The Best WordPress Backup Plugins Compared (In Detail)

best-wordpress-backup-plugins

WordPress is a household name for a reason: as the world’s most popular CMS, it is used by over 35% of all websites. If you’re reading this article, that likely means that your website is one of them. Just like with any sensitive data such as your financial details, it is important to safeguard your website’s contents from threats such as hackers and technical difficulties.

The good news? WordPress makes it easy to protect your website with a vast library of plugins to choose from, many of which can help you create a backup of your WordPress content. These backup plugins can prove very useful if you lose your website content because of a security breach — or any other reason.

Choosing A WordPress Backup Plugin

With a multitude of WordPress backup plugins currently on the market, choosing the right one may seem overwhelming. So what do you need to consider when looking for a plugin?

  • Database backup: with some plugins, you are only able to back up the database of your WordPress site, not the entire website.
  • Complete or full-site backup: other plugins let you back up all the files, including the database, themes, plugins, etc., i.e., your entire WordPress site.
  • Cloud backups: you also need to consider whether the plugin allows you to store your backups on a cloud (such as Google Drive, Amazon S3, Dropbox).
  • Scheduled backups: another aspect to take into account is whether you can have scheduled backups, i.e. backups that are scheduled automatically by the plugin. Otherwise, you are the one who has to remember to regularly log in and initiate the backup. A plugin that incorporates scheduled backups can give you peace of mind.
  • WordPress migration: not all plugins support migrating your site. If you think that you’ll ever have to migrate your website, make sure you choose a plugin that lets you do this.
  • Simple restoring: a solid plugin does not only perform a backup of your WordPress site but also lets you easily restore it from a backup. Check whether the plugin offers a fast and simple way of restoring your site that doesn’t require too much time or technical expertise.

Keeping these aspects in mind, we will now provide an overview of the top five WordPress backup plugins out there. After reviewing our top picks, you will be able to make a more informed decision on which plugin is most suitable for you.

1. UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus is rated as the most popular backup plugin for WordPress. Used by over 3 million WordPress sites including Microsoft, Princeton University, and NASA, it has a stellar rating of almost 5 out of 5 stars.

It has a free and a premium (paid) version, both of which allow you to make an easy manual or scheduled backup of all the files, databases, themes, and plugins on your website. With both versions, you can restore files directly from the control panel of your website.

The free version contains all the essential features and is pretty easy to use, even if you don’t have much technical knowledge. It allows you to send your backups to a cloud storage service such as Google Drive, Dropbox, UpdraftVault, Amazon S3, OpenStack Swift, DreamObjects, etc.

If you go for the $70 premium version (for up to two sites), you will also be able to store your backups into Google Cloud Storage, Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Web DAV, and many more. With this in mind, Updraft backs up to more cloud storage providers compared to other backup plugins.

By choosing the premium version, you gain access to a wide array of other enhanced features such as incremental backup, easy duplication or migration of websites, advanced reporting, database encryption, and more.

Top Features

  • solid free version;
  • user-friendly;
  • both backup and restore plugin;
  • full-site backup;
  • scheduled backups;
  • access to more cloud storage providers than any other backup plugins (premium version);
  • easy migration of website (premium version)

2. BackupBuddy

BackupBuddy has been used by half a million WordPress websites since 2010, making it among the top WordPress backup plugin choices.

BackupBuddy is a premium backup and restore plugin which offers three different versions: blogger, freelancer, and gold. The blogger version enables you to back up one website for $80, the freelancer version enables you to back up a maximum of ten sites for $127, and finally, the gold version allows back up of an unlimited number of sites.

This plugin streamlines the backup process into five simple steps, allowing for a backup of everything on your WordPress website. Unlike some other backup plugins that only back up the WordPress database, with BackupBuddy you can back up the whole WordPress installation. This includes all files, pages, themes, plugins, media library uploads, widgets, images, videos, and more.

