Written by Editorial Team on August 17, 2020

How To Backup WordPress Website [Ultimate Guide 2020]

Having a reliable backup of your WordPress site is important. In this post, we'll cover how to back up a WordPress site in five simple steps and popular ways you can perform automatic and manual backups.

Why is backing up a WordPress site important?

Backup a WordPress site is important because it helps you to deter any unwanted issues such as the white screen of death, sudden inaccessible to WordPress backend, updates gone wrong or repairing a WordPress site that was hacked.

With backups in place, you can restore your WordPress site in just a few clicks, instead of losing all the data altogether. 


Did you know that as important as back up is, there are many web hosting companies that do not offer daily backup? Don't fall for the cheap web hosting track. Let us give you a hand.

The process of backup a WordPress site involves making copies of the website files and storing them either in your root folder or keeping them in a third party document saving tool such as Dropbox.

Step by step guide in making a full WordPress site backup using cPanel

How to backup WordPress site manually or with a plugin?
~How to backup WordPress site manually or with a plugin?

cPanel hosting is one of the most popular web hosting solutions for WordPress website owners. It is cheap, affordable and most importantly, easy to use for beginners. While cPanel hosting may be a popular choice, going with this option may also lead to some challenges in web hosting especially when you are using a bad web host.

When your hosting company are experiencing one or more server outages, it is a sign that you need to change web hosting company. CTA

Server outages could also result in loss of data unexpectedly. So, it is paramount for you to ensure that you have a backup (or backups) in place, in case of anything goes bad.

Here's how to back up a WordPress site using cPanel.

1. Login to your cPanel hosting

cPanel Hosting Dashboard
~cPanel Hosting Dashboard

This is how the cPanel looks like on the backend. You can often access your cPanel hosting by going to or speak to your web hosting company and the support would be able to give you a direct link to the backend.

2. Search for the backup option

How to perform website backup using cPanel
~How to perform website backup using cPanel

The backup options in cPanel are often tagged as "Backup", "Backup Wizard" or even "Jetbackup" for some web hosting solutions.

The easiest way to perform a full backup using cPanel hosting is by using the Backup Wizard option.

3. Getting started with backing up your WordPress site

How to backup a site using cPanel
~How to backup a site using cPanel

In this screen, you will see 3 steps which are BackUp or Restore, Full or Partial Backup and Download.

Start performing backups by selecting Back Up.

Next, choose either Full Backup or Partial Backup. We recommend you to choose Full Backup in order to backup everything on the site. This backup option takes longer to backup (larger in size) but it is by far the safest and most complete method to backup a site using cPanel.

If you select Partial Backup, you can choose either one of these options:

  • Home directory
  • MySQL databases
  • Email forwarders & filters

Lastly, select the Backup Destination (Home Directory is the common option) and an email address where you will receive a notification once the backup is completed. Press Generate Backup to start the backup process.

Step by step guide in making a full WordPress site backup using managed WordPress hosting

One of the advantages of using a managed WordPress hosting solution is that you will get automated daily backups of your WordPress site. However, what to do if you want to make a full website backup out of the blue?

It is important to note that managed WordPress hosting solutions often offer custom hosting control panels. Therefore, it may vary from solutions to solutions. We are using Kinsta hosting (here's our Kinsta hosting review that you might find useful) and the following guide is "how to perform a full website backup using Kinsta hosting."

1. Login to managed WordPress hosting control panel

Kinsta Hosting Dashboard
~Kinsta Hosting Dashboard

This is how it looks like on Kinsta hosting backend. It is important to remember that most managed WordPress hosting solutions offer automatic backups. While performing self-backup is a good practice, this is often not required in most cases.

2. Getting ready with backups

Next, select the site of choice and click on Backups. You will be able to see several backup options for your WordPress site including DailyHourly and Manual.

Backup WordPress site using Kinsta hosting
~Backup WordPress site using Kinsta hosting

Choose Manual to get start a manual WordPress backup.

Depending on your Kinsta hosting plans, you may be given several backup slots. On our hosting account, we are given 5 manual backups with each manual backups being stored for 14 days.

Manual backup using Kinsta hosting
~Manual backup using Kinsta hosting

Click Back up now to start the backup process. You may add a simple note to identify the backup such as "backup before updating to WordPress 5.5."

Here's a list of FAQ about website backups that you will definitely find useful.

How often should you back up WordPress sites?

There is no 'golden rule' when it comes to back up a WordPress site. However, we strongly recommend you to perform a manual backup at least once a week while setting up automatic daily backup services.

How many backups should I keep?

As the backup files could easily eat up your disk space, it is important to keep only the latest files in it, typically the latest 3 or 7 days in your vault.

Can backups be automated in WordPress?

The answer is " yes" . Automatic daily backup is common in managed WordPress hosting solutions such as Kinsta and WP Engine. If you are not sure, we recommend you to speak to your web hosting partner to know more.

Should I use third-party plugins to backup WordPress?

WordPress backup plugins are designed to make the process of backing up easier and more reliable. If your web hosting doesn't offer daily backup or you want to have a good secondary option for backup, you should definitely use WordPress backup plugins.

Which is the best backup plugin for WordPress?

Choosing the best backup plugin for WordPress is challenging. Reliability is critically important in any backup business and at WP Maven, we use Updraft Plus and WPvivid to perform external backups for our clients.

This means that we set the backup process to run at certain time, and exporting the backups to our external data storage for safekeeping.

You can take a look at Updraft Plus or WPvivid here.

Why use a third-party backup plugin for WordPress?

Backup plugins are used by WordPress owners, freelancers and developers because they prefer to have an additional backup plan in case the primary backup option doesn't kick in automatically (by the web hosting). Plus, third-party backup plugins are often more reliable in backups with multiple notifications that you can customize to fit your needs.

Summary: How to backup a WordPress site?

The process of backing up a WordPress site is critically important especially for WordPress security.

We hope that you find this guide useful especially when it comes to backing up your WordPress site quickly and correctly. Leave a comment or contact us here if you need help!

Article written by Editorial Team

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