On the surface, BackupBuddy might appear to be a good WordPress backup solution. It is, after all, premium, and hence we may consider giving it more credit. While this may have been true a few years ago, the plugin has not evolved much over the years.
Although BackupBuddy is a well-known backup plugin for WordPress, it gets billing after UpdraftPlus, which has made quite a few improvements at the same time.
Errors when taking backups aren’t a good start
When we first activated BackupBuddy, there was an error right on the dashboard which warned us that backups may fail or take too long to complete. Since BackupBuddy uses site resources to manage backups, this is not an encouraging sign. The error may have been due to a plugin conflict or an incorrect DNS, according to the documentation. Not helpful.
Restores are unreliable
In any case, the backups completed without issues. The restores were an entirely different matter. While our small test site was restored without errors, the large site restore failed. Successful WordPress backup restores are the single most important requirement for a good backup plugin, because otherwise backups are completely useless.
Offsite storage available with Stash Live
If that wasn’t bad enough, BackupBuddy stores backups on the site server by default, which consumes a lot of resources. They do have a feature, Stash Live, available with their premium plans, allowing for offsite storage for backups. The backups are also accessible via an external dashboard, iThemes Sync. We are huge proponents of independent and offsite backups, so this was initially promising.
iThemes Sync external dashboard doesn’t work as expected
However, although we were able to backup and restore our small site from the plugin on wp-admin, the backup shows as failed on iThemes Sync. There were no files or database tables. Essentially, we couldn’t access it at all, so if our site had crashed or was inaccessible, we didn’t have our site backups.
Poor backup advice
Finally, we wanted to set up automatic backups on a schedule. According to the dashboard, 5 daily, 2 weekly, and 1 monthly database backup, in addition to 1 daily, 1 weekly, and 1 monthly full site backup is recommended.
In our experience, partial backups are useless, and are usually recommended as a tactic to save on storage space. Always backup the complete site, and use partial restores when required to rollback specific changes.
- On-demand backups
- Complete and partial backups
- Hourly automatic backups
- One-click automatic restore
Offsite backups available with Stash Live
Independent dashboard with iThemes Sync
Integrated with cloud services
Incremental backups available with Stash Live
Backups stored on-site server by default
Offsite backup storage is metered
Restore for large sites is difficult and prone to failures
External dashboard doesn’t work as intended
Starts at $80/year for 1 site with a maximum of 1 GB storage
Our test backups are not accessible from everywhere, restores are a gamble, server resources are used up indiscriminately, and backup storage costs are likely to be exorbitant. On top of that, to use BackupBuddy at all, you have to download the plugin directly from their website and then upload it to your WordPress site. We have covered this plugin in a detailed review here.
2 BoldGrid Backup
BoldGrid Backup is an automated WordPress backup solution by BoldGrid, a website builder powered by WordPress.
It allows you to easily create your website backups, restore your site after it crashes, and even use it to move your site when switching hosts. You can set up automated backups or manually create backups with one-click.
BoldGrid Backup comes with an automated fault protection feature that automatically creates a backup of your site before it updates. If an update fails, it automatically rolls back your WordPress site to the last backup. It’s a great feature that protects you against update errors.
With BoldGrid Backup, you can store up to 10 backup archives on your dashboard and more in remote storage locations like Amazon S3, FTP, or SFTP.
Pricing: $30 per year (Includes all of BoldGrid Premium tools & Services)
Review: BoldGrid Backup is a simple WordPress backup plugin you can use to create your website backups. The advantage of using this plugin is the bundle of other powerful tools you’ll get with the purchase of this plugin.
3 WP Database Backup
WP Database Backup is a free WordPress plugin, however, it only backs up your database.
It takes less than a minute to configure the plugin. Then you can create and restore backups with just a single click making it really easy to use. The plugin lets you set up automated backups or take manual ones when you need them.
There’s support for plenty of storage locations like Dropbox, email, Google Drive, and Amazon S3. Plus, you’ll get backup reports sent straight to your email.
