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10 WordPress Backup Plugins You Need to Know About

Posted on October 18, 2014 by in Tips & Tricks | 62 comments

10 WordPress Backup Plugins You Need to Know About

Everyone has a data loss horror story. “I was right in the middle of finishing that report when my computer crashed—I lost everything!” Or, more relevant to the WordPress using set, “I was installing plugin/theme/update X and it broke my site. Now I can’t get my old information back no matter how hard I try!”

A real problem to be sure. But it’s one that can be easily prevented. In fact, there are countless backup plugins available that make keeping a copy of your site’s data on hand extraordinarily simple. That’s what I’m going to talk about in detail today—the more than just a handful of plugins out there that make backing up your site and all of its related information as simple as “set it and forget it.”

What About Manual Backups?

Some people prefer to do manual backups and who am I to argue? In fact, they can be very useful, too, because you have direct control over what’s backed up and what isn’t. Many plugins let you toggle on and off the backing up of specific files or directories but the manual approach gives you total control.

It’s also a good way to absolutely ensure your backup solution is working. It’s never a bad idea to do a manual backup every once in a while and compare it to your most recent automated backup. Do they match? If not, your automated solution might have skipped a scheduled backup day and that would be a real problem if you’d just written the best-blog-post-ever and suddenly suffered data loss!

The WordPress Codex offers in-depth instructions for how to backup your site manually, so if that’s the route you want to take, I highly suggest you read them and get familiar with the process.

WordPress Backup Rules to Follow

No matter what kind of backup solution you use, there are a few rules you should abide by, no ifs, ands, or buts!

  • Always backup your site’s database before you install a new upgrade.
  • Adjust your backup schedule based on your site update and blogging frequency.
  • As with backing up any data, keep three backups in three different forms and/or places. The WordPress Codex suggests keeping a database backup in your email account, on an external hard drive, and on a DVD.
  • Only backup those plugins that contain value for your site. Spam filter and stat plugins add major bloat to your database and can enlarge the size of your backup files significantly.
  • Perform a manual backup on occasion to act as a failsafe for any automated backup solution you’re using.

Following these rules to the letter will help ensure your backups are successful and that you never have to worry about losing your info again.

Now, without further adieu, here’s a healthy list of backup plugins to help you prevent losing information and to always keep your site up and live.



BackupBuddy is a backup plugin made by iThemes that offers a comprehensive solution for WordPress site owners. It lets you back up to a variety of sources, not just your hard drive, including Stash, Amazon Web Services, Dropbox, Rackspace, FTP, and email. Backups are completed quickly and easily thanks to push button solutions. Just pick where you want your backups to be stored and how frequently you want them to occur and you’re good to go.

It is a premium plugin, however, so you will need to open your wallet for this one. You can expect to pay an annual fee of $80 to backup two sites, $100 to backup 10 sites, and $150 to backup an unlimited number of sites. There’s also BackupBuddy Gold, which lets you backup unlimited sites, receive a lifetime of updates, and a year of ticketed support for $297.



Another good backup option—that’s also completely free—is UpdraftPlus. This plugin is very straightforward and doesn’t overwhelm you with a bunch of unnecessary features, which I like. Like BackupBuddy, it supports backups to Rackspace, Amazon Web Services, Dropbox, FTP, and email, but it also works with Google Drive, OpenStack, and several other storage solutions.

Beyond these features, it also offers database encryption for an added level of security. Plus, you can split very large sites into several archives to make backups quicker. And should you ever need to restore from a backup, this split archive method makes that process go faster as well.

UpdraftPlus is also available as a premium plugin, which includes all the features I already mentioned plus several add-on features like automatic backups, a site migrator, reporting, no advertisements, support for additional backup locations, and more. You also get a year of support and a year of updates. You can expect to pay between $60 and $125 for UpdraftPlus Premium.



BackUpWordPress is another very popular plugin that lets you back up your WordPress site automatically. It includes scheduling so you can create a different schedule for your files and your database. It’s easy to set up and user-friendly.

However, if you want to store your backups any place other than your hard drive or email, you’ll need to purchase an extension. BackUpWordPress offers extensions for individual cloud storage services including Google Drive and Dropbox. Or, you can buy the bundle and feel confident in knowing you can backup your site whenever and wherever you want to.



