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5 Best WordPress Backup Plugins Reviewed 2024 (Free & Paid)

Best WordPress Backup Plugins
Here is my guide to the best WordPress backup plugins.

While WordPress has greatly simplified the process of building a website, running and maintaining a WordPress site comes with its unique set of challenges.

The challenge of minimising any risk of downtime and data loss tops this list. Even a few hours of downtime could mean a major drop in enquiries, orders, loss of traffic and customer data.

The solution? Backups. If you run a WordPress site, backups are a huge component of your WordPress website maintenance plan. But there’s a catch. Backups for dynamic websites like online stores, membership sites, forums, and even blogs with new comments daily, are a different ballgame altogether – thanks to the large volumes of data they deal with and the time-critical nature of the data on them. 

Here are my thoughts on the best WordPress backup plugins for different situations, ones to avoid, what features to look for, server vs plugin vs manual backups, and the best way to backup WordPress sites (the process I personally follow).

What is the Best WordPress Backup Plugin?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The “best” plugin depends on your specific needs, technical expertise, and budget. However, considering key factors like features, ease of use, real-time backups and restores (critical for dynamic sites, e.g. WooCommerce websites, membership sites, forums, etc), security, and price, I believe BlogVault is the best paid WordPress backup plugin. More about Blogvault below.

Note that real-time backups, e.g. that merge recent WooCommerce orders during a restore, is a paid add-on to all of the BlogVault plans. I wish it was standard with all plans.

What is the Best Free WordPress Backup Plugin?

The best free WordPress backup and restore plugin is UpdraftPlus. It comes with all of the essential backup features for simple WordPress websites. This suits website owners on a budget and those who don’t need real-time backups for WooCommerce.

What is the Best WooCommerce Backup Plugin?

The best WooCommerce backup plugin is BlogVault, but only if you use their real-time WooCommerce backup add-on, which costs an extra $100 per site per year. Worth it though so that you don’t lose recent orders during a website restore.

5 Best WordPress Backup Plugins for 2024

A WordPress backup plugin can simplify the task of taking WordPress backups on an ongoing basis and using the restore functionality in the event of a website crash.

Here are 5 of the best backup plugins for WordPress sites.

1. BlogVault

Among the most popular and reliable WordPress backup tools, the BlogVault backup plugin has been used by over 450,000 WordPress sites. BlogVault provides a complete SaaS-based backup solution instead of simply a plugin. It’s easy to install and use for most users with basic WordPress knowledge.

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (based on 200 reviews on WordPress.org).

Active Installs: BlogVault states that they have 450,000+ websites backed up.

Blogvault WordPress Backup Plugin
WordPress backup plugin by BlogVault

Key Features:

The BlogVault WordPress backup plugin offers a comprehensive suite of features designed to ensure your WordPress site’s data is secure, easily recoverable, and manageable. Here’s a summary of its key features:

  • Reliable Backups: BlogVault ensures reliable backups that work every time, having successfully backed up over 1 million websites across 5000+ web hosts​
  • Secure Backups: It stores encrypted backups across multiple data centers without any additional cost for cloud storage​
  • Reliable Restores: BlogVault boasts a 100% success rate in restoring sites, helping you quickly recover from crashes or data loss​. I can confirm this too. I’ve had a 100% success rate.
  • One-Click Staging Sites: Easily create staging sites to test changes without affecting the live site, with options to merge changes back to the live environment once you’re satisfied​​​
  • Effortless WordPress Migrations: Migrate your site to any web host or domain with minimal effort and no downtime, ensuring a smooth transition​​​
  • Real-Time Backups for WooCommerce: Offers specialized real-time backup solutions for WooCommerce sites, capturing every order and transaction without slowing down your website​​​
  • WordPress Multisite Support: Provides full support for WordPress Multisite networks, allowing for easy backup, restore, and migration of multisite installations​
  • Integrated Security Features: Includes automatic malware scans, one-click malware removal, and a real-time firewall to protect your site​
  • Advanced Monitoring and Activity Log: Keep a close eye on your site’s uptime and monitor all changes to debug problems and reduce downtime​
  • Easy Installation and Setup: Designed to be user-friendly, BlogVault can be set up quickly without needing technical expertise, and it offers support for sites of all sizes​​​
  • WordPress Management Services: Manage multiple WordPress sites from a single dashboard, including updates, PHP versions, plugins, and themes. It facilitates team collaboration and provides scheduled security reports​
  • Additional Features: BlogVault offers easy-to-use interface, free trial, automated backups, offsite storage that doesn’t affect site performance, and excellent technical support regardless of the package you choose​.

