What’s the point in backing up your site?
Well, things go wrong sometimes.
- Fires or flooding at hosts
- Updates break stuff
- User error
Backing up your site can minimize the damage.
Instead of losing everything, backing up your site allows you to restore the site to a saved version from a day, week or month earlier (depending on how often you have backups scheduled).
What Do We Look For in a WordPress Backup Plugin?
1. Scheduled Backup
Scheduled backup = A new backup is saved at regular, predetermined intervals.
If you don’t backup your site regularly, it kind of defeats the point of backing your site up at all.
If your site is hacked and your last backup is 6 months ago, you’re going to lose six months worth of content.
That’s where scheduled backups come in.
We want a plugin where we can schedule a weekly backup and the plugin takes care of the rest. Set it and forget it.
What we want
- The plugin to perform backups based upon our predetermined schedule
2. Ease of Use
Ease of use = a plugin that is simple to set up and run.
We’re not looking for anything fancy here. We want something that does the job and does it well.
Options are usually a good thing. But, in this case, I would like the option of a 1-click backup and a 1-click restore.
What we want
- 1-click complete backup
- 1-click complete restore
3. It Backups Everything
Backs up everything = everything is saved in a version that restores the complete site to the state it was previously in before the problems occurred.
Some plugins backup the WordPress database, some plugins backup the files. We are looking for a plugin that backs everything up.
We’re talking database, files, images, posts, blog comments. Everything
What we want
A backup of:
4. Backup to Cloud
Backup to cloud = the backup is saved on an independent, third-party cloud platform.
There are a bunch of different places you can save your backups. You can:
- Get a copy via email from the plugin
- Store it on the plugin’s servers
- Store it on your host’s servers
- Save it locally on your computer
- Store it in Google Drive,
- Dropbox or similar cloud storage tools
I feel more comfortable with my site backed up in some kind of cloud storage. This may be Dropbox or Google Drive but it is important to have the options to save the backups where you wish.
What we want
- More than one storage option
- Backups saved in multiple locations
We want the best value for our money.
This may or may not mean a free plugin.
If there is a free plugin that does everything we need it to do then there is no point in paying for a fancy plugin.
However, if that free plugin doesn’t exist, or if there is a paid plugin that does such a great job that it would be stupid not to pay the money for it, then we’ll choose that.
Best WordPress Backup Plugins
There’s a free version and a pro version of BackWPUp.
The free version does quite a lot. It allows you to:
- Backup the database
- Generate a file with the plugins you have installed on your site
- Backup files
- Store the backups to FTP Server, Dropbox, Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, RackSpace Cloud or SugarSync
- Send backups to your email
In the paid/’Standard’ version, you get the option to save to Google Drive as well.
It costs $34.50 for the Standard version. This covers one site. If you are getting BackWPUp, I would recommend purchasing the paid version.
A bonus with the paid version is it allows you to backup to Google Drive, bt I would purchase BackWPUp is for scheduled backups. In the paid version you get access to a wizard for scheduling backup jobs.
That being said, I don’t recommend BackWPUp.
It fails the ease of use test. We want a plugin that’s easy to backup and easy to restore.
BackWPUp doesn’t have a feature to restore a backup at the moment. They’re working on it but, at the moment, can’t offer this feature.
So, it’s a no from me. That’s a dealbreaker.
Vaultpress is more than just a backup plugin. It’s recently been rolled into one plugin with Jetpack to make it more of a security plugin.
The plugin claims to protect you from hackers, host failure, viruses, user error, malware and exploits.
It does all this by doing the following:
- Site Migration
- Automated File Repair
- File Scanning
- Spam defense
This is all well and good, but we’re interested in how well it performs backups. So let’s have a look.
Vaultpress does automated daily backups and stores it for you with unlimited storage space. They keep these backups for 30 days.
So, at any point after the first thirty days, you’ll have a copy of a backup from each of the last 30 days. If anything goes wrong, you can choose which one to restore.
Thirty days is ok, but ideally you would want you backups to be stored for longer. It can realistically take more than 30 days to notice a site issue and at this point all of your stored backups are basically worthless.
