Your alarm clock goes off, so you roll out of bed, rubbing your eyes and shuffling your way to the computer. Another day of online business awaits, and you’re excited to see how many sales your online store has made, or how many visitors your blog has obtained.
You try to open up your WordPress admin area and…Error.
You’re not quite sure what, but something is horribly wrong. A quick call to your hosting company lets you you know that the site has been crashed due to a hacker. Unfortunately, you didn’t have a backup WordPress plugin. So, not only did you miss out on all those visitors and sales, but your databases, content, and just about everything from your site is gone.
Time to start from scratch.
This is an extreme example, but it’s not too far-fetched if you don’t prepare yourself for malware, brute force attacks and SQL injections.
Therefore, it’s essential that you defend your hard work with one of the best WordPress backup plugins on the market. Here are the ones you can choose from.
Since backup plugins more or less complete the same task, we’re going to look into three areas:
Starting out, my test website has the following speeds:
Upon landing on the settings screen, I noticed that the primary dashboard asks if you’d like to make a manual backup right from the start. You also have Restore, Clone and Migrate buttons right there. All of the existing backups are stored on the dashboard for you to access at a later time, all of which you can restore or delete.
The main settings module is where the meat of the plugin resides. It lets you make an automated file and database backup schedule anywhere from hourly to monthly. You can also tell it how long to retain the backups. Remote storage is available in places like OneDrive, the UpDraftPlus Vault, Dropbox, Google Drive, and dozens more. I like that you can select which of the files you’d like to include in the backup, and you receive an email report when the backup is done.
Overall, UpDraft Plus has one of the more simple, yet powerful, solutions out there, and it doesn’t seem to affect your page load speeds.
So, this plugin didn’t slow down my site at all.
Unfortunately, scheduled backups, email notifications and cloud storage to places like Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, and FTP are only available through the Pro version, which starts at $39 for one site. Although some people may be willing to pay this, the plugin we just looked at gives you all of this for free.
However, Duplicator does the job once installed, and you even get some fancy tools for copying and cloning sites. The only problem is that the wordage used in the Settings page is a little confusing. Instead of simply using the word backup, they walk you through a process of creating “packages,” which is strange at first.
The good news is that Duplicator didn’t slow down my site at all. In fact it seemed to have gotten faster.
The only part that I didn’t like about the BackUpWordPress plugin is that the settings are stored in the Tools tab in WordPress. Other than that, it’s a rather intuitive tool, with rudimentary settings for even the most inexperienced of developers. Complete a manual backup from the dashboard, and schedule when you’d like the automated backups to occur.
You can select to backup only files or the database, but I’d recommend doing both. Along with that, you can specify when you’d like the backup to start, along with the number of backups stored on your website. Finally, it’s nice to get an email notification without having to pay for a Pro plugin.
WP DB Backup is yet another plugin that you have to access through the Tools tab. Although the developers have the main Settings page broken down into Tables, Backup Options and Scheduled Backups, the interface is a little too complex and messy for my taste.
You actually receive a nice feature to omit some of the tables from your database backup, but they really should put this in a separate tab for the beginners who will get far too intimidated by the table listings. Anyways, it’s important to mention that this is only a database backup, so I’m not a huge fan of a plugin that skips all of your site files. Other than that, you get to schedule the backup, download it to your computer and even send yourself an email with the files.
The speed doesn’t change much, but this is expected because the backups are emailed to you and not stored.
VaultPress was a reliable backup plugin developed by the same developers behind WordPress. Recently, Automattic decided to make VaultPress part of its Jetpack subscription. Now, instead of selling VaultPress as an individual product, the backup service comes bundled with the Jetpack plugin priced at $39 per year for the Jetpack personal subscription. This is a major discount compared to the previous $5 a month pricing of the plugin.
Jetpack Backup is far more powerful than most of the other backup plugins, and because it’s so cheap for a premium theme, and you get to eliminate the need to go out and get a high-powered security plugin, it’s hard to pass it up.
