Putting in place a backup procedure for your WordPress site should be one of the first things you do when starting a new project. You can either wait for something to go wrong and learn the hard way, or install a free or very affordable premium plugin and then never have to worry about what will happen should your site get hacked or corrupted.
While the premium options do give you access to some very useful features, the free plugins are also able to get the job done, although often with a bit of extra effort on your part. By installing a free plugin and linking it to your cloud storage account, you can take a proactive step towards safeguarding your site for when the inevitable happens.
VaultPress is a backup service for WordPress run by Automattic, the owners of WordPress.com. It’s a subscription-based service that allows self-hosted users of WordPress to create daily and real-time synching of all content on their site. The plugin can also perform security scans on a daily basis to help you keep your site safe and secure. As well as automatically creating the backups, VaultPress can also restore them very easily.
The installation and setup process is very easy to complete and you can begin backing up your WordPress site in no time at all, all for a very low monthly fee. VaultPress is a very popular choice that can be implemented on your site from just $5 per month.
Free Backups to Google Drive
This free solution allows you to use a plugin in combination with your Google Drive account to back up your WP site. The plugin facilitates the backup your WordPress content and the database so should anything go wrong, you will be covered.
Each backup is created as a zip file and delivered to a folder of your choice on your Google Drive account. If you want more information about this backup option for WordPress, read our guide on installing and configuring the free plugin.
It’s not the simplest of WordPress backup options, when it comes to setup and restoring your backups, but its free and gives you access to the backup files on your own computer (via the Google cloud).
Dropbox Backups for Free
If you are a Dropbox user rather than a fan of Google Drive, you can still use your cloud service of choice to back up your WordPress site. By using the free WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin, you can almost instantly begin sending a copy of your site to a Dropbox folder on your account.
When setting up the plugin, you can select which files to archive, as well as scheduling when the backup should take place or what the frequency should be. There are also premium add-ons available which give you more options for managing your WordPress backups. For a detailed review of the plugin, check out our guide to backing up your site with Dropbox.
This is a popular backup option, with the plugin being downloaded over 650,000 times and receiving a user rating of 3.9 out of 5. By choosing the WPB2D plugin you can have a cost effective way of ensuring should something go wrong with your site, it won’t mean starting from scratch.
The free version of this plugin is very popular and is getting close to receiving 1,000,000 downloads. Unlike the above two free options, you are not tied into one specific cloud file storage service. It supports Dropbox, Amazon S3 and SugarSync to name but a few. Alternatively your site backups can be sent to your inbox, an FTP server or another directory on your site’s server.
There is also a pro version which is available from $75 and has many more features for safeguarding your site and its content. For more information on this option and a guide to setting it up, read our BackWPup review.
This backup plugin is available from the ithemes team and is an affordably priced premium option. BackupBuddy creates a backup of your entire site - settings, plugins, widgets, content and database - and then sends them to your storage service of choice. The backups can also be transferred to another directory on your hosting account or downloaded right to your computer.
Restoring a site that has been hacked or broken is very easy and only requires two files to be uploaded in order to restore the entire site. The new version of the plugin allows you to restore individual files. This is a great feature to have access to as it prevents you from overwriting your whole site with a full site restore, should you notice only one particular file has been lost or corrupted.
Another great feature of BackupBuddy is the ability to move your WordPress site to another domain or server. This is great should something go wrong. However, developers and site builders will find this feature invaluable when moving client sites to a live server, once they are ready to go live.
If you want a very easy to use service that comes with a user friendly interface and gives you plenty of options where to store your backups, BackupBuddy is a great choice. For detailed instructions on how to use BackupBuddy read our guide on how to start backup WordPress sites.
This is another premium option. However, blogVault comes with a 7-day trial which includes a full-refund should you not be happy with the service. This means you can give it a try without risking any money. After the trial, prices start from only $9 per month which isn’t much for the peace of mind that comes with knowing your site is protected.
In this price range, VaultPress it the main competition to blogVault, and there isn’t much to separate the two. Although blogVault does offer single file restore on its entry level price plan and the ability to save backups to Dropbox.
Other useful features of blogVault include the ability to migrate sites to a new server or domain, test your backups to check they can be relied on should something go wrong, and support delivered via personalised email.
The free options here are great for getting started and securing a backup of your site. However, if you want more control over how your backups run, as well as taking some of the uncertainly out of the equation, then it makes sense to go with a premium service.
VaultPress is a very popular premium backup solution for WordPress, and with prices starting from just $5 per month it’s hard to beat in terms of value. However, blogVault gets my vote, thanks to its slightly more enhanced feature list, which includes the ability to restore single files and store your backups offline in a place of your choosing. At $9 per month it’s still an affordable option.