How to Restore Your WordPress Website Using Updraft Plus
In this video, I wanted go through how to restore your WordPress website using UpdraftPlus – a free plugin that allows you to run and schedule backups of your website.
In this example, this is a test website that I’ve set up, and when I go to the front end, you’ll see there’s not really anything here. I’m using some default Divi layouts for a project workbook that I’m creating. There’s nothing here too precious that I’m worried about losing. But…I’m still running backups on this website.
So, firstly, let’s take a look at where the backups saved. Once you’ve installed the UpdraftPlus plugin, and you go into the settings, the dashboard area is where you see everything.
What you can see as a snapshot is:
- The current status – my last backup was run today
- Existing backups – where it keeps the copies of the files
- Settings – where you determine how many of these files are kept
I’ve set it to save 3 copies of my entire file backup and 3 of just the database. You can specify that and make those changes to whatever you think is relevant for you – based on how often you’re working on your website.
How Updraft Plus works
What UpdraftPlus does is separate all these files out into the different elements. You end up with a backup of
- Your plugins
- The themes
- Images that you’ve uploaded
- Other bits and pieces
- The database (which is where all your content is stored)
When doing a restore, you don’t have to restore your website back in its entirety to a previous version. For exampke yu can just roll back a plugin – if an update to that plugin has caused a problem.
Rolling Back a Plugin Using Updraft Plus
So, let’s look at how we might do that as a starting point.
If I go here into my plugins area, I’ve got this Image Optimizer plugin installed.
At the moment, it’s version 3.0.2 and there’s a new version here. So, I’m going to update that plugin to this new version. And we can see here it’s now version 3.1.1.
Let’s say that it’s caused something on my website to break and I want to roll it back.
I’ll go back into the Updraft Plus and I’m going to click the restore button.
Here it’s going to ask me, which of these elements I want to restore, and I select the plugins only.
It shows a message saying it’s been done and to press restore again to proceed. (You have to do it twice, so you can’t do it by accident.) And then it comes to this page that says it’s restored everything.
Because this is the free version of the plugin, it doesn’t give you the option to pick which plugin that it’s restored. And so it has done all of them.
Good practice before you make any updates to things like your plugins or your themes, is to run that backup and then update them one at a time, so that if you do have to roll it back you’re not losing those updates that you’ve done in the meanwhile.
And we now go back here into the plugins area, and you can see now it’s gone back to that older version and it’s telling you that I need to update. In other words, it’s rolled it back to before that update.
Restore Other Parts of Your Website Using UpdraftPlus
And that principle works across all those different files in the backups.
If you update your theme, and that update breaks your website, you can choose to restore just the theme.
The database works on the same principle.
Before running your restore, there’s a link here that you should click and it gives you some understanding of how the rest of the restore process works and if there are any problems or risks that you need to be aware of.
The main risk (to give you a quick overview of what this says) is that if you have a really large website or you’re on a shared server and you’re not allocated a lot of resources, that it could timeout midway through a backup and you could have half of one thing and half as the other.
And the main worry with that has to do with your database.
So just be aware that there are some very small risks. But if you do get a problem, UpdraftPlus do have a help forum so you can contact them and you can contact your host as well.
However, they have set this up to minimise those risks and that’s why they’ve got it broken up into these separate files. So you’re only doing one piece at a time rather than trying to do the whole website at once.
If you do want to roll-back the entire website, just do one piece at a time, and do the database last. And that way, you’re maximising your chances of nothing going wrong
OK, that’s it – it’s really straightforward!
And I hope you can see that the benefits of having these backups. They give you the confidence that you’ve got the content of your website saved, and in case of anything going wrong, you can easily roll things back.
Ready to jump in and build your website?
Why not sign up to my FREE course – WordPress in a Day. It’s packed with all the information you need to get your website project up and running in no time (without all the tech-headaches and You Tube wormholes).