These features make BlogVault a robust solution for WordPress backup, security, and site management, catering to a wide range of needs from personal blogs to large eCommerce platforms running on WooCommerce. It stands out for its reliability, ease of use, and comprehensive coverage of both backup and security aspects of WordPress site management.

My Experience

I’ve been using BlogVault on and off for the last few years, for myself, and for clients, and it is by far the easiest WordPress backup plugin to install, setup and configure to backup and secure your WordPress website.

In my experience, it has never failed me, unlike many other backup, restore and migration plugins. Most other plugins I’ve tried always seem to get stuck during a restore/import or throw some kind of error that prevents the restore or migration process. BlogVault is ACTUALLY a stress-free solution to backups, restores and migrations. I can’t recommend it enough. And this is just for standard backups and restores.

BlogVault also has advanced features that most other plugins don’t have, even in their premium versions. e.g. Real-time WooCommerce backups. This is a paid add-on, but it’s so worth for mission critical online stores using WooCommerce. If you aren’t sure what a real-time backup is, it’s like a last minute check that BlogVault does before restoring your website. It checks your site for any recent orders and merges them during the restore process. In my opinion, losing recent orders is the biggest problem with restoring WooCommerce websites.

One of my favourite features about BlogVault is not adding additional load to your server. They do everything on their own servers, which doesn’t slow down your website like other backup plugins. It also doesn’t increase your server disk usage because they store backups to their own servers.

The BlogVault support is also world class. Even their website design is world class.

A great experience all round.

Pricing

From $149/year, BlogVault is affordable for small businesses and startups.

All plans come with the same essential features including real-time WooCommerce backups, staging, cloud storage, multisite support, security, etc. The key difference is in backup history and the frequency of automatic backups and malware scanning. Most WordPress website owners will only need the Plus plan for $149/year.

Here are all available BlogVault plans:

  • Plus Plan = $149/year, 90 days of backups, 1 automatic backup and malware scan per day
  • Prime Plan = $199/year, 180 days of backups, 2 automatic backups and malware scans per day
  • Pro = $299/year, 365 days of backups, 4 automatic backups and malware scans per day
  • Max = $499/year, 365 days of backups, automatic backups and malware scans every hour

Pros:

  • Real-time WooCommerce backups and restores to prevent losing recent orders during a restore
  • Does not slow your website like other backup plugins
  • Stores backups on BlogVault servers instead of increasing disk usage on your own server
  • You can create a staging site to test changes before pushing live
  • Comes bundled with their security plugin called Malcare
  • Multisite support

Cons:

  • Is relatively expensive compared to other backup plugins
  • The real-time WooCommerce backup feature is not part of any plan, instead it’s a paid add-on.

My Verdict

BlogVault is the best WordPress backup plugin that I’ve used over the last few years.

I highly recommend using BlogVault if you run a WooCommerce store that gets daily orders. You’ll need one of their plans and also the real-time WooCommerce backup add-on.

If you don’t use WooCommerce and your hosting provider already provides security, staging, restores, etc, then you probably don’t need to use BlogVault.

BlogVault - Backups, Staging, Migration And Security
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I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you.

