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How to back up a WordPress site

How to Back Up a WordPress Site in 2023 

Want to learn how to back up a WordPress site?

When you back up your WordPress website, you’ll save a copy that can be restored after hacks, crashes, or other errors. Fortunately, backup plugins like Duplicator make this process easy. 

In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how to back up a WordPress site!

Why You Might Need to Back Up Your Website

As a website owner, you never know when the worst might happen. After you put years of hard work into growing your site, you might face an unexpected cyber attack or crash.

This is where backups come in. A backup is a saved copy of your site’s database and files. Here is all the data that can be saved in a backup:

  • WordPress core files like wp-admin, wp-content, wp-includes, and wp-config.php
  • Plugin and theme files
  • Uploaded files including images and videos
  • WordPress database tables such as wp_posts and wp_comments

If your website becomes compromised, you can restore a recent backup. For example, you might install a new plugin or theme that conflicts with the rest of your site. When you need to restore your original site’s functionality, simply revert to a backup without the error. 

Creating a backup of your WordPress site is an important part of keeping it secure and functioning well. By rolling back to a previous version, you can:

  • Restore data deleted or corrupted by hackers
  • Remove malware
  • Resolve server crashes
  • Remove coding errors
  • Roll back unsuccessful software updates

After backing up your files and database, there will be an error-free copy of your WordPress website. If you back up your site weekly, you’ll always have a version to fall back on. This prevents you from losing important data to hackers, errors, or crashes. 

How to Back Up a WordPress Site in 2023

WordPress doesn’t automatically back up your website. This means that your custom site is constantly at risk if you don’t take matters into your own hands. Fortunately, you can easily learn how to back up a WordPress site, even as a beginner. 

Step 1: Install Duplicator

One of the most beginner-friendly ways to back up WordPress is to install a plugin. Although there are many WordPress backup plugins, Duplicator is extremely easy to use. In just a few clicks, you can use Duplicator to save your site files and database:

Duplicator plugin

Plus, the Duplicator plugin can do much more than backups. Once you make a copy of your WordPress database and core files, you can easily move your site to a different domain or server. This can make migrations simple and fast. 

Once you decide Duplicator is right for your needs, select a subscription and download the plugin. If you’re new to WordPress, you can follow this installation guide before going to the next step. 

Step 2: Create a Package

With Duplicator, you can create packages. These will compress your WordPress core files, plugins, themes, content, and MySQL database into a zip file. Then, you’ll be able to download this data to your local computer.

To start backing up your site, open your WordPress dashboard. Then, go to Duplicator Pro » Packages » Create New:

Create Duplicator package

Tip: If you want to save time, consider using the new Duplicator dashboard widget! Right after you open WordPress, find the widget and click on Create New:

Duplicator dashboard widget

Next, give your backup a name. This will make it easy to find if you need to restore your site later:

Name backup package

By clicking on Archive, you can customize your backup. If you want to only back up the database, for example, select Archive only the database:

Archive database only

In most cases, you’ll need to do a full backup instead. This includes not only the database but your WordPress files. 

For full backups, don’t make any changes to the Archive or Installer files. Then, click Next.

After you build a package, Duplicator will scan your website. If your site can be backed up successfully, you’ll see a Good evaluation:

Duplicator package scan

Lastly, hit Build to finish setting up the backup of your website.   

Step 3: Download Your Backup

By now, you’ve made a copy of your entire site. To make sure you can easily restore your site to this point, you’ll need to download it. 

First, navigate to the Packages page. From the list of packages, find the backup you just created.

Next to the package, you’ll see a Download button. Click on this and select Both Files:

Download website backupu

This will download your backup to your computer. Make sure you save these backup files to easily access them if you need to. Whenever your site experiences a cyber attack or critical error, you can restore this backup and return your site to normal. 

Unlike other backup plugins, Duplicator also provides a recovery point option. If your site experiences a catastrophic failure, you can use a recovery URL to restore your content.

To set your backup as a recovery point, expand the details of the package using the arrow on the right-hand side. Then, click on Recovery Point:

Backup recovery point

If you need to immediately restore your site, you can launch the recovery point installer. Alternatively, select Set to Recovery Point:

Set recovery point

Now, click on the recovery arrow icon to copy your recovery URL. Save this in a secure location:

Copy recovery URL

Whenever you can’t access your WordPress dashboard, you can paste this URL into a browser window. This will automatically launch the recovery wizard:

Duplicator recovery installer

Once you have a recovery point, you’ll be able to restore your site when something goes wrong. Instead of having to upload your backup files to a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client or cPanel, you can use the beginner-friendly recovery URL.

Step 4: Set Up Automatic Backups

To protect your website from unexpected issues, it’s important to regularly back up your files. Most sites can benefit from monthly, weekly, or even daily backups. By doing this, you’ll make sure you can always access a functioning site.

Although you could create manual backups, this can take extra time and effort. Instead of this hassle, consider setting up automatic backups. 

With Duplicator, you can schedule backups. To get started, find Duplicator Pro » Schedules » Add New:

Create website backup schedule

Then, name your backup schedule. For example, you might have one for weekly backups and another for monthly backups:

Name backup schedule

For the Package Template, you can customize what information is saved in the backup. If you click on the + icon, this will take you to the template editing page. Here, feel free to edit the Archive and Installer files:

Duplicator package template

After you save a template, select it for your new backup schedule. Next, choose a storage location. Duplicator supports cloud storage and API options like:

  • Local server
  • Amazon S3 Direct
  • Amazon S3 – Backblaze B2
  • Amazon S3 – 3rd Party
  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • OneDrive
  • FTP
  • SFTP – SSH

Then, set a time for your backup schedule. You can create hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly automatic backups. For each of these options, you’ll see different customization settings:

Automatic backup schedule

You’ll also need to select a Start Time. This will start the backup process at a specific time of day:

Schedule backup start time

Finally, check the box next to Enable this schedule. After you save it, Duplicator will automatically start performing regular backups. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Whether you’re a new website owner or an experienced developer, it’s important to back up any WordPress site you’re working on. That being said, you may still have some doubts. Without further ado, here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about WordPress backups!

How do I back up my WordPress site without plugins?

Often, WordPress hosting companies provide easy ways to back up your site without plugins. To see if this is possible, look for automatic backup options included in your hosting account’s control panel. You can also search your web hosting provider’s documentation. 

Alternatively, you could manually back up your site. Using a File Manager like cPanel or an FTP client like FileZilla, download the files in your public_html folder. In phpMyAdmin, you can export your database and save the SQL file on your computer. 

How often should I back up my WordPress site?

You should back up your WordPress site at least once a week. However, if you frequently update your website with new posts or receive high traffic, you might want to schedule daily or even hourly backups. 

Here’s our recommended backup schedule for different websites:

  • E-commerce websites (like small businesses): 1 weekly full backup, 3 – 4 daily database backups
  • Blogs: 1 weekly full backup, 1 database backup for every new post
  • Static sites: 1 monthly full backup

What is the best WordPress backup plugin?

The best WordPress backup plugin is Duplicator. You can use this tool to quickly package your WordPress database and files in a downloadable zip file. 

Alternative: Jetpack and UpdraftPlus are two additional plugins for WordPress backups. However, Duplicator makes it easier to create on-demand or scheduled backups for large sites. It also supports website cloning and migrations, which makes it a more comprehensive solution.  


Now that you know how to back up a WordPress site, you’ll protect your website against unexpected problems!

Are you backing up your website before migrating to a different server or domain name? If so, check out our guide on WordPress migration!

Ready to start regularly backing up your website? Download Duplicator Pro today!