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How to save your WordPress backup to Amazon S3

How to Back Up a WordPress Site to Amazon S3 

Written By: author image Joella Dunn
author image Joella Dunn
Joella is a writer with years of experience in WordPress. At Duplicator, she specializes in site maintenance — from basic backups to large-scale migrations. Her ultimate goal is to make sure your WordPress website is safe and ready for growth.
     Reviewed By: John Turner
reviewer image John Turner
John Turner is the President of Duplicator. He has over 20+ years of business and development experience and his plugins have been downloaded over 25 million times.

Want to send your WordPress backup to Amazon S3?

Using Amazon S3, you can store your website backups and keep them safe from crashes or errors. Since this cloud service is scalable, it can be a reliable backup option for website owners.  

In this step-by-step tutorial, I’ll show you how to save a WordPress backup to Amazon S3! 

Why You Should Back Up Your WordPress Site to Amazon S3

Amazon S3 is an object storage service that is hosted by Amazon. It allows you to store and organize data for mobile apps, cloud-native applications, and even website backups.

Amazon S3 website

As a website owner, it’s a good idea to send your WordPress backups to the cloud. This can prevent any data loss if your server crashes. Since backups will be stored off-site, they also won’t overload your web hosting plan. 

However, there are many cloud-based storage providers available. Unlike options like Google Drive or Dropbox, Amazon S3 can evolve with your business’s data operations. 

Amazon S3 works by storing data in files called objects. These objects are organized into buckets. You can have an unlimited number of objects in a bucket and up to 100 buckets, making Amazon S3 a flexible remote storage service for your site backups.

Here are some more features you can expect from Amazon S3:

  • 99.999999999% data durability
  • Storage for any type of data backup
  • Security measures like data encryption and access control
  • Scalable resources
  • Diverse tools available in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform
  • Unlimited server capacity

To use Amazon S3, you can start with the free tier. Amazon S3 also offers pay-as-you-go pricing that allows you to only access the services that you need.  

How to Save Your WordPress Backup to Amazon S3

It might seem complicated to connect your WordPress site to Amazon S3 and start creating cloud backups. However, it’s easy with the right steps.

Let’s show you how to quickly save WordPress backups to Amazon S3!

Step 1: Install Duplicator

You could create a backup in WordPress and manually upload it to Amazon S3. However, to save time, consider installing Duplicator Pro. This is a powerful WordPress backup plugin that can instantly save backups to cloud services like Amazon S3.

Duplicator Pro plugin

First, be sure to select a subscription for Duplicator Pro. Although you could start using the free version, you’ll need to upgrade to connect to these external cloud storage locations:

After this, download the plugin and copy your license key. Open the dashboard for your WordPress website and install Duplicator.

As a final step, you’ll need to activate your license. Navigate to Duplicator Pro » Settings » Licensing and paste your license key:

Activate Duplicator Pro license key

Once you finish setting up Duplicator, go to the next step!

Step 2: Create an Amazon S3 Bucket

If you haven’t already set up an account for Amazon S3, visit the AWS website. Click on Create an AWS Account and follow the onboarding instructions.

After this, you’ll be able to sign in to your AWS dashboard. Here, click on Services and find S3:

Open Amazon S3 dashboard

To get started with Amazon S3, you’ll need to create a bucket. Put simply, this is a storage area that can group different pieces of data together. To build one, select Create bucket:

Create Amazon S3 bucket

At the top of the page, name the bucket. It should be something memorable that features your domain name:

New Amazon S3 bucket

Underneath this, select the AWS region closest to your web server to finish creating the bucket. 

Step 3: Add a Security Policy

Next, you’ll want to create a security policy. This will describe what a user will be able to do with the bucket. Go back to the AWS services list and find Security, Identity, & Compliance » IAM:

Open Amazon S3 IAM settings

Then, head over to the Policies page. Here, select Create Policy:

Create Amazon S3 policy

Click on the JSON option. Paste this policy into the editor:

    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
            "Resource": "arn:aws:s3:::BUCKETNAME",
            "Condition": {}
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
            "Resource": "arn:aws:s3:::BUCKETNAME/*",
            "Condition": {}
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": "s3:ListAllMyBuckets",
            "Resource": "*",
            "Condition": {}

Remember to replace BUCKETNAME with the unique name for your bucket. 

After hitting Next, name your policy. For example, you could use Duplicator-Backup-Policy:

Duplicator Amazon S3 policy

Finish by clicking Create Policy

Step 4: Create a User

Once you create a new security policy, you’ll also need a new user. On the IAM page, find Users » Add users:

Add Amazon S3 user

Choose a username for the IAM user before continuing to the next step:

New Amazon S3 user

Under the Permissions options, select Attach policies directly. Then, find the policy you just created and check the box next to it:

Attach Duplicator policy

Don’t add any tags. Finally, hit Create User

Now, click on the user and navigate to the Security Credentials tab. Here, create an access key:

Create Amazon S3 access key

Since Duplicator will have to manage your Amazon S3 backups, select Third-party service as your use case:

Third-party service access key

After you hit Next, you’ll see your access key IDs:

Amazon S3 access keys

Save both the access key and the secret access key for later. You can also download this information as a CSV file. 