Though technically a site migration plugin, Duplicator also works as a backup solution. It’s not as straightforward as some of the other plugins I’ve mentioned here and it requires some technical knowledge to use properly.

Duplicator offers the most basic backup options and you can’t schedule automatic backups in advance, which is a real drawback in my opinion. Still, if you want to migrate your site, this might serve as a dual-purpose solution in the interim.



We’ve covered VaultPress here at Elegant Themes quite extensively in the past, so I’m not going to get into too much detail here. However, I will say that since it’s a backup solution that was developed by the folks behind WordPress—Automattic—it carries some significant clout. And for good reason. You can set it up to perform automatic backups of your site each day. You can also restore from these backups easily and download them whenever you want.

Pricing starts at $5 per month.



A freebie plugin that’s worth taking note of is BackWPup, which makes it pretty straightforward to backup your WordPress site without having to shell out a penny. It can backup to your hard drive, FTP, or email but it also works with cloud storage like Dropbox and Rackspace.

You can schedule automatic backups, restore from backups, and you can even upgrade to BackWPup Pro if you wish to get further support, Google Drive support, and a few other bells and whistles.


If you ever find yourself only needing to backup your WordPress database, then WP-DB-Backup is the perfect plugin solution for you. For starters, it’s free. Plus, it has a pretty solid reputation, having seen over two million downloads since its initial launch.

This can be a good option for those who don’t update their sites very often or who don’t use images in their blog posts. You can schedule database backups, restore from backups, and it even offers a way to perform a manual database backup just in case you can’t get into phpMyAdmin.

WordPress Backup to Dropbox


Another free plugin you might want to try is WordPress Backup for Dropbox. This is obviously only a solution for those that currently or would like to use Dropbox but it performs this function pretty flawlessly. You can schedule backups to automatically upload to your Dropbox account. You can backup your database and files. A few premium extensions are available too but none offer a restore from backup feature, unfortunately.

Online Backup for WordPress


If you want to make sure your backups are safe and secure, Online Backup for WordPress is still another free plugin option. It actually encrypts your backup data so that it is secure when being transferred during uploads and downloads. It maintains a backup of your database and files that can be sent to either your email, a folder on your site’s server, or one of Backup Technology’s data centers, which offer 100MB of free storage space.

You can set up daily or weekly backups, download these backups via zip file whenever you want, select which files you specifically want to backup, exclude spam comments from backups, and more.



The last plugin I’ll mention here today is Snapshot. Described as “Time Machine for your WordPress site,” this plugin lets you take quick snapshots of any aspect of your site to save for later and store them wherever you want.

When you decide you want to save a version of your site, just press the “Create a Snapshot” button. This will capture your site as it is at that particular moment and should you want to restore from this version you can with the press of a single button. You can schedule these backups if you want and you can save your files to Dropbox, Amazon S3, or SFTP.

This plugin costs $40 by itself or $19.60 per month as a part of a WPMU DEV membership.

Wrapping Up

Backing up your site regularly is important. Actually, backing up all of your data is important. I mean, we should all be backing up our phones, our hard drives, and our email accounts, as well. Hopefully, you’re already doing all of that. And with the right plugin to handle the job for you automatically, you can get your WordPress site squared away, too.

How do you backup your site? Do you take the manual approach? Do you use one of the plugins mentioned here? Something else? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Article thumbnail image by Tarchyshnik Andrei / shutterstock.com

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  1. “How do you backup your site? Do you take the manual approach? Do you use one of the plugins mentioned here? Something else? I’d love to hear your thoughts!”

    Manual via CPanel and if I really want to be sure I contact my hosting provider, tell them I’m going to do something critical and ask them to take a backup.

    • Is it sufficient to just use the hosting Cpanel backup? (I’m guessing not based on this article), I also clone sites which are mostly static to other places. I needed this article, and will probably kick it up a notch for backups, thanks.

    • Brenda Barron

      Thanks for chiming in, Keith! Manual backups definitely work for some people. But if you’re forgetful (like me!) the plugin solutions offer a nice safety net.