2. UpdraftPlus

With over 3 million active installations, UpdraftPlus is another popular WordPress backup solution. The free version of this tool is ideal for early-stage WordPress sites as it includes both manual and scheduled backups, and restores! Plus, it’s easy to use, even for non-technical users. 

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (based on 7,345+ reviews on WordPress.org)

Active Installs: 3M+ active installations (according to the plugin page on WordPress.org)

UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin
Backup plugin by UpdraftPlus

Key Features

The UpdraftPlus WordPress backup plugin offers a range of features in both its free and paid (Premium) versions, aimed at simplifying the backup and restoration of WordPress sites. Here’s a breakdown of what each version offers:

Free Version Features:
  • Reliable Backups: Allows automatic and scheduled backups to cloud storage options like Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, and email. It supports separate schedules for file and database backups.
  • Restoration Ease: Provides the ability to quickly restore your site from backups with a single click.
  • Migration Support: The free version also supports migrating WordPress websites, although with some limitations compared to the Premium version.
Premium Version Features:
  • True Full Backups: Includes core WordPress files and non-WordPress files in backup!
  • Incremental Backups: Saves server resources by backing up only the changes since the last backup, rather than taking full backups each time.
  • Premium Storage Locations: Offers backup options to additional cloud services like Microsoft OneDrive, Azure, Google Cloud, Backblaze, SFTP, SCP, and more.
  • Automatic Backup Before Updates: Automatically creates backups before WordPress core, plugins, or themes updates are applied.
  • More Remote Storage Options: Supports a wider range of cloud storage options with advanced features like encryption, chunked and resumable uploads.
  • Advanced Scheduling: Allows for more flexible scheduling options for backups, including specific times and intervals.
  • 1GB UpdraftVault Storage: Comes with 1GB of storage in UpdraftVault, a secure and reliable storage solution built on Amazon S3.
  • Flexible Restoration: Lets you choose specific components of your WordPress site to restore.
  • Premium Support: Direct access to support tickets with the development team, ensuring faster and more in-depth assistance.
  • Migration and Multisite Support: Enhanced options for migrating WordPress sites, including the ability to select specific themes, plugins, and database tables for migration. Compatible with WordPress Network/Multisite installs.
  • Security Features: Offers encrypted database backups and secure transport to cloud storage, among other security measures.

The Premium version is designed for those requiring more flexibility, security, and support for their backup and restoration processes, making it suitable for larger or more complex sites, or for businesses with specific backup and migration needs.

My Experience

In my experience, UpdraftPlus (free version) is very easy to use. I didn’t change any settings following installation and just clicked backup and it took a backup of my 2.7 GB site (huskygifts.com) within 2 minutes with a restore done within 1 minute. Super fast, especially for a relatively large site like this.

The peak memory usage was only 28 MB, which is well within my memory limit of 1024 MB. So there was almost no strain on my server during the backup process, apart from increasing disk usage for the backup. This is where the premium version’s cloud storage would help if I was running out of room on my server. It would also be nice to have more scheduling options with the premium version.

Pricing

UpdraftPlus Premium offers several pricing tiers based on the number of licenses and features required including:

  • Personal: 2 licenses for $70.00/year, including all premium features, 1 UpdraftClone token, and 1GB UpdraftVault quota.
  • Business: 10 licenses for $95.00/year, plus 2 UpdraftClone tokens and 1GB UpdraftVault quota.
  • Agency: 35 licenses for $145.00/year, with 5 UpdraftClone tokens and 1GB UpdraftVault quota.
  • Enterprise: Unlimited licenses for $195.00/year, including 10 UpdraftClone tokens and 1GB UpdraftVault quota.
  • Gold: Unlimited licenses+ for $399.00/year, offering all premium features, 10 UpdraftClone tokens, 50GB UpdraftVault quota, and unlimited UpdraftCentral Cloud.

All premium licenses come with 1 year of support, free updates, and Vault storage (1GB for all except Gold, which offers 50GB)​​.