- Easy configuration
- Store your database backup in a remote location
- Supports multiple storage destinations
- Sort and search backup from a list
- Provides extensive documentation to help walk you through the process
Cost: Free. The pro version WP All Backup ranges between $22 and $49 for 1 year.
Duplicator is a backup plugin that helps you duplicate, clone, move, and transfer an entire site from one location to another.
It requires a bit of technical knowledge and doesn’t allow you to schedule backups like other plugins, unless you purchase the Premium version. Still, this free plugin works well for manual backups as well as backups for specific sections of your site.
Pricing: Free. Premium version with scheduled backups starts at $69 per year.
Pro tip: You can create a backup copy of all website files — referred to as a Duplicator package — then migrate your entire site to a new host, domain, or staging site. Here’s the step-by-step process.
5 WP Time Capsule
WP Time Capsule is an excellent backup plugin because it auto-detects updates and then backs up your site.
You also get one-click staging to test changes, and every backup is an encrypted database backup. Plus, you can easily clone or migrate your site to a new location, which just adds to the goodness!
Pros of WP Time Capsule
It provides schedules automated backups
It supports incremental backups
It integrates easily with cloud drives
It supports a calendar view of the backups
You can restore the website to any calendar date of the backup
Cons of WP Time Capsule
The backup and restore process takes a long time
It does not support multi-site networks
WP Time Capsule plan costs from $49 a year.
BlogVault is arguably the most reliable backup plugin out there — and one of our top recommendations as a result.
In between its affordable pricing ($7.40/month) and its great features, they give you everything you would need out of a WordPress backup plugin.
It’s very user-friendly too. Even the newest WP user will be able to learn the ropes quickly.
They also offer easy migration in case you’re changing web hosts.
One other very nice feature is the fact that BlogVault backs up your website even if your website is down. You’ll be able to access any backups via your BlogVault dashboard while you wait for your site to go back up.
BlogVault also creates multiple backup copies of your website, allowing you to upload them into a third-party storage site like Google Drive or DropBox for even more protection against lost data. And with daily automatic backups, you’re sure to have the most up-to-date backups as possible.
Recovering your website is a snap too. With just one click, you’ll be able to restore your backed up website and return it to what it was the day before the hack or loss of information occurs.
BlogVault allows you to add sites to their service to. You’ll be able to manage all of your website backups on one dashboard, and generate reports and analytics for each one.
Pricing for BlogVault starts at $7.40/month and includes real-time backups, a 90-day backup archive, and one site. Try BlogVault now.
7 Everest Backup (Free + Premium)
Last but definitely not least on our list is the WordPress backup plugin, Everest Backup. It’s an all-in-one plugin that not only allows you to backup your site but also helps you with the restoration, migration, and cloning of your site.
Using the Everest Backup plugin you can easily connect your site with Google Drive and upload all the backup files to a specific folder. Best of all, you can manage all your backups right from the WordPress dashboard.
Further, the advanced reporting feature of the plugin notifies you whenever the backup completes or requires your attention. Hence, you can remain assured that you always have a correct and complete website backup.
- Manual as well as automatic backup options.
- Supports multisite WordPress installations.
- Easy migration, cloning, and restoration of the website.
- Human readable logs that give you information about backup files without requiring professional assistance.
- Premium version for enhancement of backup features.
Price: Free or $39 for a Personal Plan
8 JetPack Review — The Best For Making Site Changes Safely
Jetpack is a strong contender for a reliable backup plugin that works great for making site changes safely.
Picture this: You’re making exciting new changes to your site, whether that’s CSS customization, adding new plugins, or altering your core site files. Then suddenly, something breaks. With Jetpack, you can quickly restore your site to how it was before you made that crucial mistake with just a few clicks. This makes it an easy and reliable plugin to work with if you’re constantly updating your website.
The Jetpack plugin even comes complete with a mobile app so that you can virtually restore your website right from your phone no matter where you are. Plus, Jetpack offers plenty of security features, too. This can only be a plus for a backup plugin and makes it worth keeping in your corner.
