Every time you’re creating a new WordPress website, there are some essential WordPress plugins that you’ll want to install. These plugins should always, always include a backup plugin.
A reliable WordPressbackup plugin can give you peace of mind knowing that no matter what happens, all the hard work you’ve put into your website won’t be lost.
What Makes a Good Backup Plugin?
Not all plugins are created equal. What may be the perfect plugin solution for one website might not be a good fit for another.
To know if a WordPress backup plugin is right for you, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions:
- Is it automated?
There are two types of WordPress backup plugins – those that are automated and run on a set schedule, and those that will need to be manually triggered to complete a backup. An automatically triggered backup solution is always my preferred choice – one less thing to remember!
- What does it back up?
Sure, there’s a lot of free backup plugins that seem to do a great job, but how much do they really back up? If it’s only backing up your WordPress database, you’ll be left without your images, themes, and other items in the unfortunate event that you lose all of your data. Make sure you know exactly what would be recoverable.
- How easy is it to use?
How easy one finds a WordPress backup plugin is completely related to the tech savvy-ness of the user. If you’re a wizard with WordPress backends and PHP, surely there will be nothing to worry about. However, if you’re unfamiliar with these parts of WordPress, you’ll want to look for a plugin that’s easy to navigate without any need of in-depth programming knowledge.
- How much does it cost?
This is a pretty obvious qualifier. If you have the budget for it, WordPress backup plugins and WordPress security plugins are definitely where I’d suggest first investing your money (that gorgeous WordPress premium theme you’ve been eyeing can wait). The security and safety of your WordPress website should always take priority.
With those things in mind, let’s take a look at our choices for the 6 best WordPress backup plugins of 2016:
UpdraftPlus – Paid or Free WordPress Backup Plugin
UpdraftPlus has been WordPress’s highest-raking backup plugin for a while now, with more 800,000 active installs backing up it’s reputation. Not only does it have a lot of users, but they’re happy users as well. This WordPress backup plugin has a superb user rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.
UpdraftPlus simplifies your WordPress backups, making it almost effortless to use. With just a quick set up, you can have your WordPress site backing up to Amazon S3 (or compatible), Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud, DreamObjects, FTP, Openstack Swift, UpdraftPlus Vault and email.
- Automation? Yes
- Backup contents? Database and files
- Easy to use? Yes – Simple, easy to understand interface.
- Cost? Free for the basic version, or a premium version is available for $70.
Learn more about UpdraftPlus on their website, or compare the free and premium version features here.
Duplicator – WordPress Clone Plugin
Duplicator was an extremely popular plugin that will keep popping up if you search for WordPress backup plugins. It seems to me that it’s usually recommended for cloning an entire WordPress site from one location to another, rather than for regular security backups, but it would serve well for both applications.
This WordPress plugin would also be a great option if you want a plugin that allows you to do your WordPress development locally, and then push your changes onto a server.
The Duplicator Pro version has some additional premium features, such as scheduled backups and storage with Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, and FTP. It’s a robust plugin with regular updates and a 4.9/5.0 star rating.
- Automation? Scheduled backups with the Pro version.
- Backup contents? Database and files – entire site
- Easy to use? Moderate – the plugin states that it does require some technical knowledge.
- Cost? Free for the basic version, or a premium version is available as low as $39/year for 3 sites.
You can learn more about Duplicator on their website.
BackWPup – Complete WordPress Backup Plugin
BackWPup is a WordPress backup plugin that offers a complete installation backup into a simple .zip file. Backups can be scheduled to run on a regular basis, and can push backups to external services for storage, such as Dropbox, S3, and FTP. Purchasing the Pro version unlocks even more ways to store your files after a successful backup.
If you want to see BackWPup in action, the creators have created a five-part video tutorial series which is available here on YouTube.
- Automation? Yes you can schedule backups, but it may require setting up a server-side cron job.
- Backup contents? Complete installation, including /wp-content/.
- Easy to use? Simple to use without much technical knowledge.
- Cost? Free for the basic version, or Pro versions range from $69 to $349 depending on your needs.
You can learn more about BackWPup and BackWPup Pro here.
WP-DB-Backup – WordPress Database Backup Plugin
While I wouldn’t recommend WP-DB-Backup as a sole backup solution (I prefer one that backs up files as well), it does have over 400,000+ installs on WordPress.org and stellar reviews. If you’re needing a plugin that will only back up your database though, this plugin is a perfect & simple solution to do just that.
- Automation? No.
- Backup contents? Core WordPress database tables.
- Easy to use? Very simple plugin.
- Cost? Free!
Find out more about WP-DB-Backup on their website.
BackUpWordPress – Simple WordPress Backup Plugin
The BackUpWordPress plugin currently has over 200,000 active installations, and it’s pretty easy to see why. This plugin advertises itself as being super simple to use, and requires very little processing power to complete its backups – perfect if you’re on a shared hosting environment.
By default this plugin stores its backups in /wp-content/backups, but it has the option for the backups to be emailed to you instead. The Pro version also offers remote storage support, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Amazon S3.
On a semi-unrelated note: This plugin is hosted on GitHub. If you’re a developer, you can view the source code and help with plugin development over at https://github.com/humanmade/backupwordpress/.
- Automation? Yes, scheduled backups.
- Backup contents? Entire site including database.
- Easy to use? Simple to use without much technical knowledge.
- Cost? Free for the basic version or $99 for their Pro version.
Learn more about the BackUpWordPress plugin on their website.
VaultPress – WordPress Backup Subscription Service
VaultPress is a subscription-based WordPress backup service. While they don’t offer a free subscription, they do service millions of self-hosted WordPress sites and are a very reliable. If you don’t want to worry about keeping up with backup .zip files on your computer and don’t mind paying a monthly subscription, VaultPress might be a perfect solution for you.
Their Basic and Security Bundle subscription plans also offer real time backups, meaning that it will back up every post, comment, file, etc. as it happens on your site!
- Automation? Yes daily backups with the Lite plan and above.
- Backup contents? WordPress themes, plugins, uploads, and database.
- Easy to use? Very simple.
- Cost? Lite – $5/mo. Basic – $15/mo. Security Bundle – $29/mo. See all pricing information here.
Learn more about VaultPress on their website.
None of these suit your fancy?
Somewhere between all of these free and Pro WordPress backup plugins above, there are many more plugins available through premium content sites that aren’t listed on WordPress.org. These always have some cost associated with them, but not as much as most of the other Pro plans we’ve listed so far.
If none of the plugins above suit your needs, I’d encourage you to browse other available backup plugins here.
What WordPress backup plugin do you use on your site?
What do you like most about it? Let us know in the comments below!