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WordPress Backup

Jan 18, 2022

WordPress Backup 2022- Why I find Duplicator Pro the best plugin

WordPress Backup - Duplicator Pro

Introduction to WordPress Backup

It is vital for WordPress users to backup their WordPress websites, so they don’t lose their content if something happens, like a hacking attack or server crash. In this blog post, I will talk about why WordPress backups are needed, what options you have for backing up your WordPress site, and why I use Duplicator Pro, and you should too.

WordPress is a popular CMS platform. According to WordPress itself, it powers more than 42% of all websites on the internet, and it’s growing.

Why is a WordPress backup essential?

WordPress is a fantastic platform, but it’s also vital to remember that your site’s success is dependent on its backups. If something goes wrong – whether it’s a hacker attack, server crash, or simple mistake – you’ll be glad you have a recent backup to restore.

Backups are also essential for moving your WordPress site to a new host or upgrading to a recent version of WordPress. Plus, they can come in handy if you ever need to hand over your WordPress site to someone else.

Another reason you need WordPress backups is that your hosting company might disappear overnight – yes, no joke, this happens more often, thank you think. – In this case, you can restore your website from the backup file using Duplicator Pro and have your website up and running again in minutes or hours with another hoster.

What does a WordPress Backup Include?

A WordPress backup includes the following components:

  • WordPress core
  • All the contents folders (plugins, themes) with media files which makes up the structure of the website
  • MySQL database includes all your page and posts contents and comments. Further, all the admin options you set up in WordPress are stored in the database.

Method 1:
Backup WordPress Through Your Hosting

The first way to backup WordPress is through your hosting account. This will allow you to save a copy of your website as it exists on the server. It can include all of your files, as well as your database. To do this, you’ll need to log in to your hosting account and look for the backup tool. The process for creating a backup will vary depending on your host, but most will have a simple, guided process.

Any good hosting company has a backup tool. If your hosting company supports CPanel, you will have the backup option. Siteground has its own Site tools with backup as well. In addition, all hosting companies offer to keep multiple backups, which means you can also restore an older backup.

The backup option varies from performing it automatically each day or manually only. Best is if you have the option of both automatic backups each day and keeping them for some days or having the option to make a manual backup before you make a more significant change.

Method 2:
Backup WordPress Manually

To backup WordPress manually, you need to download all your files and database from your WordPress site. You can then save these files on your computer or an external hard drive.

Download Files

The WordPress directory contains:

  • Sub-folders wp-admin
  • Wp-content
  • Wp-includes files starting with wp-(wp_config.php) required by your WordPress site

The wp-content folder contains all your themes, plugins, cache, and uploads, among other things. The wp-admin has all of the files necessary for your WordPress administration area. WordPress’s core files are kept in the wp-includes folder. The wp-includes folder is where all of WordPress’s most important code is stored.

There are two ways to download WordPress files.

  1. Go to CPanel or Site Tools (Siteground), File Manager, locate the WordPress directory, that’s usually public_html or home. If you have more than one WordPress installed, the directory’s name is different. With CPanel, you cannot directly download folders and files. You need to compress it first. Select the directory you want to back up and click ‘compress.’ A ZIP file will be created in the folder you selected. Afterward, download the compressed ZIP file to your hard drive.
  2. Use an FTP client like FileZilla (Windows or MAC or WinSCP (Windows only) and log in to your hosting account. Please be aware you need an FTP login account. From there, you can copy all your files to your local hard drive.

Download Database

Go to PHPMyAdmin (under Database section in CPanel). On the left side of PHPMyAdmin, you see all the databases available. Now which one belongs to which WordPress installation? If you are unsure, there is a way to figure it out. Open the WP-config.php file, which is in the root directory of WordPress.

In PHPMyAdmin, select the database on the left side and click ‘Export’ on the top bar. Make sure to choose ‘SQL’ as the format. Save the file locally.

As you see, a WordPress backup manually is a very technical process and needs a lot of knowledge and time. The following method is easier and my preferred way for WordPress backup.

Method 3:
Backup WordPress Automatically with the plugin Duplicator Pro

If you don’t want to backup WordPress through your hosting account or manually, you can use a WordPress plugin. It is an excellent option if you want more control over the backup process or if you need to include specific files in your backup. There are many different WordPress plugins available, so be sure to choose one that fits your needs.