Some top features of Jetpack include:
Provides malware scanning and protects your site from spam
Downtime monitoring lets you know if your site is down immediately
Malicious hacking and attack protection
Mobile app you can take and use with you everywhere
Automatically cleans up spam comments off your site
If you choose to go with JetPack, the question becomes what kind of pricing package you’ll feel comfortable going with, as there are many options.
The three main packages are:
Backup Daily — $7.95 per month billed yearly
Security Daily — $19.95 per month billed yearly
Complete — $79.95 per month billed yearly
The Backup Daily tier offers automated backups, one-click restores, and unlimited site storage. On the other end, Complete provides the full Jetpack suite, including real-time security, enhanced search, CRM features, and even design tools.
Jetpack also offers a limited free forever plan that includes basic site protection, downtime monitoring, and changelogs.
Additional product bundles you can purchase separately on a per month basis include a Security Real-Time plan, a Real-Time Backup plan, a Scan package, an Anti-spam bundle, a Site Search plan, and the CRM Entrepreneur add-on.
Jetpack offers peace of mind by providing one-click restore options and monitoring your website’s security at pretty affordable rates. Still, I recommend you visit their comparison page to ensure you’re deciding on the right backup bundle.
Start using Jetpack’s powerful backup features here.
BackWPUp provides an all-in-one solution to create complete WordPress backups for free and store them on the cloud (Dropbox, Amazon S3, RackSpace), email, FTP, or on your computer.
This plugin allows you to easily schedule automated backups based on your site’s update frequency.
It also offers a premium version with a broader feature set. You can encrypt and store your backups to multiple storage locations like Amazon Glacier or Google Drive with the paid plan.
- Standalone app for emergency restores
- Restore encrypted backups
- Personalized customer support for premium accounts
BackWPUp’s basic version is free. Premium plans start at $69 per year and renew at $39, making it an affordable choice in the long run.
UpdraftPlus is a popular freemium WordPress backup plugin. It automatically backs up your files and database on nearly any schedule — choose between a variety of frequencies between two hours and every 30 days. Plus, you can send backup files to a number of third parties, like Google Drive and Dropbox, or store them on your server.
Key features of UpdraftPlus:
Backup frequency options from monthly to every two hours
Supports both manual and automatic backups
Integrates with third-party tools like Google Drive and Dropbox for backup storage
Prunes the number of old backups to prevent server bloat
Automatically backs up your site before core, theme, and plugin updates (with the premium plan)
Pros of UpdraftPlus:
There is a free tier available that includes the majority of UpdraftPlus functionality.
It’s compatible with WordPress multisite.
It’s very easy to set up and turn on automatic backups.
Cons of UpdraftPlus:
You need to pay separately for storage.
UpdraftPlus automatically defaults to storing backup files on your server, which puts them at risk if your site is hacked.
There are no real-time backups available.
There are no additional security features included.
Restoring a backup can be difficult if your site is completely down.
Ease of use:
UpdraftPlus is relatively easy to set up, but there are a number of settings to configure, like backup frequency and storage location. Restoring from a backup is also pretty straightforward, but only if your site is still functioning. To restore, log into your site, navigate to UpdraftPlus settings, select the files you want to restore, and wait for it to finish.
However, if your site is down, you have one of two options:
Delete your current WordPress installation (or duplicate it elsewhere), set up a new site, install UpdraftPlus, and restore using the steps above.
Complete a manual restore, which involves setting up a new WordPress installation, editing core files, uploading backup files to your server via FTP, and importing your database using PHPMyAdmin.
For beginners, this can get quite complicated.
The Free plan has no cost. The free version includes automatic backups, one-click restoration if your site is working, and offsite backups to select third-party tools.
The Personal plan includes up to two sites and adds on features like incremental backups, migration functionality, database encryption, and additional storage destinations. It’s $70 upfront, then $42 a year. But you’ll need to pay for separate storage.
The Business plan includes up to ten sites. It’s $95 upfront, then $57 a year.
The Agency plan includes up to 35 sites. It’s $145 upfront, then $87 a year.
The Enterprise plan includes unlimited sites. It’s $195 upfront, then $117 a year.