    • Hey Davis !

      Its quite time taking to contact your hosting every time when you are going to do something critical. Also you need to be safe about your website’s security and sure about your data backup from yours side, so as to avoid hacking attacks and data corruption loss.

      If you are having a good quality reliable web host then its good otherwise you can’t really rely on web hosting companies these days.

      Interestingly, Brenda has shared some really useful WordPress backup plugins list from which you have to install one and forget after set up. Quite simple but very effective.

      I personally use WordPress to Dropbox plugin to take complete backup of my WordPress database automatically.

    • I use Akeeba to Joomla, and I was looking and found this article, I did not know timha Akeeba plugin for WordPress, thank you for your comment, I will now download the Akeeba because it is undoubtedly the best tamto for backup as easy to restore.

    • +1 on this comment – I’ve been using Akeeba on Joomla sites for years and am glad they’ve finally released a wordpress version – just set it up on a site I’m developing and it’s working great.

      I love how I can get a copy of a client’s website set up on my local XAMPP server for troubleshooting in less than 10 minutes.

  2. I use BackupBuddy for all of my live sites (about 30). On my dev machine / local host, the files are backed up (standard backup to NAS drive) but I am interested to hear what other developers are doing to back up multiple MySQL databases. The few scripts I have tried have not worked and rely on MySpace schema being setup properly which it seems mine is not. Aby tips or resources gratefully received., Thanks.

  3. Great article. I use softaculous via cPanel to backup my site. Also my webhosting (siteground) makes daily backups.

    • DITTO – It works well and has saved me a few times !

    • We also use a Non Plugin approach with Softaculous and Installatron, both supplied in cPanel by our great webhosting companies.

      Anyways, good to know of other options.

  4. R1Soft from Idera, and InfiniteWP. Both decent solutions, and combined with cPanel backups, together they give me options for most recovery scenarios. Still looking though, for a solution that lets me easily backup to a Synology NAS.

    • Hi there, why dont you choose one of the mentioned backup methods and backup over SFTP to your Synology NAS 🙂

  5. You didn’t list BlogVault – I’ve been using it for two years and it’s paid for itself during that time. Support and assistance is first rate.
    Before BlogVault, I did manual backups via cPanel (okay, but generally out of date when you need them).
    I also stupidly depended on the backups provided by the hosting provider which I would warn anyone on shared hosting are not necessarily reliable or even done.
    Now, a backup strategy is one of the first things I set up on my site.

    • I use BlogVault too and it’s excellent. Backs up to multiple servers, allows you to do a test restore (to prove it’s working), you can restore any of the previous 30 days backups – and it restores absolutely everything as it was on the chosen day. Brilliant for complete site migration too. Love it.

  6. Also you didn’t mention WP Clone. It’s a really easy to use site duplicator but I use it for backup purposes before a major update.

    • I love Wp clone…couples with velvet blues

  7. I’d add to this that you should maybe consider having two options running. I had my sites go down entirely recently and one of the backup solutions I was using (Manage WP – yes I don’t mind naming and shaming them) had stopped working several weeks earlier with no warning or error messages to me. Luckily for me I was ALSO running Vaultpress so their backup saved the day.

    • Dan, I recently purchased the 10 license of Backup Buddy (due to a big fizzy panic attack I was having around backups a few weeks back). You see I moved from an economy plan to a wholesale plan with my hosting provider and in doing so they moved me onto a LiteSpeed server. Which unbenown to me broke the backup function across all of the sites I was hosting. I didn’t find out for 3 weeks! Yes I was getting the odd failure message from BackWPUp but it sometimes reports this when it succeeds. So, the backup problem wasn’t plugin related, it was server software related!!!!

      Anyway, Backup Buddy has an option to email you if your backup hasn’t completed after x days. Downside is it doesn’t let you deselect folders so you can’t drop plugins etc that add to the filesize.

      I’ll use Backup Buddy for the next 12 months and give it a good test run but at the moment I am thinking that BackWPup – is free – and offers as much if not more than Backup Buddy. The only thing that BackWPup doesnt do is restore… but after you’ve done that a couple of times its pretty straight forward.

