Backup WordPress without a Plugin

3 Rules – How to Backup WordPress without a Plugin

Backing up a website is critical for every website owner. Whether you are only a beginner or a successful lead developer, you definitely don’t want to skip this step. Backing up the WordPress website regularly protects you from hackers and keeps your previous versions available in case they need to be restored.

Basically, without a good backup plan, you are at a very high risk of losing your work on the website.

Despite the large number of back up plugins available, some people prefer not using automated plugins to keep their information safe. ‘’I simply find the disadvantages being overwhelming. Personally, I prefer to back up my site without using plugins.’’ – says Melissa Rand, a blogger and writer.

Why Not Use a WordPress Backup Plugin?

Knowing that there are so many options for backup plugins on the web, why would you opt for a manual plugin? After all, the majority of WordPress website owners use such plugins and consider them to be a great solution.

Those who stay far away from such plugins have their own set of reasons to choose an alternative approach. Here are some of the reasons why you might want to reconsider using a backup plugin:

  • Minimized use of plugins

You’re probably using many plugins for your website. All website owners do. It is often tempting to use plugins and get all the help you can get, but overdoing it can ruin your website’s performance. Because of this, many website owners decide to take the minimalist approach and use only the most crucial plugins on their WordPress websites.

Moreover, with the increased number of plugins you use on your site, the odds of a plugin conflict and a compromised plugin are that much increased.

  • More customized backup approach

Many plugins are great and highly useful, but some still prefer to have a more customized approach for their website. As Evan Kopecky, IT expert says: ‘’Some marketers simply want to enjoy more control over the backup of their websites. It is very understandable when you think about it.’’

  • Enhanced website security

A more customized, manual approach can also provide you with an increase of security. With the efforts to minimize the plugins that have access to the data on your website, you are making your website safer.

Rules on How to Back up the Website without Using a Plugin

Even though getting a plugin to back up your website is much simpler, many still decide that the alternative is a better choice. If you are one of these people, here are the three most important things you need to know:

  • Do Both Automated and Manual Backup

When you think of backing up a site without plugins, you automatically think of a manual backup. It sounds difficult, but once you learn how to do it, it is actually quite simple.

To create manual backups, use the hosting control panel and the backup wizard. This tool will help you restore the previous versions and backup the site.

In case you don’t want to use the backup wizard, you can open the file manager within your cPanel, locate the files and download your backup, as well as the WordPress database.

Of course, you should also keep in mind that your computer is not always the safest place to keep your data. It’s always a smart idea to have several backups for your website. In this way, if one of them is compromised, you’ll still have your data available to you if you backup your website on a cloud server.

In addition to manual backups, you should consider using automatic backups. Aside from plugins used for backup, you can also do an automatic backup at the server level. Most have automatic backup offers for free or for a small fee, depending on the host you’ve chosen for your WordPress website. Find out if your host keeps automatic backups on a different server than the one your website is stored on.

  • Backup the Website via FTP

FTP is not as frequently used because of its technical nature, but many prefer to add this to the list of security measures for their website. You can back up your website via FTP in the following ways:

  • Open up FileZilla or Cyberduck and connect to your website
  • Locate the files on your website
  • Download and save the files

When doing this, don’t forget to select the hidden files, too. This will help you safely download and store the backup, including your WordPress database.

  • Do Frequent Backups

If you decide not to use a plugin, it is your responsibility to do frequent backups. Backing up the website once is simply not enough, especially not if you update it frequently in terms of design, functionality and content.

For websites where you publish and change things often, try to do a backup at least once a month. If you have a website that doesn’t change a lot, you can do it less often.

Basically, it all comes down to which version is more important to you. If you have a new version you wouldn’t want to lose, it is time to back up the site.

When it comes to backups, don’t rely on only one choice. There’s not an ideal number of backups you should use, but doing just one thing to keep your data safe still exposes you to big risks.

WordPress recommends keeping more than just one backup copy, so try not to back up only on the server level. You should consider backing up your data on your desktop, hard drive, a cloud, or even a CD.

The Bottom Line

Keeping the data on your website safe is very important, especially if you’ve invested a lot of time and effort into creating the best design and content possible. In only seconds, everything you’ve worked on can disappear. With the right backup routine, you can reduce the risks of this happening. If you want to do this without a plugin, we hope that you will find our tips helpful.


Becky Holton is a real expert in education. She has been working as a writer for 7 years at Paper Writing Pro, Assignment Holic, UK Best Essays. She is a successful blogger who writes about education technologies tips at She likes to read literature and to drive fast cars. She enjoys her work at Best Essays and she wants to share her knowledge with others. Find her on Twitter.
Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at 85ideas is a team of WordPress experts led by Brian Harris. Here to share amazing tuts, guides and collections.

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