Step 5: Connect Amazon S3 to Duplicator

After you fully configure your Amazon S3 account, you can connect it to Duplicator. This way, your backup will automatically import into the cloud.

First, go to Duplicator Pro » Storage » Add New:

Add new storage location

Name the new storage location. Under Type, select Amazon S3 – Direct:

Duplicator Amazon S3 storage

Next, scroll down to the Authorization section. Paste both the access key and the secret access key:

Amazon S3 authorization

After this, enter the name of your bucket. You can also customize the maximum number of packages stored in the bucket. This prevents you from saving too many backups and accidentally increasing the Amazon S3 storage limit:

Enter Amazon S3 bucket name

You can now save the new Amazon S3 storage location! 

Once you connect Amazon S3 to Duplicator, hit Test S3 Connection. If the connection is successful, Duplicator will store and retrieve a test file. 

Step 6: Create an Amazon S3 Backup

It’s time to create your first site backup and send it to Amazon S3! To do this, head over to Duplicator Pro » Packages » Create New:

Create Duplicator package

Give your package, or backup, a name so you can easily find it later. Expand the Storage section and select Amazon S3:

Amazon S3 backup

Duplicator now supports 14 different storage locations! Along with Amazon S3, you can send your backups to DreamObjects, Vultr, DigitalOcean Spaces, Wasabi, Cloudflare R2, and Google Cloud.

For a complete backup, don’t make any changes to the archive or installer files. However, you can create custom backups by only including the database, media library, or other files.

Duplicator custom package components

After clicking Next, Duplicator will scan your site to make sure the backup can run successfully:

Duplicator package scan

Lastly, hit Build. Duplicator will automatically build your backup and transfer it to Amazon S3. 

Step 7: Set Up Automatic Backups

If you don’t want to waste time, you can set up an automatic backup schedule. Using Duplicator Pro, you can choose a date and time to always run backups and save them to Amazon S3.

To get started with automated backups, open the Schedules page and hit Add New:

Create website backup schedule

Name the schedule. Then, select Amazon S3 as your storage location:

Amazon S3 automatic backup schedule

Now you can customize when your backup runs. Duplicator supports all of the following schedules:

  • Hourly backups
  • Daily backups
  • Weekly backups
  • Monthly backups

Next to Repeats, select one of these options. You’ll also need to set a Start Time:

Amazon S3 custom backup schedule

Finally, enable the schedule and save it!

How to Restore Your Amazon S3 Backup

If your website is functioning properly, you may never need to touch your backups. However, there’s always the possibility of a hack, server crash, or other critical error. When this happens, you’ll need to restore a recent backup.

Fortunately, Duplicator has both backup and restore functionality!

To get your site back to normal, find the most recent Amazon S3 backup on the Packages page. Hit the Restore button next to it.

Restore remote backup

In the pop-up, download the S3 backup. This will transfer your data from the cloud to your local server.

Download Amazon S3 backup

After this, you can restore your site! Simply click on Restore Backup in the restoration wizard.

Restore remote backup with Duplicator

Now Duplicator will install your backup! Once it’s finished, use the Admin Login button to sign back into your restored site. 

FAQs About Saving WordPress Backups to Amazon S3

How do I back up my WordPress site to S3?

You can back up your WordPress site to Amazon S3 by installing Duplicator Pro, a powerful backup plugin with a variety of cloud storage locations. After creating an S3 bucket and generating your access keys, paste these keys into Duplicator Pro. This will allow you to create new backups and automatically send them to Amazon S3.

Alternatives: Other backups that support Amazon S3 include UpdraftPlus, Total Upkeep, and WPvivid.

How do I back up my entire WordPress site?

To back up your entire WordPress site, create a new package with Duplicator Pro. Make sure to include all site components in the backup, like your core WordPress files, MySQL database, media library, plugins, and themes. Once Duplicator backs up your site, download your backup files.

How do I manually backup my WordPress database?

You can manually back up your WordPress database with phpMyAdmin, a database manager. After logging in, select your database name and hit Export. Be sure to choose SQL as the format and continue downloading your database.

Export WordPress database

How do I back up and import a WordPress site?

You can back up and import a WordPress site with a backup and migration plugin like Duplicator Pro. To back up your site, simply create a new package and download its archive file. On your new website, install Duplicator and upload the backup to the Import page.

Import website archive

How do I connect my WordPress site to an object storage bucket?

To connect your WordPress site to an object storage bucket, you’ll need to sign up for an object storage service like Amazon S3, Google Cloud, or Backblaze B2. Then, create a bucket and generate access keys.

Install the Duplicator Pro plugin in WordPress and connect your cloud account as a new storage location. Finally, create a backup and send it to cloud storage. It’ll automatically be uploaded to your object storage bucket.


That’s it! You’ve saved your WordPress backup to Amazon S3.

Here are some extra WordPress tutorials you can use to maximize your website’s potential:

Ready to quickly connect your WordPress site to Amazon S3? Download Duplicator Pro to instantly transfer site backups to the cloud!

author avatar
Joella Dunn Content Writer
Joella is a writer with years of experience in WordPress. At Duplicator, she specializes in site maintenance — from basic backups to large-scale migrations. Her ultimate goal is to make sure your WordPress website is safe and ready for growth.

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