There are thousands of things that could go wrong with your WordPress site or blog, and not all of them are preventable. What you can do is arm yourself and preserve your data by creating backups.
Backup plugins are exactly-what-they-say-on-the-tin. They create a copy of your lovingly crafted code, which will stay mostly forgotten until you accidentally lock yourself out, irreparably mess something up, or hackers get a hold on your site. They give you peace of mind and a safe ‘out’ in catastrophic situations.
There are hundreds of backup plugins for WordPress blogs/sites, both premium and free. They’re fairly easy to install and use. Here’s a list of 7 of the best ones:
This plugin allows you to store backups on cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.), the host, or device itself (simply download the backup file on your computer). It’s simple and easy to use, so if you’re new to WordPress, you’ll take to this plugin like fish to water.
UpdraftPlus is well known, with up to 2 million downloads till date and counting. The free version of this plugin is available with all the features mentioned above. Premium version comes with added features like multi-site capabilities and UpdraftPlus Vault Storage.
BackWPup is free, and like UpdraftPlus, it allows you to create WordPress backup files and store it on cloud (Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace, etc.), FTP, your computer, or even email. You can find this plugin listed in WordPress plugin directory.
This plugin has a very easy-to-use UI. It will also let you schedule automatic backups as per the frequency of your site updates (or any other specifications).It’s also very simple to restore the WordPress site from a backup.
The pro version (BackWPup Pro) comes with some cool add-ons like priority support and backup storage on Google Drive.
If you’re going to pay, you should also consider…
This is perhaps the most popular premium plugin available for WordPress backup. You can schedule backups (daily, weekly, or monthly) and store them on cloud (Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace), Stash (BackupBuddy’s own cloud service), on FTP. You can also mail the backup files to yourself.
The cost disadvantage that comes with subscription-based premium backup services (stacking costs with every use on separate website) is not the case with this plugin. BackupBuddy is popular because it gives you a license for use on multiples sites mentioned in your plan. Once you pay, you get access to premium support forums, updates, and an additional 1GB cloud storage on Stash for your backups.
You can also use it for migrating hosts with little-to-no-downtime.
Brought to you by co-founder of WordPress (Matt Mullenweg) himself and his team at Automattic, VaultPress is a premium backup service and it is worth every penny. This subscription based service has different plans and pricing options. Most websites use VaultPress’ automated cloud backup service for $5/month.
The plugin itself is easy to install and use, with great user interface for simplified handling. They even offer security scans of your site code in some of their packages. It’s also one of the few plugins that offer real-time incremental backups, meaning that it will create backup of only the part that has been updated within minutes. This prevents too much backup clutter and allows you to use your server resources even more efficiently.
The only downside can be cost, which multiplies with the number of sites you use it on. Otherwise, for a single, large site which is updated frequently, VaultPress is the ticket.
Another nifty backup plugin you can find right up in WordPress Plugin Directory, WP-DB-Backup creates backups for your WordPress database, free of charge.
It also means that backup for your media files will have to be covered separately.
WP-DB-Backup works well as a primary backup plugin for WordPress sites that are not updated too frequently, or has no use for images. It is also a good solution if, for some reason, your hosting server is not providing you access to phpMyAdmin.
The plugin is lightweight, simple, and easy to use. It has all the usual features of backup plugins: automatic scheduled backups and easy restore. It’s well known and trusted, with more than 500,000 active installs till date and counting.
This one is more of a site migration utility than anything else. However it also has backup features.
Duplicator gives you the ability to migrate, clone, move, backup, and transfer entire sites from one location to other with minimum hassle. Hundreds of thousands of users can vouch for this plugin’s functionality.
While Duplicator is efficient (and multi-purpose), you should think before choosing it as your site’s primary backup solution. It does not allow users to schedule automated backups, so if your site needs frequent updates and regular maintenance, look for other options.
This plugin doesn’t beat around the bush. It has all the features of backup plugins: creating automatic backup schedules, managing multiple schedules at once, working in host-sharing environments, emailing backup files, working on Linux and Windows Server. It’s also easy to use and requires no setup.
The free version of this plugin does not allow users to store their backup on cloud storage. To store backup files on Google Drive, Dropbox, FTP, etc, you’ll have to go premium.
This plugin is actively installed on more than 200,000 devices; both free and premium versions are popular and easy to use.
It also has quite a large (and active) support community. So if you need help, you can always get it.
Developers are also helping to make this plugin better. You can give your input by translating it or help develop and test it in other ways.
All backup plugins will cover the basics, which, after all, means creating a duplicate file of your site to store away and get back to whenever you need it.
They’ll also have additional features and those are worth serious consideration.
If you don’t want to spend money on backups, choose one of the free plugins. If your server doesn’t give you access to phpMyAdmin, go for WP-DB-Backup.
If you hate the monthly subscriptions and have a medium-sized website, go for BackupBuddy. It gives users their own space to store backups on BackupBuddy’s cloud service called Stash (extra space is always good) and also helps when you’re migrating hosts.
Choice is yours.