Pros:

  • Easy setup and user-friendly interface
  • Offers scheduled and on-demand backups
  • Supports multiple cloud storage options
  • Free version available for basic backup needs
  • Premium version includes incremental backups and advanced support
  • Premium version has the option to backup WordPress core files and non-WordPress files, which is essential if you want a true full backup.

Cons:

  • I wish the free version could backup WP core files and non-WordPress files
  • I also wish the free version had the option to download all files as a single zip without having to download individual zips for uploads, plugins, themes, MU plugins, other, etc. This is so annoying.
  • Premium version can be costly for advanced features
  • Array of options in premium version may overwhelm some users
  • Running backups may slow down large sites or those with very limited server resources
  • Does not do real-time WooCommerce backups, so you may lose recent orders during restores

My Verdict

UpdraftPlus is the best free WordPress backup plugin for those wanting the ability to take a backup and easily restore that backup if necessary. This suits website owners on a budget and those using a hosting provider that doesn’t have server backups. I use and recommend UpdraftPlus for redundant backups in my guide about how to secure WordPress sites.

However, if you just want a backup plugin to take a backup that you can download as an archived Zip file for safe keeping, website migrations on a budget, or emergency manual restores, I recommend using BackWPup or Duplicator instead (read my review of each below).

Note that UpdraftPlus is not suited for WooCommerce websites needing real-time backups that merge recent orders during a restore. If you need this feature, BlogVault is the best.

3. BackWPup

Looking for a WordPress backup tool that can provide decent backup features with its free version? The BackWPup tool is a good choice. Easy to use, this backup tool allows you to automate and schedule WordPress backups based on your needs. BackWPup also gives you a zipped archive of all website files and folders including your database. Great for manual restores! This plugin is quite similar to Duplicator (my #4 pick). i.e. both do backups with their free version, but not restores.

Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (based on 1005+ reviews on WordPress.org)

Active Installs: 600,000+ active installations (according to the plugin page on WordPress.org)

BackWPup WordPress Backup Plugin
Backup plugin by BackWPup

Key Features

Here are the free and paid features of BackWPup.

Free Version Features:
  • Full website backups
  • Partial backups (specific files, folders, etc)
  • Database backups
  • Scheduled backups
  • Archives all folders, files and database into a downloadable .zip file
  • Advanced settings to fine tune backup process depending on your server limits
  • Tutorial videos
  • Multiple archive file formats including Zip, Tar, and Tar GZip
  • Wide range of backup storage locations including backups to folder/server, via email, FTP, Dropbox, Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace, and Sugar Sync.
Paid Version Features:
  • Website restores
  • Extra cloud storage options including: Google Drive, Amazon Glazier, OneDrive, and HiDrive
  • Multisite support

My Experience

I thought BackWPup was easy to use with all of the necessary features and settings for a reliable backup. It has tutorial videos for beginners and advanced settings for those more experienced fine tuning backup settings to suit their specific server.

It was quite easy to add a backup job and I was impressed by the features available in their free version. It was really good to see the ability to download a backup archive in Zip, Tar, and Tar GZip. I also really liked that you have the option to download to your server or to a few different cloud storage providers.

Even though the free version doesn’t give you the option to restore a backup, it’s still one of the best backup plugins, i.e. to just take a backup.

Pricing

BackWPup is available in a free version that has all the backup features most website owners need.

BackWPup also has paid plans starting from $69/year. You’ll need this if you want the ability to easily restore a backup, back up a multisite, or have more cloud storage options.

Pros

  • Very fast backups 🚀
  • Advanced settings to suit your server limits (if any)
  • Full website backups
  • Downloadable archive Zip, Tar, or Tar GZip file
  • Cloud storage options

Cons

  • Website restores only available in paid version

My Verdict

BackWPup is an excellent backup plugin. The free version does everything you need to simply take a backup. However, you’ll need the paid version if you want the ability easily restore your backup.

So, I recommend using the free version of BackWPup if you just need to take a backup. i.e. a backup that you now have on hand just in case you need to manually restore the website at a later date. You you could also use the backup for website migrations.

