If you have a blog or website that uses WordPress and you aren’t doing regular backups, you’re putting yourself at risk! The appeal of self-hosted WordPress sites is that you own your entire website, but that also puts pressure on you if something goes wrong. You’ve got to figure things out if your site gets hacked or there’s a server error that corrupts your files.
No one wants to think about their website crashing and burning, but you can make it easier on yourself by having a plan in place. Having your WordPress website backed up and knowing how to restore it if something happens is crucial so you don’t lose all the time and money you put into it!
If you’re lucky your host may do backups for you, but you should also back up your website on your own to ensure all the necessary files are saved and stored where you can access them. Don’t trust your host to keep a lot of backups, it would take too much space they don’t have (unless you’re on a super pro plan). To make sure you can restore your website if something happens, count only on yourself.
Below I’ll cover some great WordPress backup plugins you can use, and compare them so you can pick the one that’s right for you!
Updraft Plus is by far the most popular backup plugin. The interface is simple to use and they provide step by step instructions for backing up and restoring. Since there is a free version you can try it out to see if Updraft Plus works for you before even thinking about paying for anything.
Price: Free version and premium version starting at $70
Popularity: 1 million active installs
Backs up to: Amazon S3 (or compatible), Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud, DreamObjects, FTP, Openstack Swift, UpdraftPlus Vault and email. You can also pay extra to back up Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, SFTP, SCP, and WebDAV.
Automation & Schedules: Backups of files and database can have separate schedules ranging from every 4 hours to monthly.
Ease of Use: The website has helpful screenshot tutorials with easy to follow steps.
Verdict: If you don’t want to spend money, but want something powerful and flexible, this is the plugin for you!
BackupBuddy is a paid plugin that not only backs up and restore your site but easily migrates your website. If you’re ready to invest in a powerful and versatile backup plugin, this is a great option. It has a simple, user-friendly interface and features. They also provide 1GB of storage space via BackupBuddy Stash where you can store your backups if you don’t already have another storage option.
Price:Paid, $80/year and up or a lifetime plan for $297
Popularity: Installed on half a million websites since 2010
Backs up to: Amazon S3, Google Drive, Dropbox, Backupbuddy Stash, Rackspace cloud, Remote servers (sFTP, FTP) and email
Automation & Schedules: Can back up on several schedules ranging from hourly to yearly.
Ease of Use: Easy. There is a simple video showing that once the plugin is installed it just takes a couple of clicks to completely back up your site and download or store your backup remotely.
Verdict: If you’re ready to invest in a more powerful and versatile plugin, this is the one for you! It’s great for people who plan to move websites or want to make changes to their live website via a test website. BackupBuddy is a better paid option if you need more than one license.
VaultPress is an Automattic plugin, which is made by the guys behind WordPress. They recently merge VaultPress into Jetpack and reduced their pricing plans! It’s a great plugin if you’re just looking for something that you can set and forget. It will backup your WordPress database and other related files. Vaultpress also performs security scans daily and makes it easy for you to review and fix any threats.
Price: Plans starting at $3.50/month or $39/year via Jetpack
Popularity: 50,000 active installs
Backs up to: VaultPress data centers. You can also download your backups in your WordPress dashboard.
Automation & Schedules: Real-time or daily back ups. Real time means anytime something changes on your site.
Ease of Use: Easy to use and pretty visual with a calendar so you can see all of your back ups and select which to restore.
Verdict: If you just need one license and want a plugin you can trust, this is the one for you. And if you’re already a Jetpack user, it’s even better!
WordPress Backup to Dropbox
Wordpress Backup to Dropbox is pretty self-explanatory within the title. If you use Dropbox and want a free plugin for backups this plugin is perfect for you! It’s not quite as feature rich as the previously mentioned methods, but it gets the job done. This is best if you have a little more advanced tech knowledge or are willing to hire some help to help you restore your site as it does require some back end skills.
Price: Free! But you do need a Dropbox account
Popularity: 80,000 active installs
Backs up to: Dropbox only
Automation & Schedules: Choose your own day, time and schedule.
Ease of Use: Backing up is easy, but restoring is a different story. You can choose exactly which folders and files to backup so if you’re unsure it can be a little daunting. Other than that, you just set the schedule and are good to go. Restoring, on the other hand, could be complicated and unless you know what you’re doing it may be best to let a developer handle the restoration for you.
Verdict: If you want something that connects to Dropbox and know what you’re doing, this plugin is perfect for you! Otherwise, try one of the other plugins mentioned above if you want something easier to use.
As you can see there are several great options and it all just depends on your budget, skill level and preferences! The important thing is to make sure your backups get done, regardless of what method you use. Because, nope, you don’t want to start from scratch if something happens!
Now go make sure your backup is running!