It’s amazing how often I still have to remind clients & friends to take backups of their digital life (not talking just websites here, if it’s digital, it needs a backup). And for websites, chances are that somewhere along the way, something will go wrong (it always does). Hacker attacks are very common these days, or sometimes webmasters can mess things up pretty badly. Installing or even updating a buggy plugin can turn your world upside down (in a very bad way).
But no matter what goes wrong while you’re building out your WordPress site, if you have backups, you can easily restore the site. With WordPress, you have 2 options when it comes to backing up files. You can do it manually by logging in to your server and downloading the files. Or, you can install a plugin that will give you a peace of mind and automatically creates backups for a given time interval. I obviously prefer the second option, especially if I need to make backups every day or hour (very handy for blogs). But then the question pops up, which of the bazillion backup plugins do I use? In comes our top 4 of the best WordPress backup solutions out there, enjoy!
Table of Contents
BackUpWordPress is a free backup plugin that keeps your website and database files safe. It is regularly updated, and it has over 200,000 active installs. The plugin is also translated into 12 languages – making it accessible to different webmasters around the world.
Here are few things that you will like about this backup plugin:
- Multiple backup schedules. One of the best features of this plugin, is the support for automatic schedules. It allows you to create multiple schedules for your database and website files.
- Backup to cloud storage provider off-site. The free version of BackUpWordPress stores the backups locally on your server. If you want to save the backups to a remote destination like Google Drive, Dropbox and Amazon S3, you have to purchase a premium extension for the plugin. Single destination is $24.
- Good support. Once you enable support from the plugin’s settings page, you’ll be able to connect with someone in their team and get help.
- No automatic restores. If you want to restore your files, you’d have to do that manually. This can be a problem for people who don’t want to get their hands dirty with FTP clients and MySQL. On the plus side, they provide a detailed step-by-step guide on how to restore backup files.
- Paying for extensions. This can be considered as a disadvantage, because the backups are not stored on their own servers. The only thing that the extension does, is it automatically sends the files to your cloud storage provider. Bad pricing policy or not? That’s on you to decide.
Have you heard of Matt Mullenweg? He is the founding developer of WordPress and founder of Automatic, the company behind wordpress.com, Akismet, Jetpack and VaultPress. Right off the bat, you know that you’re in safe hands with this reliable backup solution. One thing to mention before we dive in pros and cons, is that this is a subscription-based plugin that starts off with $5 per month. You can try it out for free, but in order to use it regularly, you have to choose one of their 3 plans: Lite, Basic and Security Bundle.
Here’s why you should consider VaultPress:
- Daily and real-time backups. Rest assured that every post, comment, page, setting and media will be saved each day or real-time (depending on your plan) on their secure servers. The real-time content syncing comes with their Basic plan ($15/month), and it syncs everything as it happens. It’s pretty great, but most of the users are satisfied with the daily backup option – which is part of the Lite plan.
- 30 day/full backup archive. VaultPress makes it incredibly easy to view, download and restore any backup from your archive. The Lite plan allows you to go 30 days back, while the Basic plan gives you access to the full backup archive from the beginning of your subscription.
- Automated restores. This is where most of backup plugins really shine, as they allow you to restore your backup files. If you do this manually via FTP, it could get messy. VaultPress allows you to restore any backup from your archive with a few clicks! You can choose what to restore individual parts of the backup, or do a full restore of your files including database, themes plugins and uploads.
- Security Scans. This feature comes with their most advanced Security Bundle plan ($29/month). VaultPress scans your website files to find potential security threats/suspicious code and provides fixes.
- Customer Support. It’s good to know that experts in WordPress security and restoration are always prepared to help you out. The Security Bundle package has a priority support, that allows you to get in touch within minutes and get your issues/questions resolved.
The only downside of VaultPress is its subscription-based policy. If you want to install it on 10 websites, you have to purchase 10 subscriptions individually. Your expenses can add up if you have more than one WordPress website.
UpdraftPlus is the highest-rated backup plugin on wordpress.org. Extensive, reliable and easy-to-use, this plugin is the number one choice for many WordPress webmasters. Right now, it has over 700,000 active installs. UpdraftPlus has a free version and paid plans that come with 1GB Updraft Vault storage.
- Tons of cloud options to store backups off-site. Updraft supports WordPress backups to more than 20 cloud platforms. Some of them are free like Dropbox and Google Drive while some platforms require a paid plugin, such as Microsoft OneDrive and Azure. If you don’t configure where your backups should be stored, the plugin will save them locally on your server.
- Extensive and Easy-to-Use. UpdraftPlus has everything you need to keep your website safe including backup scheduling support, encryption at multiple levels, debug mode, dedicated UpdraftCentral dashboard, backup archives, backup migration from other plugins, etc. Check out the complete list of features here. It is very easy to setup, and it has intuitive user interface.
Updraft doesn’t have any disadvantages regarding its functionality. At least, not any that I could find. Note that in order to get all the features that I mentioned above and many more, you have to get a premium version, which costs from $70 to $140 per year. This can be too expensive for some people.
BackupBuddy is one of the most popular commercial backup plugins for WordPress. It provides the ultimate backup and restore functionality which allows you to keep your website safe at all times. Since 2010, BackupBuddy has been actively protecting more than 500,000 WordPress websites.
- Scheduling support. Just like all the plugins that we’ve covered so far, BackupBuddy allows you to create schedules for automated backups.
- Multiple types of backups. You can create database, files-only or complete backups of your website including non-WordPress database tables. BackupBuddy allows you to create custom backup profiles and exclude files and folders. This puts you in complete control to organize your backup process.
- Off-site storage. Do you want to store your files in a more secure place? Then you’ll like BackupBuddy, because it allows you to automatically send backup files to remote storage destinations like BackupBuddy Stash, Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3 and more. Every user gets 1 GB storage on BackupBuddy Stash – which is the same as Updraft’s Vault Storage.
- Import Buddy. This tool allows you to easily restore or move your website. It supports individual file restores, database rollback or full website restore.
- Additional functionality. BackupBuddy is way more than just a simple backup plugin for WordPress. It enables you to move your website to a new host, change your domain of your website, setup WordPress staging, clone a WordPress website, and migrate a website from your local machine or temporary domain. That’s amazing!
- Good pricing for multi-site owners. Unlike VaultPress and its subscription-based pricing, BackupBuddy limits the user on a number of websites for each plan. With the Developer plan – which is $150/year, you can install and use the plugin on unlimited number of websites. Now imagine you had to install a backup plugin for 30 of your clients. If we put aside the functionality and look at your costs, which one would you go with? 30 separate subscriptions for each website with VaultPress, or BackupBuddy’s developer plan? You do the math.
Just like UpdraftPlus and VaultPress, BackupBuddy provides flawless backup and restore service. There is just one concern. Even though it is totally worth the money, some people might find it way to pricey for their budget. Other than that, it seems perfect!
And there you have it, the 4 best WordPress backup plugins, take your pick & ease your mind!
Image Credit: GotCredit (via Flickr)
With a passion for digital marketing and web design (primarily WordPress), Matthew never stops learning! He rather reads up on new marketing strategies than binge-watch the next big NetFlix special.
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