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Not backing up your site is crazy.
Installing a backup plugin should be one of the first things every WP site owner does, but a lot of folks run their site for years without a backup.
If you haven’t backed up your site, all of your hard work is at risk.
So let’s avoid a nightmare, shall we?
In this collection, you’ll find a variety of the best plugins for creating WordPress site backups. You’ll only need one, but it’s worth checking out a few to find the one that will work best on your website.
If you want more tips on how to backup your site, follow along with our WordPress site backup tutorial.
Top backup plugins
This post includes free, freemium, and premium backup solutions. You can get a great backup plugin for free, but the paid options offer much more advanced functionality.
These plugins have all received outstanding customer reviews and have been downloaded many times already.
Without further ado, here are my top picks for the best backup plugins.
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.
The free version of UpdraftPlus has everything you need, but there’s also a premium upgrade and a variety of add-ons available. The premium version will allow you to easily duplicate and migrate sites, time backups, work with multisite WordPress installations, use incremental backups, backup non-WordPress files & databases, and gives you access to their expert support.
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 site’s 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 its extreme comprehensiveness and ease-of-use, BackupBuddy is definitely one of the best WordPress backup plugins.
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.
4. Total Upkeep
Total Upkeep has a great interface that makes backing up your WordPress website easy. You get full control over which days you want to backup your site, which database tables you want to save, and you can even decide which themes and plugins should be stored.
The coolest feature in Total Upkeep is the ability to automatically backup your site when updating themes and plugins. If you’re actively running your site and carefully selecting your themes and plugins, the only way you’re likely to face a real crash is by installing a bad update. Total Upkeep doesn’t just backup your site for you automatically though, it will also auto-restore your site from before the bad update. It’s an awesome feature that I’d love to see more WordPress backup solutions implement.
While Total Upkeep does have a wide array of features, you can keep things simple too. I think this plugin will work well for both beginners who want to choose one of the simpler WordPress backup plugins. That said, it’s depth of configuration options makes it a good choice for advanced WordPress users too.
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.
In this collection of WordPress backup plugins, The Export WordPress Data plugin stands out. I thought I’d include it to give you some more variety. The Export WordPress Data plugin isn’t exactly a backup plugin, but rather a plugin that allows you to export your posts, pages, comments, and other data to Excel or CSV. Since that’s the most important content to backup, you could do perfectly well just by using this plugin.
This plugin is really useful for analysis of your WordPress site too. When trying to rework your category structure or evaluate your titles, there’s no way to simply view all your posts in a clean table in WordPress. The interface gets really clunky with more than a handful of posts per page. Putting them all into a spreadsheet makes review and analysis easy, plus it opens the door to all sorts of integrations with other tools.
BlogVault is another popular solution for WordPress site backups. The main benefit of this plugin is that you get an off-site dashboard to use. This means that if your site ever breaks so that you can’t access your WordPress dashboard, you can just log into your BlogVault account and restore your site remotely.
Like VaultPress, BlogVault requires a monthly subscription since you’re getting access to their remote backup and restoration service. Their plans start at just $7.40/month, so it is quite affordable.
Another cool feature in BlogVault is the staging site. If you’re not familiar with the term, a staging site is a replica of your website where you can test out new themes and plugins without anyone else seeing. It’s basically a playground where you can go nuts and break things and it won’t matter. If you want to be really professional, the proper way to use a staging site is to always add your changes there first, and then once everything is working correctly, you copy the staging site over your live production website. BlogVault has this functionality included.
So BlogVault is more than just a service to safeguard and store your backup, it’s also a staging site platform. While it does have a monthly fee, the bundled services make it a good value.
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.
VaultPress is a cloud backup solution made by Automattic, the same company behind the creation of WordPress. The VaultPress plugin is a great solution because the backup system is simple as is the restoration process. Your backup won’t really be of much use if you don’t know how to restore your site!
VaultPress requires a small monthly subscription and is a good choice for anyone already using the Jetpack plugin. They’ve made changes recently so that you have to use Jetpack to use VaultPress, and this will add a lot of bloat to your site if you’re not already using Jetpack.
For anyone using Jetpack, this will be a great backup service. The fact that your backup is stored remotely is another benefit since you can also restore your site remotely if you lose access. There’s also a malware scanner built-in that can help you detect if your website has been hacked.
Which backup solution 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.
UpdraftPlus get my #1 recommendation because it works so well as a free backup plugin. It’s awesome that they’ve included automated backups and a restoration feature for free. If you need advanced scheduling or multiple cloud storage locations, the pro upgrade is an awesome tool.
BackupBuddy is another top recommendation because it’s 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.
Since this post is about backup plugins, I didn’t mention other solutions, but there is one other common way WP users backup their sites. If you have a premium web host like Kinsta, you will have a built-in backup system that runs every day for you.
I hope you liked this list of WordPress backup plugins, please make sure to share it with someone else before you leave.