Boring! I know. But you’ll regret not having them at some point.

Plus it’s pretty easy to get backups, either one-off or scheduled. You also want to make sure you store them offsite.

Offsite is more important than scheduled if you don’t make changes often. But you should make sure to run a backup after any significant changes to your site or content.

There are lots of ways to make backups. Plugins are the simplest way to get started. We recommend Duplicator and UpdraftPlus. Duplicator is the simplest solution for one off backups and migrations. Duplicator Pro and UpdraftPlus with some paid options allow for scheduled backups and offsite storage.

Why offsite?

Offsite just means not on the same server as your WordPress site. This is important because if the server is completely lost so are your backups. It’s also nice insurance if you want to change your hosting provider and they are not helpful in moving.

If you don’t make changes often, you can just run your backup and download the result after making changes. If you make changes often, you should do something scheduled and store them somewhere like Amazon S3 or Dropbox or any of the other storage options.

Here’s a quick video showing how to install Duplicator, create a backup, and downloading the backup files.


What does a backup contain?

Backups for WordPress consist of two parts. The files from the server, this includes WordPress, Plugins, and Themes. It also contains all your upload media. The second part is the database. The database contains all the configuration and content for your site. The database part is the most important part of the backup.

With backups you can make changes to your site without worrying too much if something goes wrong. It’ll be a bit of work to restore, but you’ll be able to get your site running again!

When should I backup?

The general rule is to backup before making any major changes AND right after making major changes. This includes adding content that you can’t easily recreate.

At WP Support HQ, we create daily backups for our clients and store them on Amazon S3. We also restore those backups when needed. Learn More

Patrick Lindenberg

But my hosting provider said the provide backups!

Did they? Is it a WordPress specific hosting provider? If so, you’re probably in good shape here. You’ll want to make sure they are running and you know how to restore those backups.

Not a WordPress specific host? No problem! There are a number of backup solutions out there.

What’s in a Backup and What You Need to Know About Backups.
WordPress is a set of files and a set of database tables, we’ll just call them the database.

Your backups should include all the files, this includes your plugins and themes, and it should include your database.

The database holds all your configuration settings, but more importantly, it holds all your content. Pages, Posts, Comments, everything. Each backup should include both, all the files and the database.

You Want your Backups Off-Site.
What does that mean? Basically, it means there should be a copy somewhere other than on the website server, on-site. This could be another server, like Amazon or Dropbox, or your local computer.

This is important because if something happens to your site and you need your backups stored on your site… you might be in trouble. The server could be down or malware could make the site un-accessable. Either way, having backups off-site will be a huge relief.

How to Restore Your Backups.
This is often an overlooked step, until it’s time to actually restore the backups. We’ve found the best way to do this is backup your site and then restore it! Either to the current site or on a sub-site or staging site.

WP Support HQ recommends one of the following backups.


This will allow you to create backups and download them to your computer as needed. The restore process is also good. They have a premium version that will handle scheduling backups and storing them off-site at a number of different storage providers.


This is another great backup plugin. The free version allows manual backups that you can then download to your computer. They also offer a Pro version with scheduling and cloud storage.