Backups are essential in making sure your data is protected and retrievable in the event you face any loss of stored content. Creating regular backups of your website can save you when it matters most. There is a countless number of free and paid backup plugins that can help you give you peace of mind when you aren’t looking after your website.
It isn’t uncommon for server failures and security issues to pop up in your website. Hackers and several downtimes are two factors that still plague many website owners.
How To Choose A Good Backup Plugin
Choosing a backup plugin is always worth it regardless of your business, its size, and capital. Expensive backups aren’t necessarily good plugins. There are many plugins to choose from so finding the right one is always tricky. There are a few things to look for when choosing the right backup plugin.
Database Backup: These are the plugins that let you exclusively backup your database data.
Complete Backup: These plugins let you back up your entire website which includes your database data, WordPress files, themes and all the changes you’ve made.
Scheduled Backup: These plugins backup your website during a fixed time every day. This will take your mind off of having to backup data yourself.
Earlier on, backing up your website files means they are to be stored on your server, but security concerns quickly took over, and it became evident that this practice wouldn’t be enough to guarantee the safety of user data. So to improve security, WordPress backup plugins now support backing your files up in the cloud. Services like Dropbox, Drive or Amazon S3 can be used to store your website data and be more relieved of any potential attack or breach on your website.
Now to explore the many plugins that offer the features necessary to guarantee the protection of your data and combat any possible loss you might face. Some of the plugins are free while some are not but we’ll detail their pros and cons enough to understand which is the most viable option for you.
Updraft is a massively popular service that has been rated as one of the best backup plugins WordPress has to offer. Just by landing on its settings screen you can notice standard backup options. Restore, Clone and Migrate buttons will welcome you as you land on these pages. There is a free version of the plugin you can opt, but its features are limited. However, you can still setup full, manual and scheduled backups of all your website files which include your database, themes, and plugins. Multiple cloud options are supported so you can back up your data on Drive or Amazon S3 and easily retrieve them. The paid version has much more features, but the free version can cover all your basic needs.
Duplicator isn’t that popular, and that can be attributed to the fact that significant features like scheduled backup, email notifications, and cloud storage can only be availed through the paid version. The paid version starts at $39 for each site. Duplicator does get a lot of paid customers but what does it provide that can match with the free UpdraftPlus? Well, Duplicator instantly does the job once the pro version is installed and it has neat tools for copying and cloning sites. What is most appreciated about Duplicator is how it helps boost the speed of the site rather than slowing it down like many other plugins end up causing.
BackupBuddy is one of the oldest plugins that has revamped itself continuously to be better and more feature rich. The plugin allows for scheduled backups that include weekly, monthly or even daily backups. BackupBuddy places no restriction backing your website up to the cloud, on websites like Dropbox, Rackspace, Amazon S3 or even email it to yourself. What makes BackupBuddy from other plugins is the fact that it doesn’t have any monthly subscriptions. You can use the plugin for multiple sites on your plan. Being part of Backupbuddy means you are given 1GB of cloud storage on any chosen cloud services.
WP-DB-Backup is a free to use plug-in that exclusively backs up your WordPress database. However, it is one of the best database backup plugins out there. It has over 400000 active installs, and so is one of the most used backup plugins there is.
WP-DB-Backup is very easy to use and setup. Right after installing the plugin you can create database backups, schedule automated backups and restore your previous backups. Of course, using this plugin means you will have to back up your themes and plugins manually. If you don’t update your site’s design too often or if you don’t update images, audio or video then WP-DB-Backup can act as your primary backup plugin.
WP-DB-Backup also doesn’t let you store your backups to the cloud directly. The backups can either be downloaded to your system or have it mailed to you. That is to expect since there aren’t any media files and hence not much space taken to backup. You can manually upload it to the cloud if you wish to. The local storage also doesn’t affect the speed in any way.
VaultPress isn’t free to use, but it is feature rich and offers a lot of security options. For primary backups, you can pay a monthly fee of $5 which includes all the earlier mentioned backup options like database backups and scheduled backups. VaultPress is an excellent option because of how affordable it is. Most other premium plugins cost above $20 but VaultPress offers similar backup functionalities for a mere $5, and you can get even more security options for a yet even cheaper premium subscription that starts at $9 a month. The robust nature of the plugin coupled with its affordability.
VaultPress has to be used by opening up a separate dashboard for your management of the plugins. The dashboard will show information like backups, stats, activity, and security. All the backups can be accessed through a calendar within the plugin that lets you restore the website or create new backups. The massive features of VaultPress indeed make the website slower.
BackupWordpress is a free to use a backup plugin that lets you store all your media files and database content with also scheduled backup options to boot. BackupWordpress offers even more flexibility with its features by letting you create different schedules for media content and database content. However, BackupWordPress does fall short in one department, and that is cloud storage. To access direct cloud storage, you will have to purchase the premium extension. You can either purchase for one service from Drive, you or Dropbox, etc can buy the whole bundle which lets you back up to whichever platform you want.
BackWPUp is also free to use a plugin that comes with useful features you can rely on. It has all kinds of backup solutions including scheduled backups, and you can store the backups either on your local storage or cloud services, but for the free version, you are only allowed to store on either Dropbox or Amazon S3. Whereas the premium option offers Google Drive and Amazon Glacier as well. With the premium version, you can back the files up on multiple services and backup specific file paths of your website.
This plugin is simple in features and limited in storage options. It is completely free to use with scheduled backups and media backups, but you can only back the files up on Dropbox which might be a dealbreaker for some people who need to store on multiple destinations. You don’t need to make separate accounts for the plugin, and neither does it open separate dashboards and add bloated functionalities. The plugin doesn’t affect the speed of your site either despite the cloud storage.
WP Time capsule is a special plugin that is unlike the others. Use WP Time Capsule if you want to back up your recent files and not your entire site. You can backup your files to any storage service like Dropbox, Google Drive or Amazon S3. Since the plugin doesn’t consume too many resources for compressing your files into zips and uploading them, there is no loss in speed, and the backups are usually done quite fast.
As the name suggests, WP Database Backup is exclusive for database storage and nothing else. You can have the backups sent to you an email, or you can download it to your local storage. The plugin is quite technical, so you’ll back up and restore databases on your own. You’ll prefer this if you don’t update your WordPress site too often and if you don’t add media content.
The choices for backups are abundant, and if you are wondering which is the best option that is all around useful for someone who blogs and uploads media regularly, then the answer is UpdraftPlus. The plugin has all kinds of backup solutions with no requirement of paying. The other options are all valuable, but it depends on what kind of site you are running and what kind of plugin you are looking for.