Blog Menu

I write and curate content for Bluehost. I hope this blog post is helpful.
Are you looking at creating a blog, website or an online store? Bluehost has something for everyone. Get started today.

Having a WordPress website is an important part of your business, especially if most of your work comes to you online. Although web hosting services have greatly improved their uptime and system redundancy, there are situations where your website can crash. Sometimes, the files for your site can even be lost due to a serious system failure.

To prevent this, you should make a backup of your site. Want to learn how? Just keep on reading.

Why should you always back up your WordPress site?

Having a backup file for your website lets you quickly restore your website to full functionality, even if all of the files are removed from the server. You should always have a copy so you can restore it yourself and ensure that you can start your website again. 

Regular website backups also ensures the ability to restore a website to a previous state, preserving valuable content, customizations, and configurations, providing peace of mind and minimizing downtime in case of emergencies.

What is a WordPress website backup?

A WordPress website backup or a WordPress backup is a copy of the files needed for your website.  This includes the core files for WordPress, any plugins or additions you made to the site, and a copy of the database that it uses to store information. In essence, it is a snapshot of your entire website, that you can use to restore it if something happens to the files on the server.

WordPress database backups are critical, especially if you have an online store on WooCommerce. WordPress stores all of its data (posts, page content, pictures, user accounts, etc.) in a central database. If this database is changed in the wrong way or deleted, your website will break. If you have a backup of your site, you can restore the damaged parts or replace everything to get your site back online right away.

Full backup vs. partial backup

There are two main types of WordPress website backups, a full site backup and a partial website backup.

Full Backups

Full WordPress backups include all the files and data associated with your site, such as themes, plugins, media uploads, and the database. A WordPress full backup allows for a complete restoration of the entire site.


  • Rapid Restoration: WordPress full backup provides fast restoration to ensure efficient recovery.
  • Simplified Storage: All the data is stored on a single version for easy storage management.
  • Hassle-Free Version Control: Enables seamless maintenance and restoration of various versions.
  • Effortless File Search: Facilitates easy and convenient file searches.


  • High Storage Demand: Requires significant storage space compared to other methods.
  • Lengthy Backup Times: Backup processes can be time-consuming depending on file size.
  • Elevated Cost: Additional storage needs contribute to higher expenses, making it costlier.
  • Increased Data Loss Risk: Concentrated data storage raises the vulnerability to data loss.

Partial Backups

Partially backing up a WordPress site focuses on specific elements of your WordPress site. This can involve backing up only the database, which contains essential website data like posts, pages, comments, and settings. Alternatively, you can choose to back up only the files, which include themes, plugins, and media uploads. Partial site backups are useful when you want to restore specific components of your site without affecting the rest.


  1. Optimized Storage Usage: Files aren’t duplicated entirely, leading to efficient storage consumption.
  2. Swift Backups: The backup process is exceptionally fast.
  3. Flexible Recovery Points: Frequent incremental backups create distinct recovery points.


  • Lengthy Restoration: Data restoration takes time due to assembling from various backups.
  • Dependency on Backup Files: Successful recovery relies on the integrity of all backup files.
  • Complex File Search: Restoring specific files requires searching through multiple backup sets.

Before you start making your WordPress backup 

Before you begin to back up a WordPress website, decide which method works best for you. Check with your host to see if there is an existing backup file and if you can download it. Also, you need a place to store the backup files. You can download it straight to your computer. 

However, businesses may want to have an external hard drive to save backup files. You also want to keep at least the three most recent copies of the backup, so that you have multiple options for restoring your website.

Ways to back up your WordPress website

There are several ways to back up your WordPress website:

Manual WordPress backup

Remember, this is a process for people who have some experience working on website backends. Performing a manual database backup is not for everyone. If you are unsure of any of these steps, stop and ask your web hosting provider for help.

Use your hosting platform’s backup tools

This is not the WordPress site that your website sits on, but the administrative system that your web host has. After logging in, locate the backup tools section among the available tools.