      On a final note, I take onboard Brenda’s suggestion about backing up to more than 1 place. I backup to Dropbox but will look at FTP to my home server as an alternative. Also of use (I think) Backup Buddy suggest a weekly Complete backup with daily database backups.

      I think this makes sense for most small sites.



      • Hey John,

        There actually is an option in backup buddy to exclude certain folders / files. It’s in the “Settings” area, near the bottom, under “File & Directory Defaults” – hope this helps! I use Backup Buddy too, and I’d give it maybe a 4/10. I get errors constantly and even doing what the friendly staff recommends only works 50% of the time at best. For a paid plugin, IMO – it is not worth the money at all. I’m thinking of switching to a different backup plugin that maybe does incremental backups instead – where it only backs up the stuff that has actually changed since the last backup – since most sites (I’m finding) over 200MB or so simply time out on a lot of different web hosts / servers.

  8. XCloner has been my backup choice for many years. It offers offsite as well as onsite for free.

  9. Great article Brenda, with lots of backup resources! I wish I would have found such an article over a year ago! Nevertheless, for the past year, my backup tool has been WP Twin http://bit.ly/MBZiH5 – A one time fee, and ease of use makes this a winner for me! I purchased the Unlimited domains version and use it on a monthly basis to backup several dozen of my sites, along with clients.

  10. I’ve used several of the ones mentioned. Using BackupBuddy now – purchased Gold on a special. Also use BackupBuddy Stash for storage – paid a small premium for additional space.

    WPClone was one of my favorites when it worked and was the easiest for migrating sites. But too many times failed at manual backup so I moved on.

    Backup WPpup and Updraft Plus were pretty good. I still have one site on Updraft Plus.

    Backing up is only 1/2 the battle… restoring a backup is the other 1/2 and not much discussion on how easy or hard it is to restore.

    I was on vacation out of state when a client site stopped working. I was using BackupBuddy but wasn’t keeping a copy on the server. I had never done a restore. Instructions were confusing… You have to download a small file in order to initiate a restore. I wasn’t sure where to find that file… Then I forgot how to access my Stash account and my password… after hours of figuring things out, I got in, but now I was asked for password to unlock my backup file… I forgot what that was – did I set a password? Site never got restored. Solved problem doing other troubleshooting.

    Bottom line… you better know 1)how to restore 2) what to restore 3) how to access your backup, and then keep your fingers crossed the restore doesn’t fail 1/2 way through and leave you in a worse situation.

    And know how to restore if you are unable to access WordPress site.

    • it pays to practise!

      My understanding of it is this:
      1) uncompress your archive file into the root of the folder where you want it to live. At this place expect to see wp-admin, wp-content and wp-includes, as well as the files that live in root.
      2) Find the wp-config file, open it and refer to the db name, username and password. Then use cPanel to build a new (empty) database with the same details
      3) open mySQL and select the newly created db. select Import and open the *.sql file that should be sitting in the root folder.

      Once that works you should be back to square one with your site.

      The only issues I’ve every had with a restore are not having enough space assigned for the server drive. Keep in mind you need enough drive space for the compressed file and its contents uncompressed. you can delete the compressed file once you are finished.

      The biggest hassle – if you are away from your normal work environment – can be how to get the backup file from the cloud storage back onto your server. I would recommend keeping Filezilla on your laptop and the ability to access your cloud backups as necessary. That way you can transfer the backup file to the server via your laptop.

      or set up remote desktop to your home/office workstation (Team Viewer is good) then remote in and have your workstation do the heavy moving.

    • You are so right about being able to restore. I also use Back-Up buddy and even wrote an article about it on my site. However, I did notice that restoring does require some more knowledge, and back-up buddy doesn’t make it that easy because you do have to download another file and go through some steps. Are there no back up programs out there that just have an easy click to save and a click to restore??

  11. I use Duplicator for most of my WordPress sites, although I still feel compelled to do an occasional manual backup. It should be noted that Duplicator does not work on all hosting providers (such as at IPOWER – if you are uploading the saved files to a root directory. I’ve had to upload to a sub directory first, them move the site again to the root directory). It does make for an easy migration in most cases. I’ve installed it on sites I develop on my local machine as well, which makes it easier to move the site to a live server. Oh, and it’s free, which helps the bottom line!

