How to Back Up a WordPress Site Using hPanel, Plugins, and Manually

How to Back Up a WordPress Site Using hPanel, Plugins, and Manually

When managing a WordPress website, unexpected mishaps like server crashes or malware attacks can wipe away your hard work. Learning how to back up WordPress websites is an essential skill that can save you time, money, and countless headaches.

In this article, we’ll guide you through multiple methods of creating WordPress backups, from using hosting tools like hPanel to employing dedicated plugins. We’ll also delve into manual backup techniques for those who prefer a more hands-on approach.

Whether you’re a WordPress novice or a seasoned pro, read on to discover the most reliable ways to protect your website data.

A WordPress backup is a complete copy of your WordPress website’s data and files. This backup process allows you to restore your site to its previous state after experiencing data loss, hacking, or other operational mishaps.

When you back up your WordPress site, you’re preserving both its structural elements and its content. This includes everything from your website’s themes and plugins to its database, which houses your posts, comments, and user information.

In essence, backing up your site is like taking a snapshot of it, ready to be restored whenever needed.

How to Create a WordPress Backup

A WordPress site comprises two main elements: website files and a database. Understanding these elements is crucial to the backup process.

Your website files include themes, plugins, and media, while the database stores your posts, comments, and other essential data.

We’ll explore three reliable methods for backing up your WordPress website: using hPanel backup tools, employing a WordPress backup plugin, and performing manual WordPress site backups through FTP and phpMyAdmin.

How to Back up Your Site Using the hPanel Backup Tools

Backing up your WordPress website is easy with the right tools. These tools are significantly quicker than manually downloading and uploading files and databases.

Fortunately, Hostinger’s managed WordPress hosting has a dedicated Backups feature to make the process quick and straightforward. This feature is accessible through hPanel and lets you back up and restore your website with a few clicks.

Let’s learn how to back up your WordPress site and restore it with hPanel.

How to Generate a WordPress Backup

Follow these steps to create a backup of your WordPress site:

  1. Log in to Hostinger and click Manage on your hosting account.
  2. Navigate to Files → Backups from the left sidebar.
The Backups menu in hPanel
  1. Click Select in the Generate new backup section.
The Select button in the Generate new backup section of hPanel
  1. A pop-up will appear; click Proceed.

This will create a new full backup consisting of website files and databases. The process can take up to a few hours, depending on the size and number of files on your website.

How to Restore WordPress Backups

If you need to restore specific website files, here’s how to do it in hPanel:

  1. Click the Select button in the Files backups section.
  2. Choose the date you want from the drop-down menu and click Next step.
  3. Check the backup files or directories you want to restore or choose the public_html folder to restore your entire WordPress site.
  4. Click Restore files. To save your website backup to your local device, click Download all files.
The Restore files and Download all files buttons in the Files backups section of hPanel

How to Restore Database Backups

Sometimes, you only need to restore the database. You can do this on hPanel by following these steps:

  1. Click the Select button for Database backups.
  2. Select the database you want from the drop-down menu and click Show databases.
The Select backup data section in hPanel
  1. Choose your preferred date from the backup options and click the Restore button. Similar to files, you can click Download to save your database locally.
The Restore and Download buttons in the Database backups section of hPanel

How to Restore a Website to the Preferred Date

Here’s how to restore your website files and database in one click:

  1. Click Select in the Restore website section.
  2. Select the backup date, then click Restore.
The Restore button in the Full website restore section of hPanel

How to Manage WordPress Backup Using a Plugin

Now, let’s learn how to back up WordPress with a plugin. In this tutorial, we will use UpdraftPlus, one of the best WordPress backup plugins on the market. The free version of UpdraftPlus allows you to back up your WordPress site effortlessly with just a few clicks.

Here’s how to create a backup using UpdraftPlus:

  1. Go to your WordPress dashboard, then navigate to Plugins → Add New.
  2. Search for UpdraftPlus and click Install Now, then Activate.
The Activate button in the UpdraftPlus section of Add plugins page
  1. After installing the WordPress plugin, go to Settings → UpdraftPlus Backups.
  2. You will be presented with several options. Click the Backup Now button in the Backup / Restore tab to back up your site manually.
The Backup Now button in the Backup / Restore tab of UpdraftPlus
  1. A pop-up will appear, allowing you to choose what to include in the backup. Make your selections and click Backup Now.
The Backup Now button of the UpdraftPlus - Perform a backup pop-up

UpdraftPlus WordPress backup plugin also allows you to schedule automatic backups. Here’s how to get started:

  1. In the UpdraftPlus panel, click on the Settings tab.
  2. Select automated backups for both your site files and the database. Then, set the schedule for your WordPress website backups according to your preference.
The Files backup schedule option in the Settings tab of UpdraftPlus

To restore a WordPress backup with UpdraftPlus, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Settings → UpdraftPlus Backups.
  2. Under the Existing Backups section, you’ll find a list of your WordPress backups. Click the Restore button next to the backup you want to restore.
The Restore button in the Existing backups section of UpdraftPlus

The following are a few of the best WordPress plugins for backups besides UpdraftPlus. Each may have a unique interface, but the backup procedure should be similar overall.

