A Full Proof Guide to Backing Up Your WordPress Account

By: Steven Monson | Fri, Jan 22, 2021

In an ideal world, websites should just work… And most of the time, they do.

But we all know that things happen.  Occasionally, something catastrophic can happen.  Maybe a plugin update makes the entire website crash and it needs to be restored, or maybe a nuclear bomb falls on your hosting company’s server room.

Automatic Backups at EZ-NetTools

EZ-NetTools.com automatically backs up all our WordPress accounts every night (usually between midnight and 3:00am).

So if you make a big OOPS, you can call in restore the backup from 1:00am that morning.  This is great for little accidents or unforeseen problems.

For many people this is all they need.  But some website owners need the assurance that even if the worst was to happen, there’s a copy of their website on a separate server.

Advanced Third Party Backups

When you need extra peace of mind, back up your website to a third party.

Updrafts Plus

There are lots of backup plugins on the market but Updrafts Plus is the most popular.

Here’s how to use it…

Diagram of the Updrafts Plus Settings page.
1. Install Updrafts, then go to Settings > Updrafts Plus Backups.
2. Click the Settings Tab (at the top)
3. Decide how often you want to back up your website’s Database and Files.
4. Choose a storage solution (like Dropbox or Google Drive).
5. Scroll to the bottom and hit “Save Changes”.
Once you hit Save Changes, you’ll be asked to verify your storage solution.   You’ll need to log into your Google Drive or Dropbox account so it can sync.

How Often Should I Do Backups?

This depends on how often you update your website.  Here are some Rules of thumb…

Back up the database every day if any of the following apply…

  • You have an e-commerce website that gets regular sales
  • You make changes to your website at least once a week.

Your Files backup schedule should only be once a week or once a month for most websites.  Backing up files usually takes much more storage than the database, so daily backups can cause you to use up the space on your storage solution quickly.

Where to Store the Backups

There are lots of places you might store your backups.  We can back them up to Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, or we can even FTP them to a local computer.  

For most website owners, I’d recommend Google Drive or Dropbox.

How Many Backups Should I Keep?

The answer to this question depends on how big your website is, and how much storage space you have.

For active websites, we recommend backing up the database daily, but only backing up the site files weekly (to save space).  For databases: You could store 90 days of database backups or even  365 (so you have a year’s worth).

As for you file backups You could save 13 (if you want 3 months worth) or 52 (if you want a year of backups).

If you tend to update your website infrequently, you might just back up the website (database and files) once a month or twice a month.  In which case you could keep 12 backups.


Depending on how much space you need, doing backups could cost nothing.  You can download Updrafts Free version and sync to a free Google Drive or Dropbox.  Or you could occasionally do a manual downloaded backup.

However, if you website is large and you want more than just a few backups, you may need to pay for additional storage space.  You also might consider using the Premium version of Updrafts Pro.

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