If you want the ability to restore a backup, then I think the free version of UpdraftPlus is the way to go.

And if you are happy to invest in a paid backup solution, I think BlogVault is better.

4. Duplicator

With over 25 million successful installations, Duplicator is another popular backup tool for WordPress sites. Duplicator makes it extremely easy to create backup files (as a zipped file) so you can store them locally or upload them on cloud storage platforms. However, if you want the ability to easily restore a backup, you’ll need the paid version.

Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars (based on 4,374+ reviews on WordPress.org)

Active Installs: 1M+ active installations (according to the plugin page on WordPress.org)

Duplicator WordPress Backup Plugin
Backup plugin by Duplicator

Key Features

Here are the free and paid features of Duplicator.

Duplicator Features:

Here are the key features of Duplicator’s free version:

  • Full website backups
  • Partial backups (e.g. database only)
  • Ability to download a .zip archive that contains website files and database (great feature!)
Duplicator Pro Features:

Here are the key features of Duplicator’s paid versions:

  • Backup restores
  • Faster backups, especially for large sites
  • Multisite backups and restores
  • Emergency site restores using recovery points
  • Scheduled backups
  • Support for slow and low resource hosting providers like GoDaddy
  • Cloud storage (Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Amazon S3)
  • Website migrations
  • Custom hooks for developers

My Experience

My first impression of Duplicator is, ‘Yes! It creates full website backup archives in .zip files.’ Having a backup plugin that can do this makes it really easy to download a copy of your website to store locally, e.g. on a hard drive. I often need to take full website backups as a precaution before new website handovers, website migrations, website optimisation, etc. And Duplicator is one of the few backup plugins that allows you to easily take a full backup (including the database) that is archived in a .zip format. This archive comes with everything you need to do a manual restore in the future if needed.

However, even though this is a great feature, I was very disappointed that Duplicator didn’t have a basic website restore/import feature in their free version. Boo!

Pricing

Duplicator is available in a free version and paid plans starting from $99/year.

Pros

  • Creates full website backups including the database
  • Creates an archived .zip backup (this is my favourite feature!)
  • The backup process does extensive checks of your website and hosting setup to ensure compatibility. If something isn’t compatible, it provides fix recommendations.

Cons

  • Website restores are only available in the paid versions
  • Requires some technical knowledge

My Verdict

If you are looking for a backup plugin that creates a nice archived .zip file for future manual restores, Duplicator is for you.

However, if you want a backup plugin that you can use to restore a website, there are better options. The best free option is UpdraftPlus. And the best paid option is BlogVault.

5. All-in-One WP Migration

All-in-One WP Migration is actually the very first plugin I used to migrate client WordPress websites back in 2016. They are geared towards migrations, but their plugin also does backups and restores.

They claim to be a quick, easy, and reliable migration plugin for WordPress, and I agree, but only if you are using their unlimited extension. The free version was unreliable in 2016 and is still unreliable for me in 2024. See my backup and restore test notes below.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (based on 7,320+ reviews on wordpress.org)

Active Installs: 5M+ active installations according to the plugin page on wordpress.org

All-in-One WP Migration Review
Backup plugin by All-in-One WP Migration

Key Features

  • Full backups using Backups
  • Partial backups using Export + Advanced Options
  • Scheduled backups
  • One-click restore functionality
  • Free tool download to extract your .wpress backup
  • Unlimited extension available to remove 300MB import limit (paid add-on)
  • Multisite extension available (paid add-on)
  • Cloud storage integrations (each integration is a paid add-on)

My Experience

The backup feature is very easy to use, just click backup and All-in-One WP Migration will create a backup archived using their .wpress file type. Unfortunately, the restore feature is a paid add-on. However, you can still try restoring the backup by first downloading it, and then using the import feature. This is a good workaround if you don’t want to use the paid add-on.

