Automating your wordpress backup is easily done with a plugin. In this example we’re going to use UpdraftPlus which is free to use unless you want more advanced features. You will also need a Dropbox account for storing the backup files.
Before installing UpdraftPlus I would highly recommend doing a manual backup first. This is always a good idea before making any changes to your wordpress blog. Just in case you have any problems running the plugin.
Also, if you have a large number of big images then you may want to skip backing up the entire uploads folder automatically and do that part manually yourself. This will drastically cut down the length of time for each backup and will reduce the chance of problems. I’ve had problems with the length of time the backup was taking on a particular site with a lot of images. Doing a manual backup of the images means you can choose to download only the folders that are likely to have changed since the last backup was made.
In your WordPress Dashboard, go to the Plugins section.
Use the Add New link and search for updraft. You want to install ‘UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration’, seen here on the right. Click the ‘Install Now’ button.
Now go to the Plugins section and find UpdraftPlus. You need to configure the plugin via the Settings link.
This brings you to the initial UpdraftPlus settings. You can see that no backups have been done yet.
In the Reporting section you can configure an email address which will be notified whenever a backup is run.
I choose to use my Dropbox account for the backups. Select Dropbox in the dropdown list and save the changes.
Leave the checkboxes empty to do a full backup of everything. If you have a lot of images or very large ones, then you can just back up the database and do a manual backup of the files less regularly.
Now go back to the Settings page and decide how regularly you want to run a backup. In this example, I’ve configured a database backup for once a week. The files – plugins and themes will be backed up once a month. I have unchecked the Uploads folder and will handle that manually. Make sure to ‘Save Changes’ at the bottom of the page.
And that’s it. UpdraftPlus will handle backing up your wordpress blog for you. If something nasty happens to your blog you will be able to retrieve the backup files from your Dropbox folder.