  • BackWPup – this WordPress plugin includes a job scheduler and can send backups directly to cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and S3. BackWPup is a freemium yet comprehensive option.
  • Jetpack – ideal for those who need real-time WordPress backups. Jetpack also offers security scanning. However, the premium features require a paid subscription.
  • Duplicator – this is both a backup and migration tool. Duplicator creates a ZIP file containing your WordPress files, media, and database, making it easy to transfer a site.
  • BlogVault – known for incremental backups, BlogVault won’t strain the server resources of large sites. It also offers a free staging environment and accessible migration services.
  • All-in-One WP Migration – although primarily used for site migration, this plugin has export and import features that double as a backup solution. Its user-friendly interface is well-suited for novice and experienced users.

How to Download a Backup Manually via FTP and phpMyAdmin

For those who want more control over the backup process, manual WordPress backup is an excellent choice. Here, we outline how to back up WordPress for free using FTP for files and phpMyAdmin for your database.

Backup WordPress Files Manually via FTP

We’ll guide you step-by-step through creating manual WordPress backups using an FTP client. For this tutorial, we’ll use FileZilla and Hostinger’s hPanel. Make sure you’ve downloaded and configured FileZilla before proceeding.

Here’s how to back up WordPress using FileZilla:

  1. Log in to your Hostinger account. Click on Hosting in the menu bar, find your domain name, and click the Manage button.
  2. Navigate to Files → FTP Accounts from the left sidebar.
The FTP Accounts menu in hPanel
  1. Copy your FTP hostname, username, and password. If you need to set or change your password, click Change FTP Password.
The FTP Accounts details in hPanel
  1. Launch the FileZilla application on your computer.
  2. Enter the FTP information you have retrieved from hPanel into the respective fields in FileZilla. Click Quickconnect.
The Quickconnect button in FileZilla
  1. In the remote site panel of FileZilla, navigate to the directory where your WordPress files are stored. They are usually within the public_html directory.
  2. Select all the files in the WordPress directory, right-click, and choose Download. This initiates the transfer of files to your local computer.
The Download option in the Remote site of FileZilla
  1. Monitor the Queued files tab at the bottom of FileZilla. Once it shows Successful transfers: [the number of your files], your site backup is complete.

Follow these steps to upload your backup files using FileZilla:

  1. Open FileZilla and connect to your hosting server using your FTP credentials.
  2. On the server side, navigate to the folder where your WordPress files are stored.
The public_html directory in the FileZilla FTP client
  1. Locate the backup files on your local site, select them all, right-click, and choose Upload to send them to the server directory.
The Upload option in the Local site of FileZilla
  1. Once uploaded, confirm that all files have been successfully transferred to the server.

Backup the WordPress Database via phpMyAdmin

For this example, we’ll use phpMyAdmin in hPanel to export the WordPress database:

  1. Log in to your Hostinger account and go to Databases → phpMyAdmin.
  2. Find your site’s database name in the List of Current Databases and click the Enter phpMyAdmin button.
The Enter phpMyAdmin button in the List of Current Databases section of hPanel
  1. In phpMyAdmin, go to the Export tab.
  2. Keep the settings at default and click Go. This downloads an SQL file, which is your database backup.
The Go button in the Export tab of phpMyAdmin

To import your database, here are the steps:

  1. Access phpMyAdmin through hPanel.
The phpMyAdmin menu in hPanel
  1. Select the WordPress database you’d like to restore.
  2. Go to the Import tab and click Choose File to locate your SQL backup file.
  3. Scroll down and click Go to upload and restore the database.
The Go button in the Import tab of phpMyAdmin

Why Do You Need to Back Up Your WordPress Site?

Now that we have explained how to back up your site with this WordPress tutorial, let’s explore why you should do it.

Understanding the importance of WordPress backups can safeguard you from data loss due to errors or security issues.

For instance, imagine spending months developing your online store to discover it’s been hacked. With a backup, you can be back online within hours. Without it, you could face days or even weeks of downtime spent trying to recover your website.