But to make it work, you have to add a few rules to your .htaccess or wp-config file as per these instructions. However, the import feature did not work for me, neither for my small test site nor the large site. Both of them seemed to get stuck. The small site got stuck at 100% and the large site got stuck at 0.01%.

Reliability

All-in-One WP Migration is only reliable if you use their unlimited extension. You can take backups reliably, but the import feature isn’t reliable, so backups aren’t useful if you can’t restore them.

This backup plugin is actually the very first plugin I used to backup, restore and migrate WordPress websites back in 2016. But even then, the import feature would rarely work. It was so annoying to try importing a website, waiting hours (depending on the size of the site), then find an error or that the import got ‘stuck’. I’ve never had an issue with their paid version though. So, if you plan on using it, make sure you are using their paid add-on, which is very reliable.

Note that the last time I used All-in-One was recently in February 2024. My success rate with the unlimited version is still 100%. Actually, All-in-One was the only backup plugin that I knew could get the job done.

Recent migration job details:

  • Migrate a WordPress site to a new server
  • I did not have access to the old server, FTP, etc.
  • The old server was extremely slow with low resource limits
  • The old server would timeout when using other methods to download site files, e.g. through other backup plugins, file manager plugins, etc.
  • The website was using http with no option to change to https before the migration
  • I tried other backup plugins first, but they would not allow migration of a http site

All-in-One WP Migration was the only backup plugin I knew that could get the job done.

Pricing

All-in-One WP Migration provides a free version that includes basic backup and migration features.

The Unlimited Extension for All-in-One WP Migration will cost $69/year or $5.75/month.

The Multisite Extension is $319/year or $26.58/month.

All other extensions will cost you $99/year or $8.25/month.

To view all paid extensions, visit https://servmask.com/products

Pros:

  • Can do full backups and partial backups
  • Backups can be scheduled (paid)
  • Extension available for multisites (paid)
  • Extensions available for cloud storage (paid)
  • Free tool available to extract .wpress archive format

Cons:

  • I’ve always had issues with the free version of this plugin.
  • Free version is limited to 300MB imports
  • Free version does not include restore functionality. Although, you can try exporting and importing as a workaround. But again, I’ve always had issues with this.

My Verdict

Only use All-in-One WP Migration if you are going to use their unlimited extension. The paid version is extremely reliable. I’ve had a 100% restore success rate using it since 2016.

You can try the free version but I’ve always had lots of problems. e.g. Imports inevitably getting stuck, resulting in many wasted hours.

Worst WordPress Backup Plugins (AVOID)

Jetpack VaultPress Backup

I don’t recommend this backup plugin. Although, on paper, it seems like it should be a really good backup plugin. Anyway, also known as VaultPress, the Jetpack backup plugin offers both daily and real-time backups on the cloud, making it a great choice for WordPress sites, but only if it works (more on this below).

Jetpack VaultPress WordPress Backup Plugin
Backup plugin by Jetpack

Key Features:

  • Automated Real-Time Backups: Continuously backs up your entire site including posts, pages, comments, and media files.
  • Easy Site Restoration: Offers a simple process to restore your site to a previous state from backups.
  • Security Scanning: Identifies and alerts you to vulnerabilities and malware threats on your site.
  • Spam Defense: Works with Akismet to protect against spam in comments and pingbacks.
  • Site Migration and Duplication: Facilitates easy site cloning or migration to a new host or domain.
  • File Scanning and Repair: Automatically scans and repairs detected issues in WordPress files.
  • Direct Access to Backups: Allows downloading of full or partial backups for manual use.
  • Integrated Customer Support: Provides access to expert support for backup, restoration, and security issues.
  • Integration with Jetpack: Seamlessly works with other Jetpack features for a comprehensive website management solution.

My Experience

In my experience using the Jetpack VaultPress plugin, I found the setup process to be straightforward, requiring only a few clicks to get started. I searched for Jetpack VaultPress inside the plugin repository where I was able to successfully install and activate it.

