About Jason Chow
Jason is a fan of technology and entrepreneurship. He loves building website. You can get in touch with him via Twitter.
Backing up your WordPress website is something that many don’t think about – until it’s too late. Things tend to break, and even multi-million dollar facilities aren’t an exception, as the OVH data center fire has taught us.
Why run that risk when you can handle that easily with a WordPress backup plugin?
With a backup in place, you’ll be able to restore your WordPress site if something terrible happens. While some hosting providers do this for you, it might be wise to take things into your own hands as a precaution.
Before we begin, it’s important that you realize there are a number of ways you can backup your WordPress site. They aren’t really different, but often serve to mitigate damage through varying methods.
For example, full backups are often the safest, but will consume a large amount of serve resources. Incremental backups are faster and less resource intensive, but will need to work as part of a collective set.
Backups can be done manually, but this is often labour-intensive. Some things you will need to do include:
If you were to do this everyday, a large chunk of your time would be spent simply creating backups. That’s why a backup plugin is often an ideal solution. These can automate the process and introduce a much more efficient workflow.
To help you out, we’ve chosen from the pick of the bunch to bring you the best of the best in WordPress backup plugins.
UpdraftPlus is one of the biggest names in the WordPress backup plugin scene. It has over three million currently-active installations, so it’s been thoroughly tried and tested in various scenarios.
Not only is it comprehensive in terms of its features, but it’s easy and intuitive to use. The plugin supports on-demand backups, and you even have the option to select the files you wish to backup.
The free version allows you to set up manual or scheduled backups of your website files, including your database, plugins, and themes. You can send your backup to remote storage, namely Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 (or compatible), UpdraftVault, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, DreamObjects, Openstack Swift, and email.
The premium version comes with more features, including a website duplicator and migrator, and extra backup storage destinations such as Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, Backblaze B2, SFTP, SCP, and WebDAV.
Restoring your website from the backup is straightforward without requiring much technical knowledge. Also, you’ll be able to restore your website using backups created from other plugins as well.
Most would find the free version good enough. However, take note that customer support is only available with the premium version. UpdraftPlus is more suited for smaller websites, not so much for larger websites and older WordPress website versions.
Jetpack Backup is a popular WordPress backup plugin by the company created by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg. It was initially launched as VaultPress but has since been redesigned and rebranded as Jetpack Backup. Jetpack offers several tools for WordPress website owners, with one being the robust Backup system.
In the past, you’d need to get all the Jetpack tools, including those that you won’t be using. Now, you won’t need to, as Jetpack Backup is a standalone product. Yet, it’s a premium service with a stiff price tag attached.
Jetpack Backup plugin offers automated daily backup functions. It’s easily manageable for both backup and site restoration. Take note that features differ between price tiers. The more expensive plans include options such as regular security scans.
Jetpack does backups to their servers incrementally, reducing strain on your hosting resources. During restores, you can download the full backup or choose specific files. Restoring your website is as easy as a click of a button from your WordPress dashboard.
BackupBuddy is a premium WordPress backup plugin from iThemes. It is a popular service used by over half a million WordPress site owners. This plugin allows you to do an entire WordPress website backup or select the files you wish to exclude. This means that you can control the backup to be a mix of full and partial backups.
You can also schedule automatic backups or choose to do so manually. As for the backup locations, you have the choice of Amazon S3, Dropbox, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, email, or you can choose to use their offsite service called BackupBuddy Stash, which gives you 1GB of storage.
All their pricing plans are on a yearly basis and are tiered based on the number of websites you need to backup. All of them come with at least 1GB of BackupBuddy Stash storage space.
Stash Live is a new real-time backup feature offered that allows automated daily backups. It’s streamed over to their online service, where you can make a BackupBuddy zip file of all your files and data. These can later be download to local storage or sent to BackupBuddy Stash for long-term, off-site storage.
BoldGrid Backup WordPress plugin is an affordable automated WordPress backup solution to help back up your WordPress websites. It is created by BoldGrid, a website builder powered by WordPress. You can configure automated backups or manually create backups.
You can try this out for free, or you can look into their various pricing plans. Probably the best and most affordable option starting from as low as $2.50/month is BoldGrid’s Total Upkeep Premium plan.
This is an all-in-one site management solution with features that include more remote backup options (Amazon S3, Google Drive) and automatically creates a backup of your website before any updates. This means that you can restore your WordPress website easily with the latest backup, should an update fail.