In addition, BackupBuddy includes scheduled automatic backups, offsite backup storage, and restoration of your WordPress website. You will also get to save a lot of server resources with its excellent Stash feature.

If you wish to move or migrate your WordPress site, BackupBuddy has you covered. The plugin is especially popular among WordPress developers as it has an awesome developer feature that allows you to create a staging site where changes can be tested before they are pushed to the live site. To put it simply, with this kind of feature, there might not even be a need to restore files from a backup.

Top Features

  • exceptionally user-friendly;
  • has its own Stash feature;
  • developer feature for a staging site;
  • both backup and restore plugin;
  • full-site backup;
  • scheduled backup;
  • cloud storage;
  • website migration

3. VaultPress (with Jetpack)

VaultPress was created by Automattic, the company behind WordPress. It is currently part of the Jetpack plugin, offering fast backups and restoration.

The plugin comes in several different versions. There is no free version and the cost ranges from $10/month to up to $700/year.

At $10/month, the basic version provides automated daily backups, one-click migration or restore, solid off-site infrastructure, and a 30-day backup archive. At $50/month, you get all of the above-mentioned features as well as real-time backups and an unlimited backup archive.

At $700/year, you can invest in the highest level of protection with Jetpack Security Real-time. This option enables you to have daily and on-demand security scans, unlimited high-speed and ad-free video hosting, and SEO tools.

A potential downside to this plugin is the price. Since you pay per website, expenses can add up quickly if you have several WordPress websites.

Moreover, backups are only stored for a period of 30 days. To gain access to an unlimited backup archive, you have to pay per website, making VaultPress a much pricier option than the other backup plugins on this list, especially for beginners.

Top Features

  • daily and on-demand in-depth security scans (Jetpack Security Real-time version);
  • unlimited backup archive (more expensive versions);
  • both backup and restore plugin;
  • scheduled backup;
  • off-site storage;
  • full-site restore;
  • one-click migration

4. BlogVault

BlogVault is a reliable backup plugin trusted by over 400,000 WordPress site users. In fact, it’s not simply a WordPress plugin, but rather a Software as a service (SaaS) solution.

This plugin allows daily automated backups as well as on-demand backups, off-site backups, one-click website recovery and flawless migration, complete site backup, and cloud backup storage.

It has three plans, the basic one costing $7.4/month, the mid-range and most popular plan costing $12.4/month, and the advanced option at $20.75/month.

All three plans also offer a very cool feature: one-click staging. With it, you are able to test the changes and updates on your WordPress site safely. The more expensive options also offer automatic malware scans and removal, with the most advanced option offering real-time backup and security as well.

BlogVault is a solid WordPress backup option, but it’s undeniably pricier than a plugin like UpdraftPlus. Technically, the cheapest plan costs $89/year for just one site. Moreover, there is no possibility for a weekly subscription, you have to subscribe for at least one month.

Top Features

  • both automated and unlimited on-demand backups;
  • one-click staging;
  • one-click restore;
  • full-site backup;
  • outstanding site migration;
  • cloud backup storage;
  • automatic malware scans (more expensive plans);
  • real-time backup and security (more expensive plans)

5. ManageWP

ManageWP was bootstrapped by successful WordPress developer Vladimir Prelovac in 2012. The first WordPress website management tool, it’s much more than a just backup plugin and allows for the efficient management of multiple WordPress sites.

ManageWP offers two backup versions: free and premium.

The free version provides monthly scheduled backup, off-site storage, one-click restore, the possibility to choose storage in the EU or US, and more.

The premium version starts at $2/month, and for $75/month you get up to 100 websites with a bundle. The premium version contains all the features of the free one, in addition to on-demand backup and a migration/clone tool, as well as different frequencies of backup.

Bulk actions are the most attractive feature of ManageWP. ManageWP brings all of your dashboards in one place. This means that if you manage 100 WordPress sites, ManageWP enables you to perform a bulk backup or a bulk security check on all 100 sites at the same time.