However, the backups did not work. The initial backup went for ~10 minutes before the ‘backing up %’ progress bar disappeared and said my backup would be ready soon. I didn’t think this was clear, and I got impatient and thought I should refresh the page thinking the backup would be displayed as finished inside WordPress > Jetpack > VaultPress Backup, but refreshing seemed to cancel the backup and restart it. So annoying. But that’s my fault, not VaultPress’. Although, the screen could have told me not to close refresh or close the window because it would cancel the backup.

My second backup that seemed to restart automatically also didn’t work, even after waiting well over an hour. It got to ~80% and then said ‘Were having trouble backing up your site’. Even if it worked, a backup that takes hours is too long for a small site ~200 MB, even for a backup to remote storage. The Jetpack connection debug said everything was ok. My host said there were no limits and no errors from their side. Server resources were also well within limits too, which you’d expect with 32 cores and 128GB RAM.

The initial backup was on a test site though, so perhaps because it wasn’t indexed, this was the issue. Doubtful but possible I guess depending on how Jetpack has configured their remote backups. So I’ve done another backup test for this website, which also quickly showed the same error ‘We’re having trouble backing up your site’. When refreshing the page, it first shows the error again, but then goes back to doing a backup. Ultimately this backup didn’t work either.

Jetpack VaultPress Backup Error - We're having trouble backing up your site
Jetpack VaultPress kept showing me this error that say ‘We’re having trouble backing up your site’.

Unfortunately JetPack does not have any direct support. When going through their support channel, an AI chatbot gives you recommended solution, but if it doesn’t work, then you are redirected to a public forum. This is not what paid users want, they want a way to submit a support ticket that is prioritised over a public forum. Forums should be support for the free Jetpack plugin and support tickets should be for paid users. As a paid user, I also don’t want to publish issues with my site on a public forum, even if there is an option to hide my website URL, it’s just a bad experience.

And to top it off, after uninstalling, it left a bunch of options still autoloading from my database. e.g. jetpack_active_plan topped the list of the setting with the biggest autoload size coming from my database compared to all other plugin options that were also set to autoload.

Pros:

  • VaultPress apparently has real-time backups. This should make VaultPress suitable for dynamic sites like WooCommerce stores, membership sites, forums, blogs with lots of comments, etc, so that you don’t lose recent orders, registrations, comments, etc, during a restore. But you have to get backups to work first haha.
  • Has migration and site duplication capability
  • Jetpack also comes with a range of other cool features and add-ons, not just VaultPress.

Cons:

  • I could not get a backup to work, even after playing around with it for a couple hours.
  • Cloud storage is limited to 10GB for the starter plan
  • Very expensive if you need backups for multiple websites
  • BlogVault is a way better option

Pricing

The Jetpack VaultPress Backup add-on is $14.95 USD per month or $119.40 per year discounted to $59.40 for the first year.

Verdict

This backup plugin did not work for me, and I don’t recommend it.

If you check the public support forum, you’ll see other users with very similar problems to me.

WP Time Capsule

WP Time Capsule is much better than JetPack VaultPress, but I still don’t recommend using it. The initial backup takes way too long even if you have a high performance host with plenty of server resources. You are much better off using UpdraftPlus.

Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (based on 119+ reviews on WordPress.org)

Active Installs: 20,000+ active installations (according to the plugin page on WordPress.org)

WP Time Capsule WordPress Backup Plugin
Backup plugin by WP Time Capsule

Key Features

  • An incremental backup mode that does not overload your server
  • Staging site creation
  • Website cloning
  • Website migrations
  • Cloud storage

My Experience

WP Time Capsule does not have a free version, but they do provide a 30 day trial, which is great! You just have to create an account to be able to trial their plugin.

Once you’ve created an account, you’ll be able to set where you want your backups to be stored. Unfortunately, the only options you have a few cloud storage options. Don’t get me wrong, cloud storage options are great so you don’t unnecessarily use up disk space on your server, but I still like having the option to download a copy to my server.

