How to Backup WordPress for Free

There are several ways to backup your WordPress website. In this article I’m going to show you how to backup WordPress for free using a plugin called UpdraftPlus.

(I am not an affiliate for this company. I just use their plugin and use it on all my client’s sites.)

NOTE: It is very important to backup your website “offsite” – on a different server than where your site is hosted.

For this tutorial you will need…

  • A self-hosted WordPress website
  • Administrative access to your WordPress dashboard
  • A free Google account

Step 1: Install the UpdraftPlus plugin

  • Navigate to the Plugins tab in your WordPress dashboard and select “Add New.”
  • type ‘updraftplus’ into the search field on the right and hit enter.
  • You will see an option for a plugin called UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin.
  • Click Install Now button. Once the plugin has installed it will turn into an Activate button.
  • Click the Activate button.

Step 2: Configure Your Settings

NOTE: Before completing these steps, you may want to make sure that you are logged in to your Google account.

After the plugin has been activated, any number of things could be presented to you, depending on where the plugin is at in its development.

You can ignore any of those screen prompts. The main thing you want to do is get to the Settings tab on the plugin page.

  • To get to the UpdraftPlus plugin page, you’ll need to navigate to the main Settings tab in the WordPress admin dashboard menu and click the UpdraftPlus Backups link… (Hint: if it’s not there yet, just refresh your page.)

  • From the UpdraftPlus plugin page, click on the Settings tab…

  • Set the frequency you would like your site to be backed up. You can leave it set to Manual, which means you have to go in and click the Backup button every time you want to back up your site, or you can set it to a pre-determined interval. You can also decide how many backups you want to keep stored. If you select 2, for example, UpdraftPlus will delete older backups. You will do this for both your files and your database.

  • In the ‘Choose your remote storage’ section, select Google Drive…

After you have selected this, a new section of the page will open up with more options. For now, we will leave everything at the default settings.

Lastly, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the ‘Save Changes’ button.

Step 3: Authorize Your Connection

NOTE: For this step you will definitely need to be logged in to your Google account.

Once you have clicked the ‘Save Changes’ button in the previous step, you may be presented with a popup box message like this one…

If you are logged in to your Google account, you can go ahead and click on the authorization link in that box.

If you did not see that popup box, or have closed it out, no worries. You can simply navigate back to the Google Drive section of the page and click on the authorization link there…

Once you click on that, you will be redirected to a Google authorization page. If you have multiple Google accounts, you may be asked to select which Google account you wish to use.

Once you have clicked ‘Allow’ to allow Google access to your site, you will be redirected to yet another page where you will see the UpdraftPlus logo. At the bottom of that page you will need to click the ‘Complete Setup’ button.

Step 4: Back Up Your Site

Once you have authorized Google, you will most likely be redirected to the main page for the UpdraftPlus plugin. You will notice that you do not have any backups yet. You can now click the big blue ‘Backup Now’ button…

Congratulations! If you’ve made it this far, you’ve successfully installed your plugin and are ready for backups.

If you didn’t make it this far, congratulate yourself anyhow…you know…for trying!

NOTE: If your website has a lot of content in can take quite a while to back it up. Be patient.