The premium version also offers a SafeUpdate feature, which enables your WordPress site to be updated as safely as possible. This is because the feature automatically creates a restore point before the update.

ManageWP doesn’t have the same rating as UpdraftPlus and criticism has been raised by some users over trouble with large backups, as well as the expenses adding up. For instance, the additional features in the premium version are paid individually, as there is no monthly subscription. Still, ManageWP is viewed as a reliable backup option. It is an especially good choice if you manage more than 5 websites.

Top Features

  • free version;
  • bulk backups/security checks;
  • on demand backups (premium version);
  • migration (premium version);
  • one-click restore;
  • scheduled backups;
  • off-site storage;
  • SafeUpdate feature (premium version)

6. Server Backups

A backup plugin definitely comes in handy. Yet, there are other ways to create a WordPress site backup without using a backup plugin. With the thousands of plugins out there, especially those that have free versions, why would you opt-out of one?

Well, for one thing, many plugins perform backups on a site level, not on a server level, which is the level at which backups are best done. Server backups are far safer than on-site backups because files residing on a remote server are far less damage-prone and easier to recover than files on a site level. This is especially true if you’re using a cloud server, which is basically multiple servers working together and each saving a copy of your files.

Plugins can also slow down and add weight to your website while completing automatic backups. Most importantly, plugins are always operated by a third party. By not using a backup plugin, you maintain greater control over your WordPress files.

So, how can you perform server backups?

Host Backups

You can perform manual backups through your host, a simple process where you complete a manual backup of your entire website through your cPanel.

It should be noted that the appearance of your cPanel can vary, depending on the host. Once you have finished the backup, you can simply download it and save it to your computer, external hard drive, iCloud, or wherever you want.

SSD Nodes offers affordable server backups that won’t disrupt your site’s work. Performing these backups can come in very handy in case you lose your WordPress website’s content. They’ll provide you with a direct restore point on a server level.

PHPMyAdmin Backups

Another option is performing manual backups through PHPMyAdmin. By doing so, you will be on a live site, which may not be ideal, as you have to go into the live database of your website.

Other Ways

There are also other alternative methods, such as exporting the site files with built-in export, FTP backups, or tools for more advanced users such as WP CLI. However, you would have to be comfortable using the command line for these more advanced WordPress tools.

Server backups are a good option if you don’t really trust plugins, but the whole process is often of lower quality in terms of functionality. For example, if you select the simplest server backup option — hosting level backups — keep in mind that very few such backups let you save all hosting dashboard configurations. Moreover, automatic daily backups are rarely an option with these.

Conclusion: Having a Solid WordPress Backup Plugin Will Save You From Losing Money

Ultimately, the best WordPress backup plugin for you will vary based on your needs and budget – but any of the above options represent a sound investment for website owners.

UpdraftPlus has a solid free version that offers both a full-site backup and restores your site. It’s highly reliable and rated higher by WordPress users and developers than any other rival. It’s also easy and intuitive to use. So, especially if you’re on a budget, you should give the widely used UpdraftPlus a shot.

If you’re looking for a backup plugin with even fancier features, our top pick would be BlogVault. Trusted by over 400,000 website owners across the globe, it offers comprehensive backup, an easy-to-use restore feature, and the BackupBuddy Stash service and developer package make it stand out. What’s more, it’s created with the ordinary user in mind, making it super user-friendly.

Alternatively, if you wish to feel more in control of your WordPress files, you may even consider server backups and eliminating third parties. However, the downside of server backups is the lack of functionality and the fact that they can be slightly more difficult to restore. Having a server backup in place at the host-level can definitely still be useful in addition to using one of the WordPress backup plugins in this post though...

If you run a WordPress website that generates revenue, you should be especially careful about backing up your content. With the right plugin, you may save yourself from additional headaches — and even save some money.