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Best Plugins to Backup WordPress Sites [Webmasters’ Top Choices]

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"Backup WordPress sites as frequently as possible to protect against data loss."

That's what all of us know we should do, but often forget to take the appropriate action. How many times has your site crashed when you were adding a new extension to it? How often did you feel miserable trying to retrieve the lost information no matter how much effort you applied? You can forget about such nightmares by simply adding backup plugins to your WordPress site.


Automatic VS Manual Backups

Compared to automatic backups with the help of plugins, manual backups provide you with complete control over the current state of things. In fact, most of the WordPress plugins available on the contemporary web today allow you to toggle on/off the backing up of specific files. Still, manual backups give you the total control.

Even if you give preference to automatic backups, it's always a good idea to check whether everything works the right way while running manual backups every once in a while. Compare the results obtained from both automatic and manual backups. Do they match? If not, the automatic options might have missed a scheduled backup day, which may become a real problem in the event that that was a day when your most successful blog post went live and suddenly suffered from data loss.


WordPress Backup Must-Follow Tips

Whether you choose automatic or manual backups, there are several basic tips that you should always follow:

  • Do not forget to back up the database of your site before installing a new upgrade.
  • Adjust backups as per the frequency of publishing posts on your blog or site updates.
  • Keep 3 backups in 3 different forms in order to prevent data loss (these may be an email account, an external drive, a DVD, etc.).
  • Back up only those plugins that are valuable for your site.
  • Run manual backups to ensure that automatic backups work correctly.

With all that being said, let's now move to the focal point of this article, i.e. WordPress backup plugins that will prevent you from losing valuable pieces of information on your site/blog.


Best Plugins to Back up WordPress Sites

BackWPup – WordPress Backup Plugin

There are free and premium versions of the plugin available. With its help, you can save your complete installation and export it to an external backup service like Dropbox. You create a single backup file, with the help of which you can restore the installation.

Main features: 

  • Database Backup (needs MySQL);
  • WordPress XML Export;
  • Generate a file with installed plugins;
  • Optimize Database;
  • Check and repair Database;
  • File backup;
  • Backups in .zip, .tar, .tar.gz, .tar.bz2 format (needs gz, bz2, ZipArchive);
  • Store backup to a directory.

The first thing we do for any new client is to install backup software.

For WordPress, we use BackWPup to back up to the cloud (Dropbox). It is extremely easy to use and allows us to schedule automatic backups according to the site’s update frequency. Restoring a WordPress site from backup is also very simple in the event you ever have an issue.

 

Bradley Shaw

Digital Marketing and Online Consulting Expert Since 1997

SEO Expert Brad Inc.


UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin

This is one of the most popular WordPress backup plugins, with over 1 million currently active installs. It is also available in free and premium versions. With its help, you can back up your site into the cloud on Amazon S3, Google Drive, Dropbox, FTP, etc. Not only does an extensive set of features entice the web community but also the ease of speed at which the plugin operates.

Main features: 

  • Restores, as well as backing up;
  • Backs up to more cloud options than any others;
  • Allows you to set up automatic backup schedules, for the ultimate in convenience;
  • Is faster, using up fewer server resources.

In order to build a successful and responsive website, one needs to integrate these plugins from the backend to the front end website. Contact Form DB, Migrate DB Pro, Gravity Forms, Table press, Revolution Slider, Updraft Plus.

To back up files one needs to use Updraft Plus, then one should store a copy remotely either using Google Drive, Dropbox, or Amazon and on a server. To restore from a backup one needs to ensure it's the complete backup of the full file system and database. Updraft has a restore option but they have something called Updraft Vault that is paid and offers a one click full restore.

 

Reuben Kats

Web Design Sales Engineer /Customer Service/ Account Manager

GrabResults, LLC

I always back up my databases in two locations and the UpdraftPlus plugin allows me to have my data in an online storage solution like Amazon S3 or Dropbox as well as the ability to download it offline through FTP. The free version is more than adequate for most websites and offers most of the popular cloud storage solutions. One feature I love about the premium version is the ability to have the database backed up automatically on any updates I make to my WP theme. This prevents any changes or posts from being lost during the day as opposed to waiting for nightly or weekly backups.

 

Eric Van Dyn Hoven 

Lead WordPress developer

wildebee.st 


Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO
Developer: Team Yoast
Price: Free

This is the plugin that has been added to the MonsterPost dashboard. It's widely-known as one of the most effective plugins to write better posts, which will bring you higher rankings in search engines. However, this is also a handy tool that is multisite compatible. With its help, you can also export and import functionality in order to save time on tweaking settings on multiple blogs.

Main features: 

  • Multi-site compatible;
  • Export & import functionality;
  • Import functionality for other WordPress SEO plugins.

Yoast SEO plugin is a great free plugin that we use on every WordPress site we build. It gives the administrator complete access to customize the title and description tags for better SEO. It is very user-friendly and gives users a validation bar beneath the tags for optimal title and description length.

 

Eddie Mellon

Website Designer

Miles Technologies


VaultPress

VaultPress
VaultPress
Developer: Automattic
Price: Free

This is a real-time backup and security scanning service powered by Jetpack. With its help, you can feel the ease of backing up all posts, comments, file revisions, and dashboard settings on your site/server. The plugin guarantees protection against hackers, malware, accidental damage, etc.

Main features: 

  • Monitor VaultPress Activity in Real time;
  • Restore Backups Automatically;
  • Download any Backup;
  • Scan Your Entire Site.