  12. I’ve used Backup Buddy for years, but about six months ago I started using a plugin called Backup Creator. It’s a backup and site cloning tool which makes it easy to move a site from one url to another. You can also set it to automatically delete the copy it makes on your server after it moves it over to Dropbox or anywhere else you may be migrating your backup to.

  13. Tried a couple of free solutions. BackWPup seemed like a real deal untill it started misbehaving on 80% of my sites for dropbox errors. SSL fix didn’t help. In the end of the day I came to conclusion that it would be easier to pay 60$ a year to CodeGuard, then spend too much time troubleshooting backup issues.

    • I also was getting dropbox errors. it turns out my dropbox was full!

  14. One essential thing missing from each of your plugins is whether they backup WordPress Multisite or not. Most didn’t when I looked at the market last year.

  15. Iam a big fan of BackupBuddy wordpress.I think It’s most popular backup plugin.thanks for your valuable post.

  16. Great list of backup plugins.
    I think it is important to note that you must always make sure you store the backup on an alternate server. If the server fails, you’ve lost both original and backup.
    I have had some dramas in the past with Backup Buddy. It has steered me away from relying on plugins to backup. I had a conflict with a security plugin if i remember correctly. I ended up having to extract the files from the backup zip and manually repair.
    I now use InfiniteWP to manage my sites. (go.aldingamedia.com.au/infinitewp) This allows me to schedule backups for multiple sites remotely. I don’t want to harp on about it too much, but it does alot more than backup. You can update, clone and fully manage your sites also. I swear by it. It does require a plugin, however, this is more of an authentication tool.

  17. Hi Brenda, +1 for VaultPress. Been using it for a while now and its the best backup plugin I have used so far.

  18. Useful article thanks Brenda. I used Snapshot for years, but had a lot of probs connecting via SFTP. So I bought BackupBuddy, which is a bit more powerful and friendly and seems to have worked well to date. The migration option of Backupbuddy is very slick too.

  19. UpdraftPlus absolutely superb plug-in. Supprt very good on the paid for version and to be honest – I would pay more for such a service – but don’t tell the developer 😉

  20. BackupBuddy was a serious waste of my money. The backup to email feature rarely worked for me due to conflicts with the W3 TotalCache plugin. I wish I could have had been refunded. Felt ripped off!

  21. I’ve tried a few of these but I’ve settled on BackWPup for now. It’s simple and backs up to Dropbox which works for me. Also it creates a folder inside Dropbox for the site back-up which keeps my back-ups from different sites sorted. Handy. And a couple I tried don’t allow this simple filing control.

    Though I have noticed the documentation for “restore” seems to be a bit missing in action for BackWPup, as well as most others.

    My perfect Back-up plug-in will be the one that’s easier to restore than back-up…because that’s actually really what you need a back-up plugin to do. Haven’t found the best one for this yet. Might make a good follow-up post…

  22. Thoughts on managed WP hosting that “says” they perform daily backups?
    Is it as safe or not safer?

  23. Just adding to Joey’s note about hosting backups. While most hosts are excellent about maintaining backups I strongly recommend you never trust your host backup wise.

    Most hosts do keep daily backups, and that’s all fine, though returning from a long weekend, finding your site has been down for days, and your host only has a day or two of backups available can be a let down to say the least.

    Weekly and monthly backups to a remote repository are your best plan of action. Doing anything less is taking an unnecessary risk with your data…

  24. Which one (free) allow to restore a backup?

  25. There is another great new backup plug-in missing here which I strongly recommend because you can do everything for free (just buy it if you need multi-site license):


  26. Great article but it misses one tremendous pitfall – if you restore a development copy of WordPress to a live server, none of these plugins is smart enough to merge any customers or orders from WooCommerce properly. All of them simply overwrite the entire database and, as a result, the live site will loose any new customer or order data that might be contained in the WooCommerce tables.

    The solution is to merge the appropriate user, order and coupon records, and to do so understanding how WooCommerce uses metadata, so that none of that information is lost either.

