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Back up WordPress Before Updates: A Must-Do Guide

Understanding why it’s crucial to back up WordPress before updates is a cornerstone of successful website management. Any website is a collection of precious data, with WordPress sites no exception. Every piece of data is a critical part of your site’s identity and functionality, from your themes and plugins to the content you painstakingly create. As such, protecting it should be your utmost priority.

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The Critical Need to Back up WordPress Site

Picture yourself investing hours, days, or even months in curating your website, enriching it with well-researched articles and visually appealing designs. Imagine the setback you’d face if all of that disappeared instantly due to unforeseen issues like hardware failure, accidental deletions, or a security breach. This is where the need to back up WordPress, preventing such catastrophic losses.

Critical Times for Backing Up Your WordPress: Before Updates

It’s not just about backing up your site; it’s also about knowing when to do it. Certain situations demand extra vigilance:

Pre-WordPress Updates: WordPress frequently issues updates, introducing new features, bolstering security, or squashing bugs. However, these updates can sometimes lead to compatibility issues, necessitating a backup.

Pre-Plugin Updates: The plugins that add functionality and features to your site are periodically updated. Like with WordPress updates, these can sometimes clash with your current setup, and a backup can serve as a valuable safety net.

Pre-Theme Updates: Your theme, dictating your site’s aesthetic, is periodically updated to enhance design or security. A backup before these updates can mitigate potential compatibility problems.

Pre-functions.php Changes: The functions.php file enhances your WordPress theme, acting like a plugin to add features. Changing this file can break your site, reinforcing the need to back up WordPress before updates. We will discuss it when we get to the Child Theme setup.

Routine Backups: Regular backups should be a standard procedure besides these particular instances. How often you do these depends on how frequently your site changes. Highly dynamic sites might necessitate daily backups, while less active ones might suffice with weekly or monthly ones.

The Essential Pre-Update Backup Procedure

Following a careful WordPress backup before updates procedure is essential to protect your site. The aim is to create a point of restoration that you can revert to if any updates make conflicts or unexpected changes. Here are the components of a thorough backup:

Full Site Backup: This is the most robust form of backup, encapsulating everything about your site: your WordPress installation, themes, plugins, and database. It’s a complete snapshot of your site at a given moment.

Database Backup: This contains all your site’s content, including posts, comments, and user information.

Files Backup: This comprises your WordPress core files, plugins, themes, and uploads, including any customizations you’ve made to your site’s appearance or functionality.

Finally, a backup is only useful if it can be successfully restored. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the restoration process and test it to ensure it functions as expected.

How to Back up WordPress Before Updates

Check our article about the UpdraftPlus Backup plugin Usage Guide.

Read More

You can read more WordPress Website Backing Up Suggestions in the WordPress Docs.


Backing up WordPress before updates is not just a recommendation but a crucial practice. It safeguards your data, allows you to make updates confidently, and gives you peace of mind. The only backup you’ll regret is the one you didn’t make!

The current article is "5.20. Back up WordPress" of our Complete SEO Guide Box.
Previous Article: 5.19. Purge Multiple Caches. Next Article: 5.21. Updating Components


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