The only problem is that you have to open up a completely separate dashboard to manage things like your backups, security, stats and activity. My favorite part is how the backup center is laid out with calendars. This way I have a more visual look into what’s happening with my storage. Also, you can restore files from the dashboard, monitor your site activity in real-time and cut out threats without having to hire a pro.
What’s interesting is that Jetpack Backup seemed to slow down my site more than any of the others I’ve tested so far.
The Pro version of BackWPup starts at $69 for one site. I consider that to be rather pricey for a simple backup plugin, but you also have access to the free version without the Pro features. With the free plugin you still get backups to places like S3 services, an FTP server and Dropbox. You can make backups of your database and files, and data compression comes along with the plugin for free. It’s also nice to see that an email backup is an option.
I will say one thing. The Settings page is far more interesting and intuitive than any of the other backup plugins on this list. They have visuals, icons, descriptions for each button and tabs to keep settings separated. The backups are called “jobs,” which is kind of annoying, but it doesn’t really affect you once you get use to the terminology. Although walking through each job will be confusing for beginners, I like it for more experienced developers.
Not only can you set a job destination and send an email to yourself, but they have options for database backups, file backups, WordPress XML exports, installed plugin lists and an area to check database tables. Keep in mind that it slowed down my site more than others.
As the most expensive backup plugin on this list (starting at $80 per year) I put this one way down at the bottom, since I feel like you can get what you need from other free solutions. However, if you have the cash to spend, and you’ really want to ensure that every single one of your files is backed up, it’s not a bad idea to look into BackupBuddy.
Similar to VaultPress, you also receive tools for security. So, for example, if you’d like to run a malware scan, it’s only a click away on the dashboard. In terms of backing up data, it’s the most complete solution out there, since you can go to the Settings page and backup items like the WordPress core, widgets, users, the media library, comments, posts and the database.
Also similar to VaultPress, BackupBuddy seemed to hurt my page speeds a little more than average.
BlogVault is a unique WordPress backup plugin made for web designers and developers in mind as the plugin comes with a free staging environment and free cloud storage that’ll make your website development process much easier.
One of the main selling points of the plugin is its easy to use website restore feature. The developers of the plugin claim that it has a 100% website restore success rate and boasts over 1 million successful websites restored with over 450,000 website backups made.
In addition to its free storage, you can also connect your Dropbox account with BlogVault to have a copy of your website backup in your personal cloud storage as well.
BlogVault is a premium plugin with pricing plans starting at $7.95 per month
|Plugins||Pingdom||GTMetrix Page load time ||My personal experience (10 being the best)|
|UpdraftPlus||607 milliseconds||1.5 seconds||10|
|Duplicator||607 milliseconds||1 second||7|
|BackupWordPress||735 milliseconds||0.9 seconds||8|
|WP DB Backup||599 milliseconds||1.4 seconds||6|
|Jetpack||1.54 seconds||2 seconds||9|
|BackWPup||1.72 seconds||1.9 seconds||8|
|BackupBuddy||1.1 seconds||2.1 seconds||8|
Seeing as how YSlow, PageSpeed, and Pingdom performance grades never changed during my testing, there’s no reason to include these in the comparison chart. However, keep in mind that I used a site with minimal content and the lightweight Sixteen theme, so if you add some conflicting plugins, more content and a clunkier theme, you could see those scores change.
UpdraftPlus provides the best value for the number of features included for free, and it’s rather easy to understand the settings area. BackWPUp and BackUpBuddy have the worst load times, but they all make up for it with additional features, like security.
Jetpack Backups is also worth giving a try since it comes at an affordable price and packed with many other benefits included in the Jetpack bundle.
We hope this article helped you find the right backup solution for your WordPress site. To take your website security to the next level, make sure to read our 14 Ways to Secure Your WordPress Site guide.
If you have any questions about the best WordPress backup plugins or would like to share your experiences with the plugins we talked about, please let us know in the comments section below.
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