    I have yet to find a good solution to this problem and it’s ironic, since high traffic WooCommerce sites are the most likely to require a separate server for staging and for development.

  27. Does anyone out there know what the best backup plugin would be for LARGE sites? I’m talking 500MB+ ? I want to use something that does incremental backups as I think that would reduce the load on the server and hopefully bypass things like timeouts. I’m finding more and more these days that websites are easily surpassing the 1GB mark (zipped) and I am having next to no luck finding a plugin that can handle that giant size. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thx

    • Incremental backup is possible in WP Time Capsule. Its a unique feature on this plugin

  28. But it’s better to backup sites using your hosting backup features ie; compressing zipping all root and domain folders and using partial backup recovery of mysql database/s from your control panel account.

  29. Indeed some of the best wordpress backup plugins. The one I like most is WordPress to Dropbox
    Thanks for sharing Barron

  30. I usually do manual backups of my site but Duplicator WP backup plugin is the best one and I take backup with this plugin now

  31. Hi
    Greetings, There is one more backup and restore solution we tried named as WP Time Capsule – free plugin that includes incremental backup and one click restoration as well as we added schedule backup . Can you just try it for the list you shared . https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-time-capsule

    • This plugin looks very promising and the idea of incremental backups for free is advantageous. The only thing is that the plugin is very young, although this can be resolved as the time passes by 🙂

  32. Duplicator is the best and most easy backup/migration plugin

  33. Hi Brenda,

    I’m new to blogging and WordPress so I really appreciated finding your article. You mentioned in the last paragraph that one should also backup email. How do you do this? Can you give me 3 good options please? Thanks!

  34. That is really informative.
    I knew only about couple of them.
    I heard Vaultpress is really popular among probloggers.

    Thanks for sharing.

  35. Thanks for another great article. Today iThemes it seems is offering 35% discount on BackupBuddy, I am thinking on getting the lifetime subscription for USD 193 (unlimited sites). I just hope it works as good as everybody says.

  36. Finding that Updraft Plus has a garbage user interface. It makes it confusing. Their Restore and Migrate buttons are separate but when you click on Migrate it tells that Restore is the same thing? These people need to get someone on their team that knows how to make a product that is easier to use for the end user/web builder. Their website is also crap, even though they are using Divi as the framework. Seems like the devs just know how to code, the rest is just garbage, drive me nuts!

  37. I’ve just installed the WP MyBackup. It rocks!
    Pros: It comes with all imaginable options suited for file/mysql backups and scheduled backups :full backup, mysql maintenance, disk/ftp/ssh/dropbox/google/webdav/email, complex/complete logging system, email notifications,etc.
    Cons: the restore function or other functions (like incremental/differential backup, encryption, cpu/bandwidth throttling, reports) comes only as separate addons available with its commercial version (although each is only 5$).
    I take care of few blogs on daily basis and the FREE version I guess has anything I need: it backups my blogs’ automatically, upload them to FTP/Dropbox/Google/etc, a worry free life. It just works everytime! I love it!
    I used before the UpdraftPlus and BackupWPup but they lack of options in free version, let alone that BackupWPup failed to upload my backups to Dropbox 9/10 times.

  38. Very well structured and informative article. I am using BackUpWordPress for my website and worked like a charm.

  39. WP backup plugin is the best to keep the backup site. But quite expensive.

  40. Hi guys

    What is your recommendation for the least resource intensive (and still easy to use) option? I have been having a lot of problems with my site being very slow and have been advised to remove as many plugins as possible, which I’ve done. Therefore I’m looking for the best option which will have the least effect on performance/speed.


  41. I use Backupbuddy for backups, IThemes Security (same people as BackupBuddy). Elegant Themes Updater, Divi Theme, One Click Child Theme, YOAST, Semantic Shortcode (not required) That’s all you should need…

    Set your backup schedules for a time of day that your site is less likely to be used.

  42. Exactly these 10 are the best plugins to backup. I do have experience with the plugin named ‘WP-DB-Backup’

    In the past i have used this plugin, this was the best plugin which have ever helped me in critical issues. even i thankful to the developers of WP-DB-Backup

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