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Backups on Flywheel

Updated on June 10th, 2022

Flywheel takes a backup of your site every night to make sure that important data is saved. This allows you to revert to a previous version in the event that you made a change that broke the site, or for any other reason.


Table of Contents:


Where to find a backup

Backups can be found under the Backups tab on the site’s page with the Flywheel app. From here you can see statistics about each backup and select an individual backup to restore.

Backups are stored for 30 days and deleted permanently after that. If you’d like to have access to a backup for longer than 30 days after its creation, we recommend you download a copy.

Backups are stored offsite on a different set of servers than your live site.


What data is backed up?

We back up everything in your WordPress folder, including all uploaded files (/wp-content/uploads). We also back up the site’s database.

Because we back up your files for you, we discourage the use of backup plugins, as they often take up system resources, disk space, and may cause unforeseen conflicts with our existing backup processes.

If you do prefer to run your own backups using a plugin, we strongly recommend storing those backups offsite, to avoid taking up site disk space unnecessarily.

For more information, see the help article: What plugins are not recommended?


Create a backup

You can create a backup at any time from your site’s Backups tab. This is useful if you’re going to install a new plugin or theme or make significant changes to your site. That way if anything goes wrong, you can restore the backup you just made.

 

 

To create a backup on Flywheel, simply navigate to the Backups tab for the site you’re working on and click the Create new backup button.

You’ll be prompted to add a description to the backup. These descriptions can help you remember why you created a particular backup, and they also help you differentiate your backups in the event you need to restore them.

After you’ve added your description, click Create Backup. A progress bar will appear, showing you the status of your backup.

Note

In some cases, you may see question marks in the place of your site statistics. This typically means Flywheel had trouble retrieving the data from your site, but it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your site or data. If there is a row listed in your Backups table, your backup completed successfully.

Restore a backup

Warning

Restoring a backup deletes the current site, and replaces it with the content of the selected backup. Any content that has been created since the last backup will be lost forever.

To restore a backup, simply navigate to the Backups tab for a site, and click Restore on the backup that you’d like to revert back to.

Clicking the “Restore” button will open a confirmation screen asking you to confirm that you’d like to overwrite all of the files of your site. You will need to check the box and type your Flywheel password to confirm that you’d like to restore this backup.

Note

You cannot cancel a restore and you can only restore one backup at a time. During the restoration, Flywheel will take your site offline, so users may see a page noting that the site is down for maintenance.

When you’re ready to restore the backup, click the “Restore backup” button and the restoration process will begin. Depending on the size of your site, this can take anywhere from 2 minutes to 20 minutes.


Download a backup

Navigate to the Backups tab to see a list of available backups for your site.

Backups tab

Hover over or touch the ellipsis icon to the right of the backup you’d like to download. You’ll see a dropdown menu with the option to download.

Hover over the backup gear icon and click download

You should get a message immediately letting you know that we’ve got your backup on the way.

Confirmation of site backup

Note

The backup will be sent to the email address listed in your Flywheel profile.

When your backup is ready, you’ll get an email with a download link. A small site backup should usually arrive within a couple of minutes or so, but larger sites may take a while. We suggest waiting for about 10-15 minutes per gigabyte (you can view site size information on the stats tab).

Backup confirmation email

 

Note

Our backups don’t include the default WordPress files, only the wp-content folder, your database, and anything else unique to your site.

If you have any other questions about backups or restores on Flywheel, contact support and we’d be happy to answer them.

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