Backup and Restore Your Website with BlueHost

by on April 4, 2011 · 26 comments

Those of you who follow my blog know I recommend BlueHost for simple and easy WordPress hosting. WordPress installs and updates are a breeze, you get great U.S. based tech support, and the price is right.

Not to mention you can install up to 100 WordPress sites on a single account!

And here’s another great reason: BlueHost just made it super easy to do automated backups and file-level restores.

New: Site Backup & Restore

BlueHost site backup and restoreThe new feature I’m talking about is called Site Backup & Restore. As I wrote in Back up Your WordPress Site it is super important to have an automated backup plan, even if your site is small.

With BlueHost’s Site Backup & Restore, every site in your BlueHost account – including files and databases – are backed up for you automatically every day. Several versions are maintained so that you can go back and restore files, directories, or entire sites if you need to for any reason.

Watch a Video of Site Backup & Restore in Action

There is a free and a Pro version of Site Backup & Restore. The free version will automate backups for you. The Pro version adds the ability to restore individual files and folders, and MySQL databases (which is what WordPress uses.)

If you are using BlueHost, run – don’t walk – and sign up for the Pro version of this feature. At $12.95 for the YEAR it is well worth the peace of mind you’ll get from knowing all of your sites are fully backed up.

If you are considering hosting providers, give BlueHost a try – it’s the best low-cost WordPress hosting around. Why? I give you 5 great reasons here.

p.s. Several of the links in this article are affiliate links. I use BlueHost for most of my websites (over 25 of them) and I also use the Site Backup & Restore Pro feature that I’m writing about in this article.

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Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 313 articles on Expand2Web

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Clinton Hooker April 4, 2011 at 7:25 am


Thanks for the heads up. I do have a question. What is the difference between this backup and a Plug-in that you have recommended in the past?




Don Campbell April 4, 2011 at 7:29 am

Hi Clinton,
Good question – The BlueHost service will back up files and database for all of the sites you have on your BlueHost account. If you have one site and are using a WP plugin that is backing up your files AND database, you are fine.


Margo Roby April 5, 2011 at 7:03 am

Okay…this is a little off-topic, but I have been dithering over whether to shift from my wordpress blog to a hosted site. My question is, if I do that, do my subscribers have to resubscribe, or is that magically taken care of with the shift over?


Don Campbell April 5, 2011 at 7:42 am

Hi Margo,
You would have to redirect your old URL and RSS feed to your new urls for those. Then you could keep your subscribers, along with any authority that your site has built up in Google’s eyes.


Tayler April 12, 2011 at 3:44 am

Do you have to sign up for this in your C-Panel or is it automatically already running in the background? I see a way to pay for the pro version but not to install the free version.


Don Campbell September 8, 2011 at 10:00 am

Hi Tayler,
I think it is automatically running for you. When I clicked on the Site Backup & Restore icon I was able to download the backup, but not restore individual files until I signed up for Pro.


Ken September 8, 2011 at 9:46 am

Don- I too recommend Bluehost to all my clients. And now I am going to try out Site Backup & Restore and will probably recommend it as well. I found you doing a Google search for reviews. We are on the same page about Bluehost so I am glad to hear you recommend this. I blog infrequently, but if I do write about this, I may link to you to show my clients/readers that I am not alone. Can I quote your mother that you are also a genius?


Don Campbell September 8, 2011 at 10:02 am

Hi Ken,
Great! Yes I’ve been using BlueHost for over 2 years and am very happy with them. I’ve used the Site Restore before too and it works great.

Feel free to link here – but leave out the genius part 😉


David December 14, 2011 at 12:43 am

Lucky I found your post.
Yesterday we managed to kill our site (trying to update themes).
It was really bad. Even with Wordpress backup we could not manage to recover the site. We have 600 daily visitors viewing around 2500 pages. Our PR agent managed to push an article in leading newspaper so we expect many more visitors. Menus are in total disaster after we ‘update’. Not able to find anything on the site…
Google brought me to your blog, I purchased the pro package, restored everything from weekly backup (less than 10 minutes) and we are back up.


aFathersDream January 6, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Thanks for the info, no one wants to lose a weeks worth of work, a month forget it I would probably just shut down my website. I appreciate you posting this.


Phil January 30, 2012 at 12:43 pm

My domain was going to expire in 3h…and because i found this site it saved me! Thanks a lot!

a bluehost user


Andrew Walsh February 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Helpful post; thanks! I just switched over to Bluehost for a few of my sites and this is useful info.


Kuldeep May 17, 2012 at 11:08 am

I’ve just bought BH backup pro. Now do I need to configure the backup in some way ..or it will do everything automatically and I just sit back and relax ?
I’m asking this because before subscribing to it..I think the same options were getting displayed like they are now (i.e. back up, restore with red pro sign on some of them).