Not only can you easily restore your website from a backup, but you can also even use it to move your website when switching hosts. Simply put, BoldGrid Backup is a simple WordPress backup plugin that sets out to do the job well, and if you decide to purchase their plan, you’ll get a bundle of other powerful tools as well.
BackWPup is a popular free WordPress backup plugin, with over 600,000 active users as of Jan 2021. Backups can be done manually or scheduled, according to your website’s update frequency.
The free version allows you to backup to an external platform such as Dropbox, FTP server, S3 services, Microsoft Azure (Blob), RackSpaceCloud, and SugarSync.
The paid version (BackWPup Pro) not only supports more backup options, namely Amazon Glacier, Google Drive, OneDrive, and HiDrive, it also offers additional features to encrypt your backups, scan, repair, and optimize your database.
Restoring a WordPress website from backup is simple. This is done via a single backup .zip file. Also, with the Pro version, you can restore your backups with a few clicks from your WordPress backend and also restore them from encrypted backups as well.
While Duplicator is more popularly known as a migration plugin, it also happens to be a good WordPress backup plugin as well. Registering over 20 million downloads, Duplicator has given WordPress users the ability to migrate, copy, move or clone a website from a location to another.
Unfortunately, the free version does not allow you to create automated scheduled backups, which makes it less than ideal. However, you can either manually backup a WordPress website or parts of it, move, migrate or clone a WordPress website between domains with zero downtime.
The paid version (Duplicator Pro) allows scheduled backups and to store in Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon S3, and FTP/SFTP. It can also support larger websites and databases, which those of you with bigger and more complicated websites would welcome.
BlogVault claims a “100% Successful Website Restore Rate.” They state that they are the world’s fastest, most reliable WordPress Backup solution trusted by over 450,000+ websites. The BlogVault BackUp service is typically incremental and comes with free cloud storage and staging.
BlogVault BackUp does the backup daily and, in this way, won’t overload your server when backing up. Your backup will be stored securely in their servers. You’ll also have the option to download backups to your computer or Dropbox.
BlogVault offers an unrestricted seven-day free trial. Upper-tier plans include more features such as real-time backup, malware scanning, firewall, and website management functionalities.
Unlike most, where you’ll only realize that there’s a problem once you try restoring your website, BlogVault shines in that there’s a staging site option that is very useful for creating a test restore site before going live. You can also restore your backup via your account dashboard.
This option could be great for smaller businesses who want real-time backups but don’t want to pay the premium pricing.
WP Time Capsule is excellent if you want to back up only your recent files and not your entire WordPress site. It is an incremental backup plugin meant to minimize the load on your server during backup. Backups can be pushed to Amazon S3, Wasabi, Backblaze, Dropbox, or Google Drive.
Real-time backups are done via the cloud apps’ native file versioning system to detect changes. When any changes are done, a backup will automatically be triggered. Also, only the changes are backed up every time, and the unchanged files remain untouched, so the space used is minimal.
All their paid plans come with this feature, or you can sign up for a 30-day, full-featured trial.
Additionally, there’s also an incremental restore function. This is especially useful if you need to fix certain pages or files only. There’s a one-click staging feature that allows you to test any changes to your website prior to uploading them. Also, you can encrypt your database backups to add an extra layer of security.
You can’t just point your finger at any plugin that takes your fancy without much thought. You need to spend some time understanding their respective features. Whatever it is, you need a plugin that allows you to easily backup and restore your website. There are certain factors that you need to take into consideration.
Automatic scheduling of your backups at certain intervals is crucial. This saves time. Also, look into the size of your website. You need to get one that can support your website.
There are tons of WordPress backup plugins available, and so it can be challenging to choose the best one that fits your needs. However, regardless of your business’s size, investing in the correct and best WordPress backup plugin is the best decision you’ll ever make, as the most expensive backup is the one when you never did.
Nobody wants a situation where they’ll need to restore their website from a backup, be it through misconfiguration or exposure to security threats. But it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. The list shared here are all proven solutions, so you won’t go very far wrong with one of them.
Bear in mind, though, that backup plugins aren’t a replacement for all backup best practices. For example, never store your backups on the same server as your website. You’re defeating the purpose of doing backups in the first place. It is best to opt for trusted third-party storage services to store your backups.