We provide daily automatic WordPress backups, as well as system-generated backups for all sites on your account. These backups, along with your manual backups, are available as restore points on the MyKinsta dashboard. Follow the steps below on how to create a WordPress backup and how to restore one if needed.

WordPress Backups

Each backup is a complete snapshot of a site environment’s files, database, redirects, and Nginx configuration at the time the backup was created. Note that the timestamps for backups you see in MyKinsta are based on your local system time, not the timezone of the region your site is hosted in.

When you restore a backup, all changes to the website’s files, database, redirects, and Nginx configuration will be rolled back to the time the backup was created.

WordPress backups can be found on the backup tab of each of your sites and are divided into five different sections:

  • Daily: We create a backup automatically every day.
  • Hourly: We offer an hourly backup add-on for users who need more frequent backups.
  • Manual: You can create up to 5 manual backups, which are stored for 14 days. These are recommended when you’re rolling out a change on your live site, which perhaps couldn’t be tested on staging.
  • System generated: We create an automatic system backup at certain events (for example, when you restore a backup, a system backup is automatically generated).
  • External: With our external backup add-on, you can make weekly or monthly backups to Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage.
  • Download: You can create a downloadable backup once per week. Unlike the snapshot-based backups above, the downloadable backup will create a downloadable ZIP file containing only your WordPress database and files.
Backups in MyKinsta.

Backups in MyKinsta.

Create a Manual WordPress Backup

Step 1

In MyKinsta, go to your site and click on the Backups tab. Next, click on the Manual tab and click the Back up now button to create an additional backup manually.

Manually create a WordPress backup in MyKinsta.

Manually create a WordPress backup in MyKinsta.

Step 2

You can add a short identifier note to your backup. It may only contain letters and numbers (no spaces or special characters). Then click on Create backup.

Add a name or short note to your manual WordPress backup.

Add a name or short note to your manual WordPress backup.

If you need to make more than 5 manual backups in 14 days, you’ll need to delete one of the manual backups to make room for a new one.

Downloadable Backups

You can download an archive file (.zip) containing your entire WordPress site. The archive file contains your website’s files and the SQL file containing the contents of your database.

  • You can create a downloadable backup once per week.
  • The downloadable backup will be available for you to download for 24 hours.

A backup won’t contain any MyKinsta settings or custom server-side configurations, such as:

  • Redirects
  • Custom Nginx rules
  • Blocked addresses in IP deny
  • Changes in PHP or MySQL configuration
  • Add-ons (e.g. ElasticSearch)

Downloadable backups are available in the MyKinsta dashboard. You can find this under the Backups tab on your individual sites. Alongside the daily, hourly, manual, and system-generated backups, there is an option called Download.

Downloadable backups in MyKinsta.

Downloadable backups in MyKinsta.

Step 1

Click the Create backup now button. Creating the backup may take several minutes, depending on the size of your site. Once it’s ready, you will get a message via the MyKinsta dashboard and an email with a download link.

Downloadable backup notification email.

Downloadable backup notification email.

Step 2

When your backup is ready, click on the “Download the backup now!” link in the email or the Download backup button in the MyKinsta dashboard. Save this to your local computer, where you can unpack it and view the files.

Download your WordPress backup in MyKinsta.

Download your WordPress backup in MyKinsta.

The backup is a .zip file. It contains all of your website’s files and a mysql-database-backup.sql file.

Viewing your WordPress site files and database in FTP.

Viewing your WordPress site files and database in FTP.

Hourly Backups Add-on

We have an hourly backups add-on available for those of you who need additional restore points. You can find this under the Backups tab on your individual sites. Alongside the daily, manual, system generated, and downloadable backups, there is an option called Hourly.

Hourly backup option in MyKinsta.

Hourly backup option in MyKinsta.

Within hourly backups, you now have two options:

6-Hour Backups

  • $50 / Site / Month
  • Backups will be created every 6 hours and are available for 24 hours. Ideal for websites that change frequently.

Hourly Backups

  • $100 / Site / Month
  • Backups will be created every hour and are available for 24 hours—ideal for e-commerce sites, membership sites, and sites that change continuously.

To enable one, click on the Choose button. You will not be billed immediately. You will be billed for the add-on at the beginning of your next billing cycle. That bill will include the add-on’s cost for the remainder of your billing cycle and the cost of the following billing cycle.

Enable six-hour backups in MyKinsta.

Enable six-hour backups in MyKinsta.

