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How do I make a backup of my website?

Originally published: April 18, 2019

How do I perform a backup of my website? This is one of the most common questions I receive from clients. And it's a good question, as maintaining backups of your website is important should anything happen where your site needs to be restored. Here, I'll explain the easy way I take backups of my websites, and what I always recommend to my clients.

Is having a backup of my website really necessary?

Yes. ;) It is. There are so many technical components going on in even the simplest of websites - the code, the servers, the browsers, not to mention constant software updates of all of those. Not to sound dramatic, but all it takes is for two components to somehow not be compatible anymore to "break" your website somehow. Luckily, if you don't do much tinkering with the back-end of your site, this probably won't happen as often as non-programmers trying to tweak code themselves (you know who you are). Still, having copies of everything ready to go will help get your website back up (pun intended) in no time so your users aren't in the dark for any longer than necessary. Taking regular backups or automating this is especially important if you have a blog or update your content regularly.

How to make a backup of your website.

This is how I make backups of my website, and it's simple enough that I recommend the same method to my clients. It's really only about 3 steps, but I broke down every little step for beginners to now be 13.

Step 1:

From your WordPress dashboard, in the left toolbar, go to the PLUGINS tab. How do I make a backup of my website - J and Jo Web Design Step 1

Step 2:

Under the Plugins tab, click ADD NEW. Image of step 2

Step 3:

Search for UPDRAFTPLUS. Image of step 3

Step 4:

Find the UpdraftPlus plugin and click the INSTALL NOW button. Once it is installed, press the ACTIVATE button. (Mine was already activated so it says "Active" in the image. Image of step 4

Step 5:

Now go to the UpdraftPlus plugin settings by going to SETTINGS and then click  UPDRAFTPLUS BACKUPS. Image of step 5

Step 6:

Click the SETTINGS tab. Image of step 6

Step 7:

Click DROPBOX, then scroll down and click SAVE. (You can definitely do another saving option if you like, I just think that Dropbox is the easiest one. Image of step 7

Step 8:

This pop up will appear asking you to authorize the storage option. Click the link. Image of step 8

Step 9:

Complete the setup by clicking the button COMPLETE SETUP. Image of step 9

Step 10:

Once you've connected your Dropbox account, now start a backup by pressing the blue button labelled BACKUP NOW. Image of step 10

Step 11:

A pop up will appear asking what you want to back up, make sure the first 3 options are checked, and then click BACKUP NOW. Image of step 11

Step 12:

A backup should start, this may take a few minutes (the bigger your site, the longer it may take. It also depends on your internet speed). If your backups seems to be taking forever (like more than 15 minutes), then your website files might be huge and you might want to check that out by calling your hosting provider and asking why that is the case. Image of step 12

Step 13:

Your site should be backed up! You can check by looking in the EXISTING BACKUPS section to see if it's there. I also recommend checking your Dropbox account to see if they are now there as well. Image of step 13

Do you have any other recommendations of backing up websites? Let me and the viewers know in the comments below!

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