You’ve just tried making an edit to a theme file and now you see the dreaded “white screen of death.”
Not only are visitors unable to view your site, but you can’t even login anymore to fix it. If you’re not careful with your WordPress site, there are plenty of ways to break it and create a serious technical problem.
That’s why having a backup on hand is always a good idea. In fact, it can be a real lifesaver.
If you want more tips on how to backup your site, follow along with our WordPress site backup tutorial.
WordPress backup plugins
The plugins featured in this list are only the best of the best for backing up and restoring your site.
Only plugins that can automatically backup all files and restore the backup for you have been included. Afterall, what’s the point if you forget to backup your site or don’t know how to restore it?
Without further ado, here are my top picks for the best backup plugins.
BackupBuddy may be the most full-featured and complete backup solution available for WordPress. Originally created in 2010, this plugin’s developers have been adding new features and bug fixes for near a decade making it a mature and sophisticated product.
This backup plugin has all the essential features you need to restore your site after:
- Malicious malware attacks
- Deleted files
- Server crashes
- User errors
- Bad commands
Perhaps the most important feature is the automated backups that you can schedule. Of course, you can always manually backup your site whenever you want which is a good idea before making edits to your site.
BackupBuddy also has a simple restore function which makes it easy for WordPress newbies to get their sites back too. You can backup all of your sites files, the MySQL database – everything you could ever want to save can be backed up. As an added security measure, you can store a local copy of your backup in case of a catastrophic error.
I’ve already said quite a bit about this plugin, but there are two more stand-out features.
First, BackupBuddy can email you whenever it finishes an action or needs attention. This will save you the hassle of refreshing your site anxiously waiting for a restore to complete.
Lastly, you’ll also get 1GB of storage with iThemes’ BackupBuddy Stash Live service. The Stash service is capable of watching real-time as your site is edited and storing changes remotely in the cloud.
Given the extreme comprehensiveness of this solution, BackupBuddy is my top pick for a backup plugin.
UpdraftPlus is a popular theme with literally thousands of glowing reviews because of its ease-of-use and feature-packed interface.
This backup plugin saves everything and includes a backup scheduler as you might expect from a quality plugin. The backups can include all of your files and database. One area where this plugin excels, in particular, is all of the integrations with other cloud storage services.
Using UpdraftPlus, you can send your site’s backups directly to:
- Google Drive
- Amazon S3
- UpdraftVault (their cloud service)
- Rackspace Cloud
- Openstack Swift
This huge range of compatibilities makes UpdraftPlus very easy to fit into your existing data ecosystem.
There’s also a premium upgrade which will allow you to easily duplicate and migrate sites, work with multisite WordPress installations, backup non-WordPress files and databases, and give you access to their expert support.
This plugin is a bit different. It requires a little more technical knowledge and is used to backup and migrate WordPress sites.
If you just want a simple way to automatically backup and restore your site, this may not be the right choice for you. However, if you want to clone, move, or migrate a WordPress site, Duplicator is an excellent option.
This plugin has overwhelmingly positive reviews from its users with well over 1,000 five-star ratings and very few others. Some of the great five-star features include the ability to pull a live site to a localhost install, transfer a site between hosts, move updates between staging/production sites, and make any WordPress site entirely redistributable for easy reuse.
I really like this plugin and used for a few sites before switching to the backup functionality included in WP Engine (learn more about that in my review of WP Engine).
What’s great about BackUpWordPress is that the interface is simple and comprehensive. It’s not overly technical and there are tons of cool options packed in. For instance, you can setup multiple backup schedules, choose where to send the backups, and even exclude certain files and folders.
In practice, BackUpWordPress is great for quickly installing and setting a backup schedule. You get tons of control over the schedule including options to pick certain days of each month and even specific times of the day. Email notifications are also available upon backing up the site.
The one drawback to this simple backup plugin is that it doesn’t include restore functionality, so you’ll need to upload your backup via FTP. If that sounds like it may be an issue for you, you may want to consider a less technical option like BackupBuddy.
BackWPup is a lot like the BackUpWordPress plugin but more robust and includes a premium upgrade. It doesn’t come with site restoration, but that is available in the PRO version of the plugin.
Regarding the cloud data integrations, this plugin gives UpdraftPlus a run for its money. You can send backups straight to a wide variety of services including Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft Azure, and SugarSync just to name a few.
You can backup both your site’s files and database using the free BackWPup plugin. The backup can be saved as a zip file or a standard WordPress XML export (or both). The plugin will also keep a record of all your backups so you can always access a previous save from any time period. And of course, you can schedule backups to take place automatically without manual work required.
Which backup plugin is best for you?
Whether you want a simple solution to quickly schedule automated backups, or a more robust option for migrating and saving entire sites, there’s a plugin here for you.
BackupBuddy gets my top recommendation because its easy enough for a total beginner to use and yet it has extremely advanced functionality that even seasoned WordPress developers will appreciate.
For moving and migrating sites, technical WP users will love the Duplicator plugin.