The horror of losing all the content on your website is real.
It can happen to anyone.
One day your website is working fine, and the next . . .
. . . it just doesn’t.
What would you do if that happens to YOU?
If you don’t have a backup of your website, you will lose all the content that you put in countless hours to create.
I am sure you don’t want that to happen, so today I will guide you through some of the best WordPress backup plugins in the market.
Some are free, others aren’t.
But most of the premium plugins are easily affordable for any blogger.
Just skip the next two cups of coffee and save!
Why You Need To Backup Your WordPress Website
You’ll be surprised to know that more than 70% of websites running WordPress are vulnerable to hackers.
Even if you install every new minor and major WordPress update, you still stand a slim chance of getting hacked.
The WordPress community forum is filled with hundreds of thousands of horror stories of users getting hacked and then losing all their data.
What will you do if you get hacked? Have you thought about it?
You will lose all the content you have put in hours to create. Not to mention all the time you spent promoting that content.
If you don’t want to lose all your content in case of a hack, or some random error, you need to create regular backups of your WordPress website.
A backup will help you restore your website back to the older “a-day-before-getting-hacked” state with just a click, so you won’t have to hire a developer to remove all the malicious code the hacker might have uploaded.
The Many Ways To Backup a WordPress Website
There are a lot of ways you can go about backing up your WordPress website.
Hiring a developer every week just to backup your website is expensive and hence is out of the question.
Out of the two options left, installing a backup plugin on your website is the easiest. But you still might want to manually backup your WordPress site.
Maybe you don’t want to buy a premium plugin, or maybe it’s because you don’t trust backup plugins. Whatever the case, here’s something you need to know:
A backup created by a WordPress plugin is at least 10 times better than a manual backup.
Here are three reasons:
1. Fewer Chances of Error
A backup plugin knows when WordPress is in an idle state and not performing any operations on the database.
This is the state where you should be creating a backup.
If you backup WordPress manually, you might make a backup while WordPress is performing an operation on the database. And when this happens, your backup, when restored will break your website.
2. Peace of Mind
When you are out on holiday, you don’t want to be backing up your WordPress site every day or even every week.
A plugin will make automatic backups even when you are out on holiday.
3. A Plugin Backs Up Everything
There is a lot you don’t know about WordPress unless you are a web developer.
If that is the case, you might miss out on backing up some important data or making some changes that are required before creating a backup.
When this happens, you will be left with a partial (or worse, a broken) backup.
Even if you are convinced that manual backups are much inferior to backups created by backup plugins, you might still be thinking about trusting your web host’s free daily backup. If you do, let me break it to you:
A Word About Free Daily Backups From Web Hosts
Most web hosts will yell from the rooftops that they offer free daily backups with every plan.
Free daily backups sounds great, doesn’t it?
But the question is: Are these backups reliable?
If you ask me, I would never say yes in a hundred years.
Most of the daily backups made by your web host are made irrespective of what’s happening on your website at the moment.
And if WordPress is in the process of making changes to the database, the backup created might break your website when restored.
I know this because it has happened to me before.
Instability of the backups is not the only problem here. A lot of web hosts offer daily backups for free but charge a fee when it comes to restoring the backup.
My message is clear: NEVER RELY on your web host’s backups. Either make a manual backup or install a free backup plugin on your website.
A Quick Warning About Free Backup Plugins
Before we dive into the latest and the greatest of Backup Plugins . . .
. . . here’s something you need to know:
Unlike premium plugins, you won’t get almost any support from the authors of free backup plugins.
If something goes wrong, you will have to get it fixed yourself.
On the other hand, Premium Plugins like VaultPress and BackupBuddy take steps to ensure your backups are complete and secure.
And if anything goes wrong, their support team will guide you through fixing any problems you might be having.
Now, am I saying all free backup plugins are bad?
No. Far from it.
Most free backup plugins are awesome and get the job done. But with free plugins, you should take extra care of the backups.
Instead of just relying on automatic backups offered by a free plugin, you should actually check if the backup was actually performed.
Whether you go with a free or a premium backup plugin is your choice. But at the end of the day, what matters more is not picking the perfect plugin on the first try but having secure, reliable backups you can trust.
The Best Backup Plugins For WordPress
VaultPress is a service offered by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.
This service is one of the most trusted backup services out there for WordPress.
Unlike most backup services, VaultPress also protects your site from hackers and offers a brute force protection service.
In addition to all that, you also get free spam protection for comments and uptime monitoring.
VaultPress, coming from the guys behind WordPress, is one of the best Backup Services out there. If I had to choose a WordPress service blindfold, I would go with VaultPress.
They have combined everything WordPress lacked and put it together in a very affordable package.
Price: Only $3.50 per month.
UpdraftPlus is one of the most popular and trusted backup plugins on the market.
Trusted by companies as big as Microsoft and P&G, this plugin comes with all the features you could ask for in a backup plugin.
It allows automated scheduled backups and offers support for most of the popular storage services including Dropbox, Google Drive, and Amazon Web Services.
A premium subscription to the plugin also comes with 1 GB of free Vault Storage, storage space on UpdraftPlus servers.
Price: $70 for two sites.
BackWPUp is a WordPress backup plugin that comes with literally hundreds of features.
The free version of this plugin comes with almost everything you could ask for. It offers full support for off-loading website backups to services such as Dropbox and Rackspace. You c
an either store the backup on your own server, transfer it to one of the supported storage services, or upload it to another server via FTP.
While the free version comes with everything you will need if you are just starting out, the premium version offers support for more storage services such as Google Drive, support for differential backups, and dozens of checks to ensure stable backups.
Price: Free. Premium version available at $69 per site per year.
BackUpWordPress is a lesser known backup plugin for WordPress.
It works on both Linux and Windows servers and offers dozens of features.
It allows you to create multiple backup schedules, exclude files and folders from backups, and is available in multiple languages.
Price: Free. Pro version available at $29 per year.
BackupBuddy is not only one of the most popular WordPress backup plugins but also one of the most popular plugins by the theme developer iThemes.
It allows complete backup of everything from posts to comments to custom post types.
It allows you to schedule automated backups of your whole website. BackupBuddy allows you to include and exclude specific files and folders from your backups.
It also allows you to send your backups to storage services including Amazon S3, Dropbox, and Google Drive.
Price: $80 for up to two websites.
Few more options
The list of WordPress backup plugins is huge. I did not try all of them but here are few more backup plugins you might want to try:
All the five plugins we shared in this article are the most popular and the most trusted.
But because this is a comparison, I don’t want to leave you hanging.
It wouldn’t be a comparison review if we didn’t pick a clear winner, which in this case is VaultPress, the backup service by the creators of WordPress.
VaultPress is not only the cheapest option but also offers the most functionality. It comes with a free CDN, a malware scanner, daily backups, and offers unlimited free storage for all your backups.
Before you leave, let me know in the comments which of these plugins is your favorite and if you have ever faced any troubles backing up or migrating your WordPress website.