However, with the professional plan ($19.99 per month), you can get an unlimited archive of backups. Then, all of your backups are stored on an ongoing basis.
The plugin also offers one-click automated restores. This makes it incredibly easy to return your site to the latest version if anything goes wrong.
An issue for me is having to rely on Vaultpress to store the backups. This is something I’d, personally, like to choose.
I’d trust Vaultpress with my backups and I’m sure they are perfectly safe but being able to store the backups in multiple locations is important to me.
In general, Vaultpress offer almost all of the features you could want plus more (the security stuff).
For me, the backup archive is important. I would want to get the professional plan for $19.99 per month.
Overall, I can see why Vaultpress is so popular but there are two minor issues for me. The first of those is relying upon Vaultpress to store the backup copies and the second is that $19.99 per month is expensive.
For me, if I was to pay this for a backup plugin, it would have to have everything and unfortunately Vaultpress just falls slightly short.
BackupBuddy is probably the most popular backup plugin for WordPress. In fact, it has been downloaded over 500,000 times.
With it being popular, you would assume that it ticks all of the boxes. Let’s find out!
A backup from BackupBuddy contains:
- Theme Files
- Theme and Plugin Settings
- WP Core Files
- Custom Post Types
- WP Settings
- WP Database
- Media Library Uploads
- Categories and Tags
- Images and Videos
But don’t worry, you don’t need to back all of these up if you don’t want to. When you setup the plugin you can choose what you want to be backed up and what you don’t. It’s up to you.
Building on that, you can set up the backups to run on a schedule. All you have to do is set it up and forget about it.
Once you’ve backed up your site, you’ve got the option of how you want to store it. You can download the backup, store it on BackupBuddy Stash (their own cloud platform),Amazon S3, Google Drive or Dropbox amongst others.
On top of that, BackupBuddy comes with an additional tool. ImportBuddy allows you to migrate or restore your site to a previous saved version easily within the WordPress backend.
There is a simple interface that allows you to choose which version you would like to restore and complete the entire process.
BackupBuddy starts from $80 per year. If you only have one site, the basic version is all you really need.
If you have more than one site, however, it’s only an extra $20 per year for the Freelancer package that gives you access up to 10 sites.
You only get 1GB of BackupBuddy Stash storage space with both of these packages but that is not really a problem if, like me, you’d prefer to store your backups yourself anyway.
All in all, for less than $10 per month, BackupBuddy is great value for money. It does everything i’m looking for in a backup plugin.
BlogVault is an intelligent plugin in that it uses an incremental backup system rather than backing up the entire site every time.
This means it backs up the entire site the first time it runs. After that, it only updates the existing backup with any changes that have been made.
The theory is it reduces the load on the server and allows you to backup even the largest of sites efficiently.
BlogVault stores all of the backups on their own servers. They’re also stored on Amazon S3 servers as a precaution.
Although I’d prefer control over where I can save my backups, it’s reassuring backups are saved in two separate, secure locations.
Interestingly, BlogVault perform also perform incremental restores.
Rather than removing the entire site and replacing it with the entire backup, they simply undo the changes that have been made since the last backup.
In order to check whether this restore has actually worked, they let you check in a test environment first so that you do not have to make any changes that do not work live.
Overall, BlogVault is a very interesting offering. It does almost everything you would want it to do and it does it intelligently. The developers have clearly thought the process through and the marketing team explain it well.
From $9 per month, it is not going to break the bank. BlogVault really is a serious contender.
How Do They Compare?
|Plugin||Scheduling||Ease of Use||Complete Backup||Storage Options||Price|
What One Should You Use?
BackupBuddy is popular for a reason, it does everything that you need it to do and it does it well. While it is not free, it is reasonably priced. There are almost no drawbacks as far as I can see.
With BlogVault, there are a lack of options for storage, you are constrained to storing your backups with them (although they store backups on both their own servers and Amazon S3). I would like more options but this isn’t a major issue.
BlogVault is in the same price range as BackupBuddy (less than $10 per month) and it’s intelligent in the way it backs up and restores your site.
For me, either of these options would work perfectly for a small or large site.