Backing up and Restoring a WordPress to/from Google Drive

As part of the Domain of One’s Own Initiative at MSU, we work with many people on maintaining their own websites, usually as WordPress installations. By default, WordPress installations in Reclaim Hosting backup to Reclaim itself, but this process often creates frustration for our users, as they are allotted a limited amount of storage space and don’t want backups clogging that up. That said, backing up your website is essential!

Below are instructions for how to backup your site to an external cloud storage location, and then how use that backup to restore your site. This process relies on the free version of the WordPress plugin, Updraft Plus.

Backing up your WordPress site to Google Drive

  1. Login to the dashboard of your site and go to the Add Plugins area by clicking “Plugins” on the left menu bar
  2. Install and activate UpdraftPlus plugin
  3. Click “Press here to start” at the prompt
  4. Go to “settings”, check the files and database backup schedule that you would like (leaving the defaults is absolutely fine), and select where you would like to backup to. Here, we are backing up to Google Drive. However, you could use OneDrive, Dropbox, AWS, etc.

    Then, scroll down the page, leaving the default settings checked, and click “Save Changes”
  5. A box will appear; click on the text link in the center
  6. You will be asked to select which Google account you want to use
  7. And then to authorize Updraft to have access to your Google account by clicking “allow”
  8. Then click “Complete setup”
  9. This will take you back to the dashboard of your wordpress site, where you can click “Backup Now”
  10. Leave the default options selected and click “Backup Now”
  11. You can tell that the backup succeeded by seeing the backup in the list below. You can download the backup to your computer if you would like to keep a copy locally as an extra backup.
  12. If you go to your Google Drive account, you will see a folder called “Updraft Plus”, which will hold all the backup files

Restoring your site from a Backup saved in Google Drive

  1. Click “restore” next to the backup version that you want to restore
  2. Select all the checkboxes and click ‘next’
  3. This will start the restoration process (pictured below). It will take a few minutes. Once it’s done downloading backup files, click “Restore”
  4. This begins the restoration process. It will take a few minutes. Once it is complete, you can click “Return to UpdraftPlus configuration”
  5. This will take you back to the WordPress dashboard of your site. Check that the site looks as you expect. Then, you can ‘Delete old directories” which will clear up space in your Drive
  6. Once you see “old directories successfully removed” then you are done!

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