There are many backup plugins for WordPress but, you might avoid scrolling down their list to read about their features. This is no ordinary list. I have selected the five best WordPress solutions for scheduling regular backups of your website especially to save your site in case it gets hacked. Each plugin offer features which makes it an ideal backup solution. Read on to learn more about the importance of maintaining backups and how these plugins save the day if your website gets hacked.
Why Website Backups Are Important?
Keeping site backups is one of the best moves to protect yourself from losing data. After all, no one will ever want their website to crash. Backups play a significant role in preventing hacker attacks, crashing servers, and accidental site lockdowns.
Again, if something goes wrong during an update, you can restore a site from a previous state backup. It brings great relief to know that if you screw things up, or if someone hacks your data and puts in some kind of malware, all you have to do is track the logs and restore a clean backup, that too in barely a few minutes.
Hosting companies also offer backup services as a part of their package plan, but I will never recommend relying solely on them. It’s always a good idea to keep control of your data on your own. So, backing a website is your responsibility, and you should take guaranteed measures for it.
Since you are reading this post because you want to secure your website, let me just mention this here, that putting back a clean backup of your website is the best way to clean and save your hacked website.
Types of Backup Solutions
Before I dig into the popular backup plugins, let’s take a look at different types of backup solutions. Backup plugins whether free or paid, offer features that are from very basic to advanced ones. But, if I talk about core backup capabilities then, following backup types exist.
- Manual Backups: In manual backups, you take full control over what’s backed up and what isn’t.
- Automatic Backups: Automated backup is performed after a certain period of time.
- Resume Failed Backups: When the backup process is interrupted due to certain reasons, it gets resumed either manually or automatically.
- Real-Time Backups: Backups that are incremental in nature i.e. you can synchronize your recent changes with backed up data. And that you only backup what gets changed, not the complete website all over again.
- Multiple Site Backups: When you have multiple WordPress sites to manage, you can keep backups of all these sites together in one place.
WordPress Backup Plugins
By now, you must know the importance of having WordPress backups. There are a couple of go-to backup plugins which I will discuss next.
VaultPress is an incredible backup plugin by Automattic. It’s a premium only solution, so there is no free or lite version. Basically, it offers a subscription based service which starts at $5 per month. The plugin performs daily and real-time backups of your site with automatic restore functionality. Likewise, these backups can be quickly restored and downloaded whenever you want.
Some of their monthly packages support security scans as well. So, VaultPress can be a complete security solution for your website which also provides you with real-time backups. In their basic monthly plan, you get features like automatic spam protection, daily backups of themes, plugins, and database, automatic restoration, etc. There is also a 30-day backup archive with extended expert support from security experts.
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As you jump to more expensive plans, the services like real-time backups and security scans are offered as well. VaultPress also supports WordPress Multisite, BuddyPress, and WordPress MU. R All plans offer a 30-day money back guarantee. Upgrade, downgrade, or cancel at any time.
BackupBuddy plugin by iThemes is one of the oldest and best premium backup solution for WordPress websites. It’s also a premium only solution, so there is no free or lite version. Apart from the features, you would normally expect, it allows you to customize your backups accordingly and store them in platforms like Dropbox, Amazon S3, FTP, etc. It is a licensed based service instead of the traditional subscription model. It includes services like automated updates, premium support forums, and 1GB of cloud storage called Stash for free with the basic $80 per year package — which is valid for one site.
BackupBuddy can also be used to transfer your site to a new host for free. Backups for your database, files, media library, etc. are taken from the scratch. To save resources, you can exclude specific tables or files from your backups. Advanced features like malware and database scans, repair, and database mass text replacement tools are also included.
Restoration of backups is very flexible. Just upload the ImportBuddy file (which is created while keeping backups) and restore your website in a few clicks. You can also test updates before your site goes live. Their pricing plans start at $80 per year and go up to $297 which is a lifetime plan to backup unlimited websites.
Many people love Duplicator plugin for not only that it’s a free plugin but also because they like the way it duplicates, clones, backups, and transfers a website from one place to another. With more than 800,000 active installs it provides a flexible solution for backing up your websites for some reason. I have used it to clone my sites on to a local machine for testing purposes and vice versa. The plugin supports both serialized and base64 serialized string replacement in WordPress.
However, the Duplicator plugin requires some technical knowledge before you give it a spin. Unlike several other plugins, it does not offer automated scheduled backups which mean you have to regularly maintain a site backup on your own.
The scheduled backup feature is offered in its Pro version which includes features like automatic scheduled backups, cloud storage to devices, support for database and multisite, etc.
Users love this plugin because once you get to know your way around it, the plugin is very handy, easy to use, and has an incredible free plugin.
WP Time Capsule
WP Time Capsule is relatively a new backup plugin. But it deserves a mention in this list because not only is it free but also the only free plugin that offers automated incremental backups for your website as per schedule to Dropbox, Google Drive, and Amazon.
It offers set and forget, offsite backups, with one-click restore feature. I love the fact that it only backups up the changes in your site. Yes, that’s what we call incremental backups. It backs up your website once and after that it only backups the changes in your website instead of keeping multiple copies of files.
Currently, the plugin is in its beta stages but has a long way to go. It was developed to ensure smooth handling of WP updates. It employs a cloud apps’ native file versioning system to detect and track changes which mean a lesser use of your server’s resources.
With WP Time Capsule plugin, no zipped files of backups are created. Instead, files are directly dropped into your cloud accounts. Similarly, you can restore selected files and not the complete website. Did I mention it is free? Since the plugin is in the beta stage you’ll need to request an inviting thought; you can do it here.
UPDATE: Vinodh (— co-founder of InifinteWP & WP Time Capsule) provided me with a signup link for the readers of this post. So, just install the free plugin from the WP Repo, activate it and it will ask for your account credentials. You can sign up for the beta here and get an account without waiting for the invite.
ManageWP Orion Backups
If you have multiple WordPress sites, and you find it hard to maintain backups, then ManageWP Orion is a great place to get started. Scheduling backups with MangeWP are one of its distinguishing features. But Orion has raised the bar when it comes to site backups.
The traditional ManageWP dashboard used a PHP based script to backup the site. But, the Orion employs a cloud technology to handle backups. This removes an extra load which was experienced earlier.
Cloud-based backups are incremental and are performed off-site. It means only the updated changes are backed up, and users save a lot of web resources. I have already written a detailed review about Orion. You can read it here.
Moreover, if you have small sites (sites with less than 100k files) that need free incremental backups once a month, then ManageWP Orion has got you covered. You can get free offsite incremental backups of your sites once a month.
Today, websites are prone to attacks more than ever, and the need to take regular and real-time backups is significant. Later in this series, I will write a complete guide about how you can fix a website after it gets hacked. There, again I will discuss the importance of backups but in much more detail.
In this article, I’ve covered the reliable backup solutions for WordPress. I could have included a few more prominent names, but this is a refined list based on my personal experience.
So what do you think of these WordPress backup plugins? Do you have your personal favorite? Feel free to share.
Finally, you can catch all of my articles on my profile page, and you can follow me or reach out at Twitter @mrahmadawais; to discuss this article. As usual, don’t hesitate to leave any questions or comments below, and I’ll aim to respond to each of them.