If your host has a backup tool, you can use it to download the latest backup file. If you don’t see one, then look for a program like PHPMyAdmin and MySQL. Usually, they will have the words “PHP” or “SQL” in the title. Open each one separately and download the files there.

By following these steps, you can manually perform a backup of your WordPress website’s database and files using the hosting platform’s tools.

Use an FTP manager

Alternatively, you can use an FTP manager to access the website files you need. FileZilla is a common option. You will need the FTP information for your site, which is in the hosting platform. 

Once you can give FileZilla FTP access to your WordPress site, download everything that is in the main file for your site files and web host. Make sure you don’t delete anything.

Some plugins can back up WordPress regularly

If you are going to use a plugin, then use the plugin installer in WordPress on the plugins tab. It will take you to the plugin store, where you can search for and download the plugin. Much of the process is automatic, so it will be quick and easy. 

Once you have the plugin installed, activate it and follow the instructions from the manufacturer. It will usually be as simple as pushing the backup button in the plugin’s interface.

The following plugins can be used for automatic backups:

  • CodeGuard – the fastest and most reliable website backup service. It tracks all of your changes daily. Plus, it scales to your business and your client’s business needs!
  • Jetpack – It saves every change you make to your site, and allows you to quickly restore your site from their VaultPress backup. It’s quick, and easy!
  • UpdraftPlus – uploads files to the cloud via Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft Onedrive & more. There’s a free version for you to try it out.
  • SolidWP – Solid Backups schedules and sends backup archives to the destination of your choice. Works for both small or large sites. Was formerly BackupBuddy.
  • BlogVault – although on the “pricier” side, this is a reliable backup solution for WordPress sites. They also provide a lot of features for the price.
  • BackupWPUp – has a few packages for different websites and different needs. It’s also on the cheaper side compared to other options.

If you ever need to utilize your backup file, there is a backup restore feature.

Automatic backup from your hosting provider

Similar to doing a manual backup, log into your hosting account. Look for the tool that your host has for automatic backups. When you open it, it should give you the option to download the backup files. 

If you have any questions, reach out to your host for assistance.

When to back up your WordPress website

The timing of WordPress website backup plays a significant role in safeguarding your site against unexpected issues. 

Here’s how to decide when to back up a WordPress website:

1. Frequency of updates and changes

Consider how often you update content, plugins, themes, and user interactions. More frequent changes necessitate a higher frequency of backups, such as daily or multiple times daily.

2. Website activity

Analyze your website’s user engagement patterns and traffic flow and schedule backups during off-peak hours to minimize disruptions for visitors.

3. Content publishing

If you publish content regularly, especially time-sensitive or critical information, opt for backups that are more frequent. Daily or weekly backups might be appropriate for content-heavy websites.

4. Plugin and theme updates

Before updating plugins or themes, create a backup to mitigate potential compatibility issues. This precaution allows you to restore a previous version if problems arise.

5. Major design or structural changes

Back up your site before implementing significant design or structural alterations. This ensures you can revert to the previous state if the changes don’t go as planned.

6. Pre-update backups

Always perform a backup before applying any substantial updates or changes. This practice acts as a safety net in case the update process encounters errors.

7. Backup tools and plugins

Explore backup tools and plugins available for WordPress. Some tools offer automatic scheduling based on your preferences.

8. Testing and verification

Regularly test your backups to ensure they can be successfully restored. Verify that the backup copies are complete and functional.

How to back up a WordPress site with Bluehost

Accessing the Backup Panel requires logging into your Bluehost Control Panel. Next, you should click on the Hosting tab in the left menu.

If you have more than one site, you will see an overview of all your sites here. Click on the Settings button for the website you want to create a backup of.

You will see an overview of your site. There are multiple tabs you can click on, but you need the one that says Backups.

In this Backups tab, you can create a new backup, simply by clicking on the blue button Create New Backup.

