Site Building

Back up Your Drupal Site for Drupal 7, 8, 9, and 10

A reliable backup will allow you to restore your site if something goes wrong, whether it is a server failure, site code or database problems, or user error. Everyone should have a regular back up schedule for their site, and know how to restore the site from those backups. A new backup should also be created before every update of core or a contributed project made to a site. For a Drupal site, you need to make sure to have backups for both your site code, including your site-specific settings and files, and the user-generated content that lives in the database and filesystem.

Example tasks

  • Back up a database and user-generated files
  • Back up Drupal site code
  • Restore a Drupal site from backups


Backups are not an integral part of Drupal itself; the procedures and tools are widely used across all web applications. This means the information is widely available and reliable.

Drupalize.Me resources

Quick reference

Using Drush:

drush sql:dump --gzip --result-file=backup.sql

Or using mysqldump, replace {DATABASE_NAME} with the name or your MySQL database:

mysqldump -q --opt --add-drop-table {DATABASE_NAME} | gzip > backup.sql.gz

Both examples will result in a file named backup.sql.gz that contains a compressed backup of your database.

Drupal 8, 9, and 10
More information

Overview of data backups and what should be backed up on a site.

More information

How to make a copy of a live site for development purposes.

More information

In this Lullabot Module Monday lesson we take a look at the Backup and Migrate module. Few things are more terrifying than the realization that a server hiccup has wiped out a web site, or a hasty change deployed to the live site has nuked important content. Fortunately, there's a module that can help. Backup and Migrate offers site builders a host of options for manually and automatically backing up their sites' databases, and integrates with third-party backup services, to boot!

Additional resources

More information

Updating your site often sounds much scarier than the actual experience is. The most important step to remember is creating and testing backups of your site. In this lesson, we will create our backups, download a new version of Drupal core, and go through the process of updating our files and running the update.php script.

Note: Not mentioned in the video is the fact that in addition to the user 1 account, you can also log in with any account that has the "administer software updates" permission enabled to run the update.php script.

Additional resources Upgrade Documentation

Using Drupal, 2nd edition

Using Drupal source code

Drupalize.Me Guide: Using Drupal Book by O'Reilly Media

More information

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a site archive for an existing Drupal site so that you can import it into Pantheon. You'll learn how to create one single archive file that contains all the components we need: database, code base, and files. First, we'll demonstrate how to create an archive using the Backup and Migrate module, using a Drupal site's UI, and then you'll learn how to accomplish the same task using the Drush archive-dump command. In this tutorial we assume that you either already have Backup and Migrate module installed on your site, or that you have Drush set up and are familiar with the basics of using it.

Sponsored by Pantheon

Additional resources

Lullabot Module Monday: Backup and Migrate video tutorial
Introduction to Drush video series


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External resources