We all know that regular backup of our WordPress site is essential, especially for business. But, have you done your backup? Or you assume that your web host will backup for you? Even if your web hosting package includes a backup feature, it’s always good to have a copy of your backup resides outside of your web host where you’ve full control of the files.
In fact, backing up your site is just like getting an insurance, and hoping that you don’t ever need to activate the backup plan. But, accidence does happen and it’s wiser to backup your site before the disaster hits.
It’s not so straightforward to completely backup and restore your site through the manual way if you’re not familiar with the structure of WordPress site, which consists of your files and database. The good news is there are many WordPress plugins available to help you to perform your backup easily. The popular ones are VaultPress, BackupBuddy, BackWPup, UpdraftPlus, Duplicator – to name a few. Depending on your needs, some of them are not free.
So, How to Backup my WordPress Site for FREE?
Personally, I have tried the free version BackWPup, UpdraftPlus and Duplicator, and I prefer the free version of Duplicator as it is really easy to perform backup and restore my sites. In my experience, BackWPup and UpdraftPlus are slightly more complicated when come to restoration of the website. Alright, let’s get started to create your first backup.
Step 1: Install Free Duplicator Plugin
- From WordPress dashboard, go to “Add New” Plugin;
- At the keyword search bar, search for “duplicator” plugin;
- Install and activate Duplicator plugin for free.
Step 2: Create New Package
- Go to “Packages” of Duplicator on the left menu bar;
- Click “Create New” on the top right corner to create a new backup.
Step 3: Setup Your Backup Name
- Enter a “Name” for your backup file (Note: no space is allowed in the name);
- Click “Next” to start scanning your files & database. (Note: you may choose to exclude some files or database table according to your preference on the setup page. By default, the backup will include everything)
Step 4: Create Your Backup File
- Once the scan is completed, you can start creating your backup file by clicking “Build” button. (Note: scan checks are not required to pass, but they could cause issues on some systems)
Step 5: Download Backup Files & Installer Into Your Local Drive
- You will see the above screen when the backup is completed. Now, click on the “Installer” and “Archive” button respectively to save the backup files into your computer. That’s it, you’ve made a backup of your website!
Duplicator is simple and easy to use for backing up, restoring, or even migrating your WordPress site. The downside of it is that it doesn’t have auto scheduled backup feature in the free version. But frankly, since it’s free, I don’t mind to trigger the backup manually if it’s that simple and easy to backup my site completely. If you need auto scheduled backups and more features, you may consider its premium version, Duplicator Pro (SnapCreek)!
p/s: some people can’t download the “Archive” file via the button into their local drive, if you experience the same, you can download the files using free FTP client (I use FileZilla) from your server. You can locate the files at “wp-snapshots” of your site’s the root folder.