UpdraftPlus Tutorial 2023 | How to Backup Your WordPress website

May 18, 2023 | WordPress plugins

Use UpdraftPlus to create backups to Dropbox or Google Drive automatically. I’ll show you how to set it up and how to connect it to your Dropbox and Google Drive. Its completely free!

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I want you to succeed with your website, so lets get started.

0:00 Intro
0:40 Get UpdraftPlus
1:59 Backup interval
4:50 Exclude files from backup
6:11 Setup Dropbox
Restore backup
Setup Google Drive
12:10 Advanced tools Thank you for watching! 😀

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UpdraftPlus Tutorial 2023 | How to Backup Your WordPress website


In this video we’re gonna use UpdraftPlus to create automatically backups completely for free on your WordPress website. Let me show you what you will learn in this tutorial.

I’ll show you how to make a backup schedule for your files and your database, how to exclude certain files or directories from your backups. How to make your backups go to Dropbox or to Google Drive. And I’m going to show you how to restore your backup when you need it. We’re gonna start right now.

Get UpdraftPlus

To get UpdraftPlus please go to https://wpressdoctor.com/updraft/ over there. Now we’re going to start with the free version and while doing so you can also decide if you want a premium version after all. So click on ‘Get free version’ over here. And then we press on ‘Download’. If you’re still log in using /wp-admin/…. that’s not a very safe way, so please watch my tutorial about WordPress security, because you don’t want to get hacked. I need to two-factor authenticate this… really secure this website. On the dashboard we go over here to ‘Plugins’ and we’re going to ‘Add new’. And we press ‘Upload plugin’ and we’re going to select the file we’ve just downloaded from Updraft. And press ‘Install now’. After that just press ‘Activate plugin’. And then of course ‘Press here to start’.

Now don’t just push that magical blue button over there! I know you want to! It’s tempting, but let’s first set it up where it has to put your backup files to. So let’s close this tour because we don’t need it, because you have me as a guided tour. In here you can find all the backups we’ve created. I’m gonna walk you through all these tabs over here, so you know exactly what’s going on and how to work with UpdraftPlus. First thing we are going to do, is we go to settings over here. On the settings tab we can determine a few very important things. The first of all is when does the file backup is being done? Do you want to do it manual? I know from my clients they do not log in very often to their website to create a backup. You will forget it, and once you need it, it’s not there or it’s very very old. So we’re gonna back up all the files, the themes the plugins, your media library, everything. We’re going to backup this for at least I say monthly. If you change a lot of your website, then you can do this for example fortnightly, or weekly. But just remember a full backup of your entire website could really add up in space. Let’s say you don’t often change all your files a lot, then just keep it on monthly. How many backups do you want to have? I would say minimum two. Then we go to the database backup schedule. If you have a normal website and you’re creating for example all your pages and your website is actually done, then you could put this on monthly. And let’s put this on well I would say 15 backups. Your database is not going to be that big in your backup spacing, not like your files in your images is only pure: where are the texts, what are the texts, who are your users, all the settings of all the plugins, and everything is inside of your database. So let’s keep this on monthly, and 15. But if you’re a blogger and you’re blogging like every single week or maybe every single day, then bump this up to daily or weekly. I think weekly is good and then you should turn it to 30. If you have a webshop with a lot of customers and they’re buying things, your administration is very important. Then you should make a backup of your database every single day. And we want to keep at least 30 backups but feel free to add in more backups.

Connect UpdraftPlus to DropBox

Then we’re going to decide where we want to have this backup. And what I like about UpdraftPlus is that it sends your backups to a remote storage. That way, if your website server explodes or anything you always have backups on someplace else. Now the most popular are Dropbox, which is free, Google drive or Microsoft OneDrive. If you want more like this like SFTP you have to buy a premium version. I’m gonna show you how you can backup your files to Dropbox and Google Drive. Just pick one of them that you don’t use often, as you will need the space for the backup of your entire website. Let us first go to Dropbox. If you click on it and we scroll down. All these settings are actually pretty good we need to have plugins, themes and uploads. You can also exclude folders from the map /uploads/. For example let’s say that you have a podcast, that you’re uploading there, but you also have the offline podcast. Then you should use an exclusion rule for example, and add a file directory or all files with this extension. Which is the most easy, and let’s click on this one. And then we just fill in an extension like MP3 and we press ‘Add an exclusion rule’. Now then none of the MP3 files will be placed in your backup. Which is really useful if you have for example a podcast website.

Install UpdraftPlus the right way

Then we scroll down. Then we have directories found inside of your /wp-content/ website folder. For example upgrade, caching – really important – updraft, backups, MySQL, debug logs all these things don’t need to come inside of your backup, because you don’t need these files inside of your backup file but they tend to use a lot of space. So let’s just disable them. You can add exclusion rules for other directories inside of your /wp-content/ folder. For example again if you have a podcast website you’re not uploading to /uploads/ but you’re uploading to another folder, then we can also just use an MP3 in here, which is the most easiest thing so that everything inside of your WordPress website with an extension MP3 will not be added to the backup. A really useful and a powerful feature. And then we scroll down and before we can connect it to Dropbox we need to press ‘Save changes’. So click on this one. And we’re going to click on this link for the Dropbox account to connect it with our website. Click on it. As you can now see we have been redirected to Dropbox.com and it’s going to authorize UpdraftPlus plugin to our Dropbox. So what we’re gonna do? Is we’re going to log in with our Dropbox information, and then we need to verify that that’s really us. Put in the code over there and press enter. The next thing we need to do is allow UpdraftPlus.com to edit content and few basic information. Press ‘Allow’ and then the only thing we need to press is ‘Complete setup’. and this button will take us to here. Now copy this link just to be sure. And press ‘Complete setup’. And then you need to see this message: “Success: you have authenticated your Dropbox account”. Your name and your quota used. As you can see I’m really old, because when Dropbox just launched they had a sign up offer. If you added another friend to Dropbox with your email, and then you get like a 500 MB of free storage. So I did that.. a lot.

