The horror of losing all your blog content is real.
It can happen to anyone.
One day your website is working fine, and the next…
…it just doesn’t.
And no matter how hard you try, you’re locked out of your WordPress dashboard. Your hosting service doesn’t have any solutions for you, either.
What would you do if that happens to you?
Without site backups, you could lose all the content you put in countless hours to create.
I am sure you don’t want that to happen. So, today I will guide you through some of the best WordPress backup plugins in the market.
Some are free, others aren’t.
Let’s get started.
Table Of Contents
Why you need to back up your WordPress website
You’ll be surprised to know that more than 70% of popular WordPress websites are vulnerable to security breaches.
Even if you install every WordPress update that rolls out, there’s still a slim chance of your site getting hacked.
The WordPress community forum is filled with hundreds of thousands of horror stories of this. You can also find stories of people getting hacked on social media networks like Twitter.
The good news is, a lot of WordPress users are now realizing the importance of creating backups.
Here’s a good example:
Now, imagine if you slacked off on your website’s security and never made a backup.
You will lose all the content you have spent hours creating.
Not to mention all the energy and resources you invested in promoting that content.
A backup will help you restore your website back to the older “a-day-before-getting-hacked” state with just a few clicks. You won’t even need to hire a developer to remove all the malicious code the hacker might have injected.
The many ways to back up a WordPress website
There are a lot of ways you can go about backing up your WordPress website:
- You could backup your WordPress site manually via your hosting account
- You can hire a professional or agency to do it
- …or you can use an automatic plugin
Hiring somebody just to back up your website is expensive, which is why it’s out of the question.
Out of the two options left, installing a backup plugin on your website is the easiest. But you still might want to manually backup your WordPress site.
Maybe you don’t want to buy a premium plugin, or maybe you just don’t trust backup plugins in general.
Whatever the case, here’s something you need to know:
A backup created by a WordPress plugin is at least 10 times better than a manual backup.
Here are three reasons:
1. Fewer chances of error
A backup plugin knows when WordPress is in an idle state and not performing any operations on the database.
This is exactly when you should be creating a backup.
If you back up WordPress manually, you might make a backup while WordPress is performing a resource-heavy operation.
And when this happens, your backup process may have some issues with it. When restored, there’s a chance it will break your website.
2. Peace of mind
You don’t want to be the person who constantly thinks about backing up their WordPress website.
A plugin will make automatic backups even when you are out on holiday. Heck, it can create automatic backups while you’re busy with other blogging-related tasks.
3. A plugin can create backups more efficiently
There is a lot you don’t know about WordPress unless you are a web developer.
If you create manual backups or rely on backup tools from your host, you’re probably creating a lot of bloat.
That’s because you could be backing up several copies of files that were unchanged from the previous backup. Long story short, you’re wasting a lot of space on your hosting account’s storage.
Premium automatic plugins solve this issue through a feature called “incremental backups.” These work by creating regular backups of files that are recently changed.
A word about free daily backups from web hosts
Most web hosts will yell from the rooftops that they offer free daily backups with every plan.
Free daily backups sound great, right?
The real question is: are these backups even reliable?
To be honest, I’d never say yes in a hundred years.
Most backups made by your web host are created irrespective of what’s happening on your website at any moment.
If WordPress data is undergoing changes, the backup created might break your website when restored.
I know this because it has happened to me before.
The instability of the backups is not the only problem here.
A lot of web hosts offer daily backups for free. But when it comes to restoration, some of them charge a fee.
Most web hosting companies also waive responsibilities when it comes to the reliability of website backups. This is revealed if you read their terms of service or backup policy.
I’m not saying these are bad web hosts. In fact, even the best web hosting services have less-than-reliable backup policies.
A Quick Warning About Free Backup Plugins
Before we dive into the latest and the greatest of backup plugins, here’s something you need to know:
Unlike premium plugins, you most likely won’t get any support with free backup plugins.
If something goes wrong, you will have to get it fixed yourself.
On the other hand, premium plugins like VaultPress and WPvivid take steps to ensure your backups are complete and secure.
And if anything goes wrong, their support team will help you resolve any problem you might have.
Am I saying all free backup plugins are bad?
No – far from it.
Most free backup plugins are awesome and get the job done. However, you should be extra cautious when creating backups.
A rule of thumb is to check if the backup was actually performed. Don’t just take a free backup plugin’s word for it.
Whether you go with a free or a premium backup plugin is your choice.
But at the end of the day, what matters is having secure, reliable backups you can trust.
The Best WordPress Backup Plugins
WPvivid has been my go-to backup plugin for quite a while.
The thing is, it’s being sold at a budget price – but it’s not even close to a budget plugin.
In fact, WPvivid has a lot of features that put other premium backup plugins to shame.
Not only can it help you automate backups and site migrations, it can also aid your website performance optimization efforts. It has lossless image optimization, unused images cleaner, lazy loading, and more.
WPvivid also supports incremental backups. That means it will only automatically back up files that were recently changed since your last full backup.
This is a huge space-saver, especially if you have a large website with several gigabytes of data.