In your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins, Add new and type in the search box ‘backup.’ You will notice there are a lot of backup plugins available. 

WordPress Backup repository

My favorite plugin is Duplicator Pro, available as a free edition or paid (Pro).

What to look for when choosing a WordPress plugin

When looking for a WordPress backup plugin or tool, you’ll want to consider the following:

– Ease of use: The plugin or tool should be easy to use, so you can quickly and easily create backups of your WordPress site.

– Backup frequency: How often does the plugin or tool back up your WordPress site? You’ll want to choose one that backs up your site regularly, so you don’t have to worry about losing your data.

– File format: The plugin or tool should save your backups in a file format that’s easy to restore, such as .zip or .tar.gz.

– Storage options: Does the plugin or tool allow you to store your backups on your server or NAS, or does it send them to an off-site storage provider?

WordPress backup plugin: Duplicator Pro

Duplicator Pro is one of the most popular. I use Duplicator Pro on all of my websites. It has two versions: free and paid (PRO). The Pro version includes backup scheduling, Cloud Storage (AWS, DropBox, GoogleDrive, FTP, and OneDrive), support for bigger sites with more than 1GB of data.

Duplicator creates two files during the backup process: a PHP file and an archive file. The archive file contains everything in it (All files and database). In addition, Duplicator also includes the WordPress core files in the archive file.


  • schedule automatic backup
  • lots of integration with cloud storage provider
  • back up WordPress core files
  • simple package (two files)
  • reliable


  • interface not easy to understand

Restoring From a Backup

A backup is then a good backup when the restore process is successful. Make sure you test your backups before something happens, and you lose all of your content! Depending on which method (1,2, or 3) you’re using to back WordPress up, restoring your WordPress site may be easier or more difficult.

If you’re using a WordPress backup plugin, restoring your WordPress site is usually as simple as clicking a button to download and restore your site.

Restoring WordPress Backups Using Duplicator

I’ll show you how simple it is to recover a WordPress website from backup with the Duplicator Pro plugin. As previously said, the backup files are made up of two files: a PHP file and an archive file (ZIP).

WordPress backup - Duplicator Pro backup files

The PHP file ends with the extension. PHP and has the word installer in it. Usually, the file has a very long file name. The same is for the archive file.

For example, if you move your website to another hosting company, you may use a backup from your current hosting company to restore it to the new host. Copy both files – depending on the backup location – to the new hosting company. To upload both files, you have two options using the file manager of Cpanel or FTP. Once copied, both files go to your browser and enter the domain followed by a / and the PHP file name.

The installation of Duplicator Pro begins with a wizard that will walk you through the process. You need to enter the database name, user, and password. Click the ‘verify’ button, and Duplicator Pro will quick check. If everything is okay, you can continue, and Duplicator Pro will install WordPress from the backup.

Although it’s much simpler to restore directly from a backup, you should know that you must first create the MySQL database and user before restoring.

Duplicator Pro doesn’t need a WordPress installation for restoring, unlike UpdraftPlus or WPvivid. In general, most other backup plugins I’ve seen require that you install WordPress and the backup software first before recovering a backup. Duplicator Pro is the only program in its class that doesn’t need it; consequently, it’s my go-to WordPress backup tool.

Which WordPress backup method is best?

Better safe than sorry. I recommend using a mix between Method 1 and Method 3. Choose a hosting company that offers daily backups in their plan. Also, use a backup plugin and backup your website to a storage cloud provider. If you have a NAS locally, back up to the NAS using FTP. In that case, you have copies locally too. When using Duplicator Pro, as mentioned, no prior WordPress installation is required, and you can quickly restore to another host.

At least three copies are required to maintain a disaster recovery plan. One copy is your production website, one copy is the daily backup of your hosting company, and the third copy is on a separate device locally or remotely on a NAS, Google Drive, or OneDrive.

The bottom line is

So many things can go wrong with your website. A WordPress backup is highly recommended. With a solid backup plugin, you’re in good hands. WordPress backups are like insurance for your website. You might not need it, but if something happens, you’ll be glad you have it! Duplicator Pro will help you get your website up and running in no time with many installations required.

You can also use Duplicator Pro to make a second test (staging) website to try things like a new theme or another page builder.

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Any purchases made from clicks on links to products on this page may result in an affiliate commission for me.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases
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