WP Engine Backups: The Complete Guide

Bulletproof Backups for Your WordPress Website

Fortify your business continuity with foolproof WordPress backups. No data loss, no downtime — just secure, seamless operation.

What if one day you find that your WP Engine hosted website has vanished into the abyss? You’ve lost all your data because you don’t have a reliable backup. Scrambling to piece it together from outdated fragments, you realize how crucial a solid backup strategy is.

Despite what tech gurus preach about the necessity of backups, many website owners soldier on without a robust plan. Sure, web hosts offer backup options, however, you’re at risk of losing everything if something happens to your server. 

But don’t break into a cold sweat just yet! We’ve got your back with this guide on WP Engine backups helping you secure your data effortlessly. 

TL;DR: While WP Engine offers a good plan, using a backup plugin like BlogVault is your most robust alternative. BlogVault takes regular backups of your site making sure that your data remains secure and always recoverable.

Use WP Engine to back up your WordPress site

WP Engine is a web hosting provider tailored specifically for WordPress sites. Known for automating a myriad of website administration tasks, WP Engine helps users manage and maintain their WordPress websites with ease and efficiency. Here’s how you can back up your WordPress files and databases using WP Engine:

A. Automatic WP Engine backups

WP Engine captures a snapshot of your entire site every night. These backups include your WordPress files, databases, plugins, and themes, ensuring comprehensive data protection. Here’s how you can access and manage these backups:

Step 1: Login and access your site

Log in to your WP Engine account with your credentials. From the side panel on the left, find the Sites option and click on it. You will now find all the WP engine-hosted sites in this window, pick the site you want to manage the automatic backups of.

Step 2: Access your backups

From the Production panel look for Backups. Here, you will find all the backups that have been taken nightly for the last 40 days.

Here’s a little note to keep in mind: WP Engine stores backups for the last 60 days. After this period, they will be deleted. If you need to access a backup beyond this timeframe, you’ll have to contact their customer support.

B. On-demand WP Engine backups

While automatic backups are a fantastic safety net, sometimes you need to create an on-demand backup—like when you’re about to make significant changes to your site, update plugins, or experiment with new design elements. 

Here’s how you can go about using WP Engine’s Create Backup feature to take a manual backup:

Step 1: Access your backups 

From the Production panel of your site, navigate to the Backups section and click on the Create Backup button located at the top right corner.

Step 2: Enter backup details 

Once you click on the button, you’ll be prompted to enter a backup description—something simple yet descriptive will do, like “Pre-update backup” or “Before major site redesign” and click on Create. You will be sent a notification to your email once the backup is created.

Step 3: Start the backup process

To save this backup offsite for an extra layer of protection, click on the three dots next to your newly created backup and select Prepare ZIP. You will have to choose the backup type now. If you prefer a partial backup, you have the option to select either just the database files or other files from the provided options. Click Prepare ZIP once again after you’ve made your choice.

Step 4: Download your backup

Once the ZIP file is ready, you’ll receive an email notification. Now, click on the Download ZIP button that has appeared next to your backup. Now, you have a copy of your backup that can be saved offsite for extra protection.

Risks of hosting backups

Backups are generally considered to mitigate the risk of failure, data corruption, and loss, however not all backups are the same. Hosting backups in particular are fraught with problems. 

Single point of failure

If your hosting provider suffers a major outage, your primary data and backups could both be at risk as your backups are stored on your hosted website’s server. WP Engine stores their backups offsite, on Amazon S3 servers, however in the same region as the sites themselves. 

Potential security risks

Hosting backups may lack robust security measures like encryption, leaving your data vulnerable to cyberattacks. This is not the case with WP Engine, however, as their backups are encrypted in transit and at rest. 

Limited benefits

Your web host will not have you install a plugin to take care of your backups as they will take care of it themselves. Sadly, that’s the only backup benefit you get with a web host backup.

Slow restoration process

Your web host has other aspects to concentrate on alongside your backups. Recovery from hosting backups can be slower compared to specialized backup solutions like BlogVault, extending your site’s downtime. Additionally, you cannot partially restore your site in the event that there is an issue with a single page, post, plugin, or theme. This flexibility is only available with BlogVault. 

No test restores

Restoring a backup is an already anxiety-driven exercise. Imagine if the restore fails because the backup has been corrupted. There is no room for error with a hosting backup. If you initiate a restore, it will wipe out your live site first, and then attempt to restore the backup. Only thereafter will you find out if there was a problem. Too late to do anything about it then. 

Limited retention policies

Hosting providers often have limited storage capacities and short retention periods, which may not suffice for your business needs. They also store it on the server that your website is hosted on so don’t be surprised if your website is as slow as a sloth. WP Engine stores your backups for 60 days, whereas the lowest plan of BlogVault stores backups for 90 days, extendable to 365. 

Robust alternatives to web host backups

While many website owners rely on their web hosting providers for backup services, this approach has its limitations and potential pitfalls. Depending solely on your web host for backups can leave you vulnerable to data loss during server issues, cyber-attacks, or even simple human errors. 

Using an alternative backup solution not only provides an additional safety net but also empowers you to have greater control over your data. 