All right everything has been set up we can now see the next backup. It has been planned for after three seconds, so will be good because it’s gonna make an automatic backup right now. And it will start generating files inside of my Dropbox. I’m gonna show you in just a second how it looks inside of my Dropbox folder, so you know what to look for in your Dropbox. Alright that went pretty fast. And if you can now see over here you will see an existing backup: one. If you now go to your Dropbox you can go to ‘Apps’ over here, inside of your Dropbox. And there we have UpdraftPlus.Com. If you click on it. Now you will see the backups that UpdraftPlus has created inside of our Dropbox folder. As you can see these are just zip files of… total MBs are 170 MB. That’s not very much as this website is not very big. But this could easily add up to 1GB or 2GB, totally depending on the size of your website.

Restore a backup from UpdraftPlus

 So if you want to restore your website: “Oh no you’ve been hacked!” and with this ugly images so it’s not alright. So I go back to UpdraftPlus over here, and what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna press ‘Restore’ at my existing backups. Press ‘Restore’ so in the case you’ve only messed up your pages, you can put back your database or you can just restore a revision inside of WordPress. But let’s say I’ve been completely hacked and what I need to do is I need to restore everything in my website. You never know what files are infected. But for this example we’re only going to put back the database. So we press on ‘Next’. And then we’re just gonna wait. Because what’s this gonna do? It’s gonna download the database backup from our Dropbox, put it into WordPress, and then this has been processed. And if you now press ‘Restore’ it will start restoring it. Press it.

Then we can see the activity log. In the activity log you will see all the tables of your database that’s being restored inside of your WordPress installation. Here we go. That was really fast. Restore successful. Then we’re gonna press return to UpdraftPlus configuration. And then we see this message here: “Backup has been restored”. Now let’s see if this actually works. The front page that has been changed, I’m gonna refresh this page. And now you can see that the page has been restored as it should be, so this works excellent. Alright let’s get back to ‘Settings’ and let’s not use Dropbox anymore let’s use Google Drive. So we click on it and we’re gonna scroll down. Always make sure to disconnect services you’re not using anymore. So we go to Dropbox over there, we’re gonna click on UpdraftPlus we’re gonna press on ‘Disconnect’. And delete it if you want it, and press ‘Disconnect’. Very important. Then we’re gonna move from Dropbox. I’m not gonna show you how to connect UpdraftPlus to Google Drive. Click on it over there. Scroll down a little bit it’s going to create a folder called UpdraftPlus and there are the backups. That’s ok.
Then we scroll down and again if you want to exclude some files like MP3 files, do it in over there. And scroll down. And then we’re going to press ‘Save changes’ and after that we need to connect it with Google Drive. As you can see over here ‘Sign in with Google’ so press ‘Sign in’. And then you’re going to select an account you want to use with UpdraftPlus. In my case my Google account. We press ‘Allow’ and we’re gonna press ‘Complete setup’. There we are! You have authenticated your Google Drive account. Drive quota used… we only have seven percent used, and we have a lot of available so that should work. If we scroll down we still have an existing backup in Dropbox over there, but I want to create a new one inside of Google Drive. So I’m going to press ‘Backup now’. Here we go. Include database, files, and send this back up to the remote. And then we press ‘Backup now’. Here we go. and then well done! Your backup has finished running.
Now it’s okay so now you can see we have made more backups. One in Google Drive, one in Dropbox. However if I try to restore this one now it won’t work because I disconnected it. And now you can see in your Google drive there is a UpdraftPlus folder. If you go into there you will find all the zip files that we just also seen in the Dropbox. It’s actually exactly the same. Well done! Now you know how to create backups. Now if you also want to backup it to Microsoft OneDrive, then you would buy the premium version, but you will do great with just Google Drive and Dropbox. Now if you want to migrate or clone your website you can use the updraft clone version, but I also created a amazing video about this right here, that will show you exactly how to do this completely for free. Now I also want to show you really quick the advanced tools. Which are all premium features, except for the site size. If you press on ‘Count’ you will see the size of your entire website. which is just pretty fun. This also counts for the database size if you go in there you can see the size of your database. Really interesting, and on the export settings this can be very useful if you have multiple websites, just press on export settings and then you can import it on another website, and it has been automatically connected to your OneDrive or your Dropbox. Really useful. If you have any questions, or you just want to say ‘Thank you Matt’ drop them down in the comments, I always reply.

Hit that like button if it was useful for you, and feel free to subscribe over there to see more interesting WordPress videos. And of course check out this video, which I have no backup of! No backup….?