for failure”. Without any doubt, they have done to back up a WordPress site.

Running a WordPress site you can face random forces so things can go wrong. Actually, your web-server is always at risk. Things can also go wrong with daily tasks like core WordPress files, themes, and plugins. It is not a case of if your site will go down, but how long will it take to get it back.

That is why it is impossible to overestimate the importance of regular backup. It means that you can restore your web-server to work in no time. We would like to present several ways of backing up WordPress in this article.

Manual Backup

Full backup of WordPress site includes two things: your website files and your WordPress database. There are core WordPress files, plugins, themes, and media in the first group.

Backing up a website always takes a long period of time because a large number of files must be copied. Actually, the manual mode of this task is not practical. But I believe that everybody should know how to back up their WordPress database and files manually. Moreover, sometimes a manual backup for small websites is enough.

You can export your WordPress database via a console application or through a database management application. Most hosting panels like cPanel and Plesk comes with the phpMyAdmin database application. Even your hoster provides a different panel with different database applications do not be concerned. Because the process of backing up the database is the same.

Actually, there are WordPress plugins that allow you to access phpMyAdmin from the WordPress admin area. But this is highly discouraged because of the huge security risks.

As soon as login into phpMyAdmin you need to select your WordPress database. Then you can select all tables of the database and select Export from the drop-down menu. However, you can backup your whole database from the export tab.

To backup, your website files you need to use an FTP client like FileZilla. In that way, you connect to the website and download necessary files, for example, to your computer.

In general, you can use automated backup services and do not need to know how does it work. But the reality of backing procedures is that something will go wrong. When it happens you will be ready to back up and restore the process.


If you are searching for a reliable way to back up a WordPress site then UpdraftPlus is one of the most popular options. It lets you manually make a backup and also set a schedule of automatic backup your WordPress site in a few clicks. You can choose how often to backup – every 4, 8, or 12 hours, daily, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. Moreover, the plugin lets to choose how many previous backups to save.

UpdraftPlus comes with an awesome feature – it can save backup files to remote storage such as FTP, Dropbox, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack (Swift), Amazon S3, SFTP, DreamObjects, Rackspace Cloud Files, Google Cloud, Google Drive, Backblaze, Microsoft OneDrive, etc.

Besides, it provides a tool for restoring a website from a backup. Nevertheless, this is an extremely easy process that takes just a few minutes and a couple of clicks of the mouse. UpdraftPlus will ask you to select which components would like to restore.

A distinctive feature of this plugin is that UpdraftPlus offers the biggest functionality of the free version.

Total Upkeep

Total Upkeep is more than just a “backup plugin”. Certainly, it is a full 360 solution that helps to prevent data loss. It also provides a toolset to get your site up and running again quickly and with no ease.

Total Upkeep comes with such features as manual and automated backup, full or customized file and database backup, backup to remote storage like FTP/SFTP, Amazon S3, and Google Drive (Premium), check for necessary functionality to work properly, clone & duplicate or migrate your website, monitoring for issues to prevent site crashing, auto rollback before the update, staging sites for new plugins or themes testing.

Even if WordPress core files are corrupted you can use a restoration script to restore a backup.

Moreover, the Historical Versions feature helps to find a file in backups where it could be restored. Combined with Cloud WordPress Total Upkeep offers a fully functional WordPress demo in no time. It means that you can clone and migrate your web-server and test updates or new features.

It should be noted, Total Upkeep is most flexible than other ones.

Backup Guard

Backup Guard is yet another useful WordPress backup plugin that you should check out.

The free version offers to select you back up your whole website or certain database tables or website files are excluded. And then you can download the backups or save them to remote storage like Dropbox during scheduled tasks every hour, day, week, or month.

The developer team BackupGuard offers an upgrade to the premium version. Thus you can unlock additional features.

The silver plan at $19.95 per year adds an option to migrate websites and adds support for FTP and sFTP backups. The gold plan at $35.95 increases usage from two websites to five and adds support for backing up to Amazon S3, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive. Backup retention options are also added.

BackupGuard is one of the simplest backup plugins I have used with WordPress.

WP Database Backup

Another backup solution in our list is WP Database Backup. The plugin offers a backup scheduler, of course. Therefore, you can process backing up every hour, 12 hours, daily, weekly, or monthly and store it by direct download, via FTP and sFTP, or to Google Drive, Amazon S3, and Dropbox. Moreover, you can exclude database tables. But excluding website files requires an upgrade to the pro version.

WP Database Backup Pro retails at only $22 for a single website license.

The pro version offers cloning and migration options, file exclusion, improved cloud storage integration, WordPress multisite support, and downloadable log files. WP Database Backup is one of the most simple backup solutions, so it is the perfect choice for beginners.


BackWPup is a popular backup WordPress plugin. It lets to back your full (or partial) website up to your computer, via Email, FTP, or remote storage like Amazon S3, Dropbox, Microsoft Azure, RackSpaceCloud, and SugarSync.

The plugin allows exporting WordPress sites via an XML file, create a schedule of backups and select which database tables and website files to backup.

To add support for Google Drive and Amazon Glacier you have to purchase the BackWPup Pro version. One website license for BackWPup Pro is for $39 per year. Additional plans are available that allow use on multiple websites. In my opinion, BackWPup provides one of the best support for backing up to cloud storage services and gives you full control over which files and tables are saved.


XCloner is a powerful backup tool that lets you effortlessly schedule backups as often as you want. You can set backup hourly, every 12 hours, every day, every week, or every month. Additionally, you can restore a backup at any time.

XCloner allows excluding tables and WP files. Besides, you can add other databases not used with WordPress to the scheduled backup. That is true, you can encrypt and store backups via FTP and sFTP, Amazon S3, Dropbox, Microsoft Azure, Backblaze, and WebDAV. A plugin extension is available that adds support for Google Drive.

The plugin allows logging all backups. What’s more, the auto-rollback feature is available. Possibly the most popular feature of the plugin is the fact it is completely free.


Thereupon, we present two more plugins as backup solutions. But it is mainly developed for WordPress clone and migration purposes. Duplicator has more than one million active installations.

The free version offers a tool to create an entire WordPress backup or a “Backup Package” excluding specific folders and database tables from the backup.

If you planning to store backups on your server then you should use the password protection feature included in the plugin.

Multi-threading, email notifications, and the ability to schedule backups you can get upgrading to Duplicator Pro. You will also expand your backup options so that you can back up to custom directories, via FTP and sFTP, and to cloud services such as Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive.

A personal license for Duplicator Pro retails at $59 per year and grants support and updates for three websites. Higher priced plans are presented on the developer’s website. Duplicator is one of the most fastback upping solutions, I suppose.

All-in-One WP Migration

The second migration solution in our list is All-in-One WP Migration. Frankly speaking, over 2 million websites use this plugin for back upping and migrating purposes.

In addition, the plugin offers a tool that helps to find and replace text in your website database.

It is not a secret, you can back your WordPress site up to your computer. But I can’t believe it, in order to back up to the many cloud storage you have to buy a premium extension. They even charge $99 for adding support for FTP backups and imports. Most hosting companies limit the maximum upload file size. Usually, this limit frequently stops WordPress website owners from successfully uploading their backup files. All-in-One WP Migration helps tackle the hosting limit that is why this plugin has got its popularity.