BlogVault backups

Using a dedicated backup plugin brings in a whole new level of reliability and ease. BlogVault is the most robust alternative you can use to back up and restore your WP Engine-hosted site. 

BlogVault takes regular backups of your entire site, storing them on our servers to ensure that your site’s performance isn’t affected in any way. With BlogVault, you can rest easy knowing you don’t have to worry about maintaining backups yourself.

Features offered

  • Bulletproof backups
  • Enterprise-grade encryption
  • Seamless restores
  • One-click staging environment
  • Easy website migrations
  • Real-time backups
  • WordPress multisite backups
  • Website security 
  • WordPress monitoring
  • Activity log

Restore WordPress with WP Engine backups

Restoring your WordPress site is quite simple with WP Engine. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Access your backups

Navigate to the Production panel of your site on your WP Engine dashboard. Locate the specific backup you wish to restore. Click on the three dots next to it to reveal more options.

Step 2: Initiate the restore 

From the two options that appear, click on the Restore button. This will open a dialog box where you can specify the type of restore you want to perform. If you want to perform a complete restore, including your database, select Yes under the Restore with database option. If you only need to restore your files and not the database, select No. Click the Restore button to restore your site.

And that’s it! Once your website is restored, you will receive a notification, letting you know the process is complete.

Best practices for backup management

Backing up your website is a crucial step. Here are some best practices that will ensure your backups are reliable, secure, and ready to save the day whenever needed:

Regularly testing your backups

Just like test-driving a car before buying it, periodically testing your backups is essential. Try restoring a backup on a staging environment to ensure the backup files are complete and not corrupted.

Doing this regularly can help prevent any nasty surprises when you actually need to restore your site.

Keep off-site copies

Keeping off-site copies adds an extra layer of protection. Think of it as having a spare key hidden somewhere safe. Having multiple backups of your site adds an extra layer of security, so you won’t find yourself rocking back and forth in a corner when things go wrong. 

Note: With BlogVault you don’t have to worry about storing these copies as they store it on their servers and multiple copies in different locations.

Combining with other backup solutions

Using additional WordPress backup plugins like BlogVault alongside your web host’s backups provides another layer of security. Combining multiple backup methods ensures that you have several recovery options available.

Frequent backups

If you have a Woo site or are constantly updating and making changes to your site, you will have to constantly back up your site daily—if not in real time. BlogVault gives you the flexibility to have either, to ensure every data point or transaction is captured and safe from loss. 

This multi-layer approach is like having both a seatbelt and an airbag—extra protection in case something goes wrong.

By following these best practices, you’ll ensure that your backups are not just sitting there collecting dust but are actually ready to spring into action when needed. 

Parting thoughts

Having a robust backup strategy is not just a luxury—it’s a necessity for ensuring the security and reliability of your WordPress site. Sure, your web host has your back, but having a host backup is like having your spare key in the same keychain. You will have nothing to fall back on if something happens to your server. 

This is why we recommend using BlogVault as an alternative to your web host’s backups. With over 5000 web hosts trusting BlogVault to back up their customer sites, you know you’re in good hands. This is the kind of reliability that lets you sleep a little easier at night.

Managing your backups doesn’t have to be a chore. By integrating effective backup practices and having reliable solutions like BlogVault, you can rest assured of the stability and integrity of your site.


How dependable are WP Engine’s backup processes?

WP Engine’s backup processes are highly dependable and designed with reliability in mind. They offer automated nightly backups, which include a complete snapshot of your site—files, databases, plugins, and themes. This consistency and automation ensure that you have a reliable fallback option without requiring much manual intervention.

What specific data is included in WP Engine’s backups?

WP Engine’s backups include all WordPress files, databases, plugins, and themes. The backup process ensures that every element, from your content to your site’s architecture, is preserved. This approach to data backup guarantees that when you restore your site, it returns to its exact state before the backup is taken.

How user-friendly is WP Engine’s backup and restoration interface?

The WP Engine backup and restoration interface is designed to be simple and user-friendly, although it might be a little tricky to find the backups on your first try. With just a few clicks, you can create, manage, and restore backups from the dashboard. This simplicity ensures that managing your site’s backups and restorations is straightforward and hassle-free.

How often does WP Engine take backups?

WP Engine takes automatic nightly backups, ensuring your website is consistently backed up every 24 hours. This means you always have a recent snapshot of your site to fall back on in case of any issues. In addition to these automated backups, WP Engine also offers the flexibility to create on-demand backups whenever needed.

How quickly can the site be restored from a backup in the event of a disaster?

Restores depend greatly on the backup method used. Whereas, restoring your site from a WP Engine backup is a streamlined process designed to minimize downtime. In most cases, the restoration can be completed within a few minutes but it really depends on the size of your site. You will receive a notification once the restoration is complete, keeping you informed every step of the way.

Are there any limits to the number of backups I can create or store on WP Engine?

WP Engine does not limit the number of on-demand backups you can create, which gives you the flexibility to make backups as frequently as you need. However, it’s worth noting that WP Engine automatically stores nightly backups for the last 60 days. Older backups beyond this period are automatically deleted to manage storage space efficiently.

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