You can also restore your site by using one of the previous backups. You will find the option when you click on the three dots on the right.

If you need further assistance on backing up a WordPress site, feel free to contact us.

How often should you back up your site?

The frequency of WordPress backups depends on the dynamic nature of your website and the extent of its updates. 

For websites that undergo frequent changes, including regular content updates, plugin installations, or theme modifications, a daily backup regimen is recommended. This approach guarantees that each day’s alterations are captured, assuring minimal data loss in case of unforeseen issues.

For websites with less frequent alterations, a weekly backup may suffice. This is applicable to sites that publish content less often or have a steady setup without significant changes.

In addition, it’s always useful to create a backups before you make any substantial updates, such as core software or plugin updates! This way, you’ll have a restore point if updates cause compatibility problems.

Tools you can use for automatic backups

There are many tools you can use to back up your WordPress website. Check with your current hosting provider to see if they offer a backup service. For example, Bluehost provides managed WordPress hosting and automatically creates backup files regularly, so you don’t have to worry.

As we mentioned before, you can also install a WordPress plugin if you run a standalone WordPress site. It’s a much easier and faster process than doing it manually. Plugins should also work on hosted sites if you prefer not to use tools provided by the host.

Your web host should have a method to let you back up your data manually. If your host uses cPanel as its dashboard, then this feature exists. You will have to go to the two programs that WordPress uses, called PHPMyAdmin and MySQL (there are other options, but these are the most common), and download the database and the rest of the files manually. This is only recommended if you are used to working in the backend of web hosting platforms or if you have no other options. 

Related: Read the top 10 features a web hosting company should provide!


We hope the above information has offered you clarity on how to backup a WordPress site. Just remember that it’s important to back up your WordPress website regularly. A timely backup of a WordPress blog or other website creates a safety net that guards against unexpected mishaps, ranging from accidental content deletion and data corruption to security breaches and server failures.

Thankfully, WordPress and hosts like Bluehost make it much easier to do so. 

You can learn more about our WordPress Hosting options here. Make sure you keep several copies of your latest backup files so that you can recover them in case of a problem.

FAQ on How To Backup a WordPress Site

Why is it crucial to regularly back up a WordPress website?

Regular backups ensure protection against data loss caused by hacks, server issues, or human errors. It allows you to restore your site quickly, preserving content and functionality in case of emergencies.

Are there plugins available to simplify the process of website back ups?

Yes, back up plugins like CodeGuard, Jetpack, and UpdraftPlus offer user-friendly interfaces for automated back ups. They allow you to schedule regular back ups and store them locally or in cloud storage.

How often should I schedule automatic backups for my WordPress site?

Aim for daily backups, especially for active websites. E-commerce sites and frequently updated blogs might benefit from more frequent backups. The frequency depends on your content and update frequency.

Where should I store my WordPress website backups for maximum security?

Opt for remote storage solutions like cloud services (Google Drive, Dropbox), dedicated backup services, or an offsite server. This ensures data redundancy and protection against server failures.

What’s the process for restoring a WordPress website from a backup?

Access your backup plugin, navigate to the restore section, select the backup you want to restore, and follow the prompts. It’s crucial to follow the plugin’s instructions to avoid errors.

How can I ensure the backup process doesn’t affect my site’s performance?

Schedule backups during low-traffic hours. Use backup plugins with minimal impact on server resources. Consider using incremental backups to reduce server load during the backup process.

  • Devin Sears

    Devin is a Senior Event Marketing Manager for the Bluehost brand. He is our brand steward for all things Bluehost and WordPress. You'll always see him supporting Bluehost at WordCamps around the world!

    Brigham Young University
    Previous Experience
    Social Media, Customer Experience, Field Marketing, Sponsorships, Event Coordinator
Learn more about Bluehost Editorial Guidelines

1 Comment

  1. monica leake Reply

    Very helpful post. Now I need to go and back up! Thanks so much for this info!

Write A Comment