Here are the benefits of having a WordPress backup:

  • Data security – should you experience accidental deletion or a cyber-attack, restoring your website to its previous state is simple.
  • Ease of recovery – daily backups simplify the recovery process, eliminating the need to start from scratch.
  • Peace of mind – knowing your data is safe lets you focus on growing your website, not worrying about potential data loss.
  • Version control – backups enable you to revert to older versions of your site, which helps troubleshoot or undo unwanted changes.
  • Developer freedom – regular backups allow developers to make changes and updates without risking the live site.

In contrast, the following are the risks of not having a backup of your site:

  • Data loss – a small error can lead to the loss of crucial content, damaging your business and its reputation.
  • Revenue loss – time is money for businesses. Every minute your site is down equates to lost potential revenue.
  • Negative SEO impact – prolonged downtime can negatively affect your site’s search rankings, making it harder to find online.
  • Reputation damage – extended outages or data loss can severely harm your brand’s reputation, eroding trust among your audience.
  • Increased recovery costs – no backup means you may have to hire expensive data recovery experts, and even then, some data could be irretrievable.

Full Backup vs Partial Backup

While full and partial backups both serve the purpose of safeguarding your website data, they function differently. Knowing the difference between the two can help you fine-tune your backup strategy.

A full backup involves a complete WordPress backup, encompassing entire site files, themes, plugins, and the database. On the other hand, a partial backup only includes specific components, like the WordPress database backup or particular folders within your WordPress directory.

Let’s examine how they differ in this comparison table:

Full BackupPartial Backup
Backs up all website files and databaseBacks up only selected website elements
Requires more storage spaceRequires less storage space
May take longer to restoreFaster to restore
Simplifies the restoration process as everything is includedMight need to consolidate different backup pieces during recovery

We recommend performing a complete backup when:

Meanwhile, a partial backup might be ideal if:

  • You only need to back up specific high-value elements, like your database.
  • You are updating only a part of your website, such as a plugin or theme.
  • You have very limited storage space.

How Often Should You Back up a WordPress Site?

Your backup frequency should depend on how often you update your website. If you regularly add or change content, daily website backups are the best option. However, if your website rarely changes, weekly or bi-weekly backups should suffice.

A good rule of thumb is to perform a website backup before you apply a significant change to your site, for example, before publishing a new post or updating your site’s theme.

Hostinger’s Business hosting plan and above offer the convenience of daily backups. This feature not only saves you time but also ensures that the most recent version of your site is always available to restore.

Learn How to Back up a WordPress Website With Hostinger Academy

For those who prefer a visual guide on backing up a WordPress website, our video tutorial will get you covered.

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Understanding how to back up your WordPress site is essential for safeguarding your data and ensuring uninterrupted service.

This guide has covered three simple ways to back up your site. Each backup method has its unique advantages. The first and easiest method is using the hPanel backup tool for Hostinger users. Alternatively, use a WordPress backup plugin like UpdraftPlus or do a manual backup via FTP and phpMyAdmin.

Above all, it’s essential to establish a regular backup routine to prevent data loss and downtime. By integrating backups into your website management, you’ll be better prepared for any issues that could disrupt your site.

How to Back up a WordPress Site FAQ

This section will answer the most common questions on how to back up a WordPress website.

How Do I Restore My WordPress Site from a Backup?

Restoring your WordPress website from a backup can be done through your hosting control panel or one of many backup plugins. For Hostinger customers, go to the Backups menu and choose the appropriate option to restore your website files. If using a plugin, navigate to the plugin’s dashboard, select Restore, and follow the on-screen instructions.

What’s the Best Method for Backing Up My WordPress Site?

The best method for backing up your site depends on your needs and technical expertise. The most convenient method is using a hosting provider with a daily backup feature, like Hostinger. Alternatively, a dedicated WordPress backup plugin provides control over what gets saved. Manual methods via FTP or phpMyAdmin are also available but require more technical skills.

Can I Store Backups on My Hosting Server?

Yes, you can. However, using off-site storage options like cloud storage or external hard drives is more recommended. This ensures you have multiple recovery points in case your server data is compromised.

Does WordPress Have Built-In Backups?

While some basic export features are available with WordPress, they don’t provide a comprehensive backup solution. Users usually rely on backup plugins, their hosting provider, or manual backup methods. We recommend using a dedicated backup approach for full coverage.

The author

Ariffud Muhammad

Ariffud is a Technical Content Writer with an educational background in Informatics. He has extensive expertise in Linux and VPS, authoring over 200 articles on server management and web development. Follow him on LinkedIn.