Creating and restoring backups with UpdraftPlus

Creating and restoring backups with UpdraftPlus

If I have setup a WordPress website for you, you should have a backup plugin installed called UpdraftPlus. I normally install and configure the backup on your behalf, but while it is perfectly possible to just let it run in the background and ignore it, it is worth knowing a bit about how it works and how to use it.

What UpdraftPlus does

Periodically, it takes a backup of your websites themes, plugins and database. The backups are compressed into zip files before being sent to a remote storage location. Initially the backups are sent to storage that I have setup but this can be easily changed.

The period between backups will be different depending on how often you update your site. If you don’t update you site that often, it may only backup every week or month. If you are an avid blogger and update you site every day or so, you will probably need it set to backup every day. The plugin can also run a backup automatically when you update WordPress, your themes, or your plugins.

You can change where the backups are sent, along with the backup schedule, in the settings tab of plugin settings page.

How you create a backup

The main UpdraftPlus plugin page can be found under the settings section of the WordPress menu. The current status tab should be opened automatically and should include a button to create a new backup.

When you start a new backup, you will first be asked what you want included in the backup. You will also have the opportunity to give the backup a label so you can identify it easily.

one time backup window

Clicking “Back Up Now” should then initiate the backup process. You will be able to see how it is progressing via the progress bar that is then displayed on the current status tab.

current status window

Once complete, you can then go to the Existing Backups tab where you should see your new backup.

How you restore a backup

The Existing Backups tab will show a list of your available backups along with buttons to restore the backup of your choice.

existing backups window

When you initiate the restoration of a backup, a window will popup asking you what parts of the backup you wish to restore. In most cases you will probably want to tick everything but if you just need something specific, such as to restore the theme folder because your theme has been broken somehow, this is where you can specify that.

restore backup window

When you click restore, UpdraftPlus will retrieve the backup files from the remote storage and prepare them for being restored. This can take a few minutes depending on the size of your site and the hosting platform you are on.

Once it shows the message “The backup archive files have been successfully processed. Now press Restore again to proceed.” you will know it is ready to restore the backup.

When you initiate the final step of the restoration process, it will take you to a page where it will output all the messages relating to the restoration process. Again this can take a few minutes but eventually it should display a line saying “Restore successful!” at the bottom.

The last step you will need to do is to remove the old files. When running a restoration, UpdraftPlus moves the existing files out of the way first and marks them as old. Once we are happy the restoration has been successful and there are no issues, we need to remove these old files.

Navigating back to the Current Status tab, you should now see the option to “Delete Old Directories”. Clicking this button will remove the old files and folders.

old directories