- Complete backups, migrations, and restorations with a few clicks
- Incremental backups can save you a huge amount of server space
- Integrate cloud storage solutions to keep your backups safe
- Use image optimization and lazy loading to improve site performance
- Integrate a CDN or Content Delivery Network for faster loading speeds
- Create staging sites to experiment with your website’s design
- Very low upfront cost of $49 per year
- Slightly dated interface that fills pages with a bunch of options
Price: $49 per year for up to three websites
2. VaultPress (with Jetpack)
Update: VaultPress is now part of the Jetpack security, performance, and marketing service.
VaultPress is a service offered by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.
This plugin is one of the most trusted backup services out there for WordPress.
Unlike most backup services, VaultPress can also protect your site from hackers and offers a brute force protection service. Additionally, you can get spam protection for comments and uptime monitoring.
That is, if you can cough up the extra cash.
On the plus side, you can also take advantage of VaultPress’s real-time backups feature. This works by creating a small backup every time you change something on your site.
- Quick, painless restores with just a click of a button
- Easily migrate your website from one host to another
- Automated daily backups
- Unlimited storage space for your backups
- Virus scanner that detects and removes all viruses from your website including Malware
- You get much more than just VaultPress as a JetPack Pro service member.
- The backups are stored on VaultPress servers and not on yours. You get a little more security, but miss out on the advantages of remote backups.
- Real-time backups require a hefty monthly fee of $49.95
Price: $9.95 per month paid yearly
UpdraftPlus is one of the most popular and trusted backup plugins on the market.
Trusted by big names like Microsoft and P&G, UpdraftPlus comes with everything you can ask for in a backup plugin.
It allows automated scheduled backups, database encryption, advanced reporting, and more. It also supports popular cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Amazon Web Services.
A premium subscription to the plugin also comes with 1 GB of free Vault Storage, storage space on UpdraftPlus servers.
- Support for dozens of cloud storage services for off-site backups
- Free tokens for UpdraftClone, allowing you to create test sites
- Schedule daily and hourly automated backups for your website
- Easily migrate your site from one web host to another
- Automatically backs up your website before the installation of any new plugin or update
- High upfront cost of $70 a year
Price: $70 per year for two sites
BackWPup is a WordPress backup plugin that comes with dozens of advanced features.
It fully supports off-loading website backups to services such as Dropbox and Rackspace. You can also store backups on your own server or upload them to another server via FTP.
While the free version comes with everything beginners will need, the premium version offers support for more storage services and features.
- Free version of the plugin offers as many features as some of the premium plugins on this list
- Support for services such as Dropbox, Rackspace, SugarSync, and Google Drive
- Export your WordPress site into XML Format
- Support for differential backup of changed directories
- Encrypt backups for added security
- Automatic restorations
- The Pro version is a bit expensive despite supporting only 1 WordPress site on the entry-level plan
Price: Free, but the premium version available at $69 per site per year
BackUpWordPress is a lesser-known backup plugin for WordPress.
It was originally made by developers from HumanMade. Under new ownership, it’s now an open-source project – relying mostly on the community for its development.
BackUpWordPress works on both Linux and Windows servers, offering features like backup schedules and email backup copies. The plugin also supports translations for various languages, including but not limited to Chinese, German, Spanish, Russian, and French.
- Easily works in shared hosting environment with low available memory
- Exclude specific files and folders from your backups
- Available in multiple languages
- Support for multiple backup schedules
- 100% free, open-source model
- BackUpWordPress dropped support for cloud storage services
- No automatic restoration
BackupBuddy is a popular, all-in-one backup plugin from the WordPress theme developer iThemes.
It allows you to schedule automated backups of your whole website. If you want, you can also choose to include and exclude specific files and folders when creating backups.
BackupBuddy also allows you to send your backups to cloud services including Amazon S3, Dropbox, and Google Drive. This is always a plus, especially if you’re looking to keep your backup copies extra secure.
Lastly, BackupBuddy is recently updated to the 8.0 version, which unlocks additional features.
My favorite would be “Smart Backup Profiles.” This gives you total control over what gets copied and where backups get saved.
- Choose to backup custom posts, widgets, pages, theme files, and so on
- Create a real-time backup of your website with BackupBuddy Stash Live
- Use BackupBuddy to deploy changes from a WordPress staging site
- Easily migrate your website from one web host to another within minutes
- Create custom backup profiles you can use for routine backup tasks
- Support for cloud storage services including Google Drive, Amazon S3, and Dropbox
- High upfront cost
Price: $80 for up to two websites (including 1 bonus license)
A few more options
Make no mistake that the list of available WordPress backup plugins on the web is huge. I did not try all of them, but here are few more backup plugins you might want to try:
Update: Removed CYAN Backup and myRepono for being outdated (not tested with the last 3 WordPress releases).
All the six plugins we shared in this article are among the most popular and most trusted.
But because this is a comparison, I don’t want to leave you hanging.
It wouldn’t be a comparison review if we didn’t pick a clear winner. And, in this case, it’s a tie between WPvivid and VaultPress.
VaultPress has been the reigning king of backup services for years. But after I discovered WPvivid, I never looked back.
Before you leave, let me know in the comments which of these plugins is your favorite. And if you have ever faced any troubles backing up or migrating your website, don’t hesitate to ask a question.
Want even more security? Check out the links below to learn about reliable hosting services and my favorite VPN company.
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