You can view and restore your hourly backups at any time from the Backups tab, as well as make changes to the add-on (upgrade/downgrade the frequency or cancel). Again, these are additional restore points. When you have the hourly backups add-on enabled, automatic daily backups are still taken and available to restore.

Hourly backups enabled in MyKinsta.

Hourly backups enabled in MyKinsta.

External Backups Add-on

You can automatically back up your WordPress site to Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage with our external backups add-on. External backups can be configured for either weekly or monthly frequency, and you also have a choice between backing up your files, WordPress database, or both.

Our external backups feature lets you build off-site backups into your disaster recovery strategy without configuring complex WordPress plugins to connect to an external storage provider.

Enable external backups in MyKinsta.

Enable external backups in MyKinsta.

The external backup add-on is available to all Kinsta customers for $2 per month for each site plus $1/GB for external bandwidth.

To enable external backups for your WordPress site, go to Sites > [your-site] > Backups > External. From here, you can select either Amazon S3  or Google Cloud Storage for your external storage integration.

Restoring WordPress Backups

You can restore automatic, manual, and system-generated backups in MyKinsta. To restore your WordPress site from a backup, click the Restore button next to the backup you want to restore. Depending on how large your site is, this may take a couple of minutes. While the restoration is in progress, you will not be able to access your site in MyKinsta, and we’ll show you a friendly reminder of the restoration process.

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Once the restore process is complete, MyKinsta will refresh automatically, and you’ll have access to the site again.

Whenever you restore a backup, a new backup is generated, which will reflect the state of your website just before you restored it. This is handy if you’d like to undo the restore.

Restoring Downloadable Backups

Restoring a MyKinsta downloadable backup requires a few additional steps. Let’s go through how to restore a downloadable backup to an existing site Kinsta site. The same steps can also be applied to a newly created site.

First, unzip your downloaded backup. You should see a folder structure like the screenshot below. This folder contains your site’s files as well as a copy of your WordPress database.

Viewing an unpacked downloadable backup from MyKinsta.

Viewing an unpacked downloadable backup from MyKinsta.

Next, connect to your Kinsta server with your favorite SFTP client and navigate to the ~/public folder. If there are existing files in this folder, go ahead and delete them. Once the folder is empty, transfer your site files (excluding the mysql-database-backup.sql file) from the downloaded backup to the ~/public folder.

After the files have been transferred, open the wp-config.php file and verify the DB_NAME, DB_USER, and DB_PASSWORD match the credentials under Database Access in your MyKinsta dashboard.

Database access credentials in MyKinsta.

Database access credentials in MyKinsta.

Next, you’ll need to delete the existing database tables and upload the database file from your downloaded backup. To start, log into your site’s phpMyAdmin, and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Click on the checkbox next to Check All and use the dropdown to choose the Drop option. You will then be prompted to confirm the database query. Select Yes to complete the deletion process.

Drop database tables in phpMyAdmin.

Drop database tables in phpMyAdmin.

Next, click on the Import tab in phpMyAdmin. Under Files to Import, click Choose File and select the mysql-database-backup.sql file from your downloaded backup. You can leave the other options in their default setting. To finish the database import, scroll down and click the Go button.

Import a MySQL database via phpMyAdmin.

Import a MySQL database via phpMyAdmin.

After the database import, you’ll be able to see the database tables from your downloaded backup. If you run into a timeout issue during the database import, your database file may be too large for phpMyAdmin’s web uploader. If that is the case, you can try uploading the database file to your site’s ~/private folder and importing it via the command line. If you are uncertain about how to do that, please upload your SQL file to your ~/private folder and reach out to our Support team for further assistance.

A successful database import in phpMyAdmin.

A successful database import in phpMyAdmin.

Restoring WordPress Backups to Staging

If you’d like to restore a WordPress backup to staging instead of your live site, click the Restore to button next to the backup in MyKinsta and choose staging from the dropdown menu. Depending on how large your site is, this may take a few minutes to complete. You can then access your staging site, which now has its own environment, completely separate from your live production site.

Important Notes Regarding Backups

Here are a few additional things to be aware of regarding backups at Kinsta.

Different Number of Backups

Depending upon the plan you’re on, the number of backups that are accessible may vary (the total amount includes both automatic and manual backups).

  • Starter through Business 2 plans include 14 days of backups
  • Business 3 and Business 4 plans include 20 days of backups
  • Enterprise 1 and higher plans include 30 days of backups

Disk Space Excluded From Plan Total

Backups are excluded from our reporting when calculating your total disk space usage to give you as much space as possible. Your usage consists of only your live site’s files and database.


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