My WordPress backup recommendation is VaultPress. The only way to judge such plugins is on whether they’ve got you out of trouble and VaultPress has on several occasions - often after some foolhardy updates to one of my sites! You can easily roll back to a snapshot of an earlier place in time, and in my experience it’s worked flawlessly.

As such, I consider VaultPress a must on any important sites. It’s a commercial plugin but well worth the money for the peace of mind.

 

Ben Taylor

IT consultant, web designer, and founder

HomeWorkingClub.com


Client Dash – Backup Buddy

With the help of this plugin, you can create and download backups right from the client dash help screen. It lets you backup your whole WordPress installation to ensure that nothing gets lost if you move your blog/site to a new server.

Main features: 

  • Scheduled backups;
  • Store backups on cloud services;
  • Backs up your whole WordPress installation;
  • The result is 1 .zip file of the whole installation.

BackupBuddy is one of the most popular premium backup plugins for WordPress. This plugin does not require a subscription, meaning you don’t have to pay a monthly fee for it. You can schedule backups to take place either every day, week or month, as well as store backups in a Dropbox, Cloud or to your email address.

You’re also able to gain access to premium support forms, a large amount of cloud storage for your backups and frequent updates. BackupBuddy will back up your whole WordPress installation to ensure that all of your website’s files are saved. You even get a downloadable zip file of the entire website.

 

James Nuttall

Content Specialist

giffgaff.com


Duplicator – WordPress Migration Plugin

The plugin gives you the ability to migrate your WordPress site from one location to another, as well as run regular backups. It handles both serialized and base 64 serialized string placement. Installing this plugin, you will be able to create packages that bundle all themes, plugins, content, and database of your WordPress site. Such packages can be further used to migrate WordPress sites to other hosts.

Main features: 

  • Move, migrate or clone a WordPress site between domains or hosts;
  • Manually backup a WordPress site or parts of a site;
  • Duplicate a live site to a staging area or vice versa;
  • Bundle up an entire WordPress site for easy reuse or distribution;
  • Perform a full WordPress migration without struggling with messy import/export sql scripts.

Having tried several backup plugins that simply didn't work, I found success with Duplicator. Backing up is quite easy, and it provides step by step instruction on how to install a backed up site. The paid Pro version makes that even easier.

The one thing that makes most WordPress backup plugins fail is a server error from the backup process taking too long. It can be fixed with some technical PHP skills, or a simple call to your hosting company can remedy the problem.

 

Slavik Boyechko

Blogger

Gear Dads


WordPress Backup to Dropbox

Installing this plugin on your WordPress site, you can rest assured that your blog is backed up on a regular basis. Simply authorize it with your Dropbox account, set the frequency of backups, and see the files from your site and SQL dump being dropped to your Dropbox.

Main features: 

  • Fully tested up to the latest version of WordPress;
  • OAuth is used to keep your Dropbox account details safe;
  • Cross-browser compatible & fully customizable;
  • Multi-language support;
  • In order to use the plugin you will need a Dropbox account.

WordPress Backup & Restore Plugin – WPBackItUp

Installing this plugin, you may feel safe that your site is protected from hackers, malware, and your own mistakes. It creates a compressed backup of the entire site, no matter how large it is. With its help, you will have every post, comment, plugin, media file, etc. backed and protected from malware and attacks.

Main features: 

  • Easy to use and set up;
  • Fast, unlimited backups;
  • Fast backups;
  • Download your backups;
  • Customize what you want to back up;
  • Compressed backups, etc.

BackUpWordPress

BackUpWordPress
BackUpWordPress
Price: Free

Using this plugin, you can back up the entire WordPress site and the database in the way that suits you and won't interrupt your workflow. You are the only one who can set schedule backups and choose the files that are the most valuable for your site. Multiple languages are supported.

Main features: 

  • Works in low memory, “shared host” environments;
  • Manage multiple schedules;
  • Option to have each backup file emailed to you;
  • Uses zip and mysqldump for faster backups if they are available;
  • Works on Linux & Windows Server;
  • Exclude files and folders from your backups.

Database Backup Amazon S3

Database Backup Amazon S3
Database Backup Amazon S3
Developer:
Price: Free

Create backups and restore database backups with the help of this plugin. It stores the data of your site on the external cloud service, which you can access whenever needed. All backed up files are added to Amazon S3 Cloud.

Main features: 

  • Local Backup (create the Database Backup of  your site and store this at its Local Storage);
  • Amazon S3 Backup to Cloud (create the Database Backup of Web Page at Local Storage and upload this to Amazon S3 Cloud);
  • Administer ALL of Backups for ALL of your sites from one place (WPAdm-account);
  • Automated backup can be scheduled with an account at wpadm.com.

Final Thoughts

It's important to backup WordPress sites on a regular basis in order to be sure that not a single piece of data is lost during an update or as a result of malware attacks. Things get so much easier with WordPress backup plugins. Both free and premium they provide you with scheduled automatic backups of the most valuable pieces of data.

Now, it's your turn to speak up. Manual or automatic backups - what's your personal choice? How often do you back up your site? What plugins do you think are the most useful for such purposes? I’d love to hear your thoughts! 😉

Special thanks to contributors:

Bradley Shaw, SEO Expert Brad Inc.

Reuben Kats, GrabResults, LLC

Eric Van Dyn Hoven, wildebee.st 

Eddie Mellon, Miles Technologies

Ben Taylor, HomeWorkingClub.com

James Nuttall, giffgaff

Slavik Boyechko, Gear Dads

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