Your comments please!


Asad February 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm

I am thinking to get myself a Pro version of the backup when my blogs already got shape and are sensitive for damages!


Sandeep March 10, 2013 at 3:55 am

This is completely not true. My website was not showing up today. I contacted Bluehost support team. I was told that some files are missing and you need to restore from backup. They checked and at last told me that the back up of my webiste never happened.


Don Campbell March 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Sandeep. You probably did not have the Site Backup & Restore option (which was the topic of this blog post.)

If you have a standard BlueHost account, they do backup your site but do not provide any guarantees – the onus is on you to have a solid backup in case of a disaster. This is true for most hosting providers.

That’s why I was recommending the extra $19.95/year for their Site Backup & Restore feature; with this they keep complete daily, weekly and monthly backups of your entire site.

It makes sense – with $5/month hosting you get the no-frills version, if you want to pay an extra $19.95/year to make sure your site is backed up, then they do the full backups for you. They need to allocate the extra storage space, and the interface, processes, etc. It’s a service pay for on my account, and ALL my sites on that account get backed up.

BTW – if you don’t want to do that, you still have the option to backup your WordPress site manually using tools like the ones I describe in this blog post.


elaine March 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Sandeep- I am with you. SITE BACKUP AND RESTORE DOES NOT WORK! My site crashed on Saturday – I got the “white screen of death”. But I figured it wouldn’t be too big of a deal- after all, I’m paying for a service that backs my site up automatically and can help me bring it back to the state it was prior to the issue occurring. BUT ALL OF THE SITE BACKUPS WERE THE SAME NEWLY BROKEN CODE! FRAUD!!!


Don Campbell March 11, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Wow, I’m sorry that happened Elaine. Were you paying for the Pro version? Either way that is a bummer.


Susan June 23, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Elaine – I’ve been exploring Site Backup & Restore because I can’t get the WordPress Backup Buddy plugin to work on Bluehost. So this is really a delayed response.

There are 3 backups – daily, weekly & monthly. Have you tried to restore your site from the weekly backup? That should not contain any changes from the week prior to your white screen of death.


Don Campbell June 23, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Susan, I’m using Site Backup & Restore on many sites too. Like you said, it backs up daily, weekly & monthly and I’ve used it many times to restore files.

I also have used the Backup Buddy plugin on many BlueHost sites, I wonder why yours isn’t working? What kind of error are you getting?


Susan Kullmann June 24, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Don – Endless ping issues when I test out Backup Buddy. At this point, I don’t feel confident creating a phi.ini file to change the phpMemory limits to possibly eliminate the endless pings. Perhaps this is the solution & easier than I think? My understanding is that another problem is the tar file build-up on the Bluehost server because of the way Backup Buddy backs up to cloud storage. While I might be able to clean those up regularly, non-techy clients would find it challenging. Did you do anything special to get Backup Buddy to work on your Bluehost sites? Are you using shared or dedicated hosting? Thanks!


Don Campbell June 24, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Thanks for the background on that Susan. I’m using shared hosting with BlueHost, but now that I think of it, I have BackupBuddy configured to save backups to Amazon S3. That is working for me. This is in addition to using BlueHost’s SiteBackup and Restore Pro. This gives me backups on the server, and backups at another location just in case.


Susan Kullmann June 24, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Thanks, Don. I also planned to backup to Amazon S3 – and tests to it went fine.


liz packwood December 28, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Thank you so much, Don for this helpful blog. I was completely unsure of which way to go until I found your link. I am with Bluehost too and so far they are great.
I will sign up for SiteBackupPro and that will do for now. Later I might get BackupBuddy to send the files to another location as well. I’ll be watching your site from now on for sure. Best wishes


David Kley February 5, 2014 at 8:55 am

Don, I have looked for the free backup version in the backend of BlueHost, and am unable to locate it. The only version it shows is the backup pro version. I am not seeing a free backup option anywhere. I am moving a site for a client, from BlueHost to my cloud server, but am unfamiliar with using this host. It seems to be using a highly modified version of cpanel, with a lot of the options either hidden or disabled. I will also need to grab the database, so any advice on doing a free complete site backup would be appreciated. Seems funny that they lock down so many options in order to get you to stay with them.


David Kley February 5, 2014 at 9:09 am

Please disregard previous message. It seems that BlueHost has replaced the icon that they use with the pro only version. Once you click that, the free backup option is to the left. Just wanted to give you a heads up so you can update the graphics in this tutorial if you so desire. Might help people a bit. Thanks for pointing me in the right directions though! Much appreciated.


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