I chose the Google Drive option to send my backup. However, after 20 minutes, the backup of my small 365MB website was only ~1% done. So I didn’t even bother waiting for it to finish. While WP Time Capsule states the initial backup takes hours while subsequent backups are much quicker, it’s just not worth using if the initial backup takes so long. Yes, I understand they specialise in incremental backups, so once you’ve got the first backup, you are good to go, but I just don’t think it’s worth it.

They do incremental backups so that your server doesn’t get overloaded. And I understand that most people use cheap shared hosting with low resource limits where server overloading is a real problem. However, for those with halfway decent hosting, there is no need to worry about overloading the server. It would be good to have a backup option for those who invest in the best WordPress hosting, instead of assuming we all use poor hosting with low resource limits.

Pricing

A free version is available for 30 days, while the paid plans start at $49/year.

Pros

  • Incremental backups stored in the cloud
  • Multiple cloud storage options

Cons

  • Extremely slow backups, even for small websites
  • No free version
  • You have to create an account
  • Backup in ‘real time’ is not actually in real time, it’s from an hour ago at best
  • No option to download backup to server, only to the cloud
  • No option to stop the backup process

My Verdict

Most free WordPress backup plugins are better than paying for WP Time Capsule.

I don’t recommend using WP Time Capsule.

What to Look For in a Good WordPress Backup Plugin

Here is a list of features that I like to look for in WordPress backup plugins.

  1. Full backups, not just partial backups: A good backup plugin should offer comprehensive backups of the entire WordPress website, including files, database, themes, plugins, media uploads, and any other elements essential for site functionality and content.
  2. Option to restore only files, database, or entire site: Flexibility in restoration options allows users to restore specific components of their website without having to go through the entire restoration process, which can be particularly useful in case of minor issues or updates gone wrong.
  3. Unlimited offsite backup storage in multiple locations (cloud storage): Storing backups offsite in multiple locations, especially in cloud storage, ensures redundancy and disaster recovery preparedness. Unlimited storage allows users to maintain backups without worrying about running out of space.
  4. Manual backup options: Besides automated backups, manual backup options provide users with control over when to initiate a backup, which can be handy before making significant changes to the site.
  5. Backups of backups: Ensuring redundancy by backing up backups adds an extra layer of security and minimizes the risk of data loss in case of backup corruption or failure.
  6. Downloadable backups: Offering downloadable backups gives users the flexibility to store backups locally or in other preferred locations for additional security or convenience.
  7. Incremental backups: Incremental backups only save changes made since the last backup, reducing storage requirements and backup duration while ensuring the latest site changes are captured.
  8. 100% safe and complete restores: Ensuring that the restoration process is reliable, secure, and restores the website to its complete and accurate state is crucial for maintaining website integrity and functionality.
  9. Secure and encrypted backups: Encryption of backups during storage and transmission enhances security, protecting sensitive website data from unauthorised access or interception.
  10. Automated and scheduled backups: Automated backups, coupled with scheduling options, ensure regular and timely backups without manual intervention, reducing the risk of forgetting to back up the site.
  11. Handles large sites effortlessly: The plugin should efficiently handle backups and restores for large websites without compromising performance or encountering scalability issues.
  12. Does not slow down your website: Backup processes should be optimised to minimise impact on website performance, ensuring that backups can be performed without causing significant slowdowns in site loading times or user experience.
  13. Independent dashboard with option to restore easily from an app: A user-friendly dashboard simplifies backup management, and the availability of mobile apps for easy access and restoration adds convenience, especially for users on the go.
  14. Reliable support: Responsive and knowledgeable support is essential for resolving issues promptly and ensuring smooth operation of the backup plugin.
  15. 1-click restores: Streamlined restoration processes with one-click restores simplify the recovery of websites in case of emergencies or data loss situations.
  16. Partial restore option to reverse updates or rollback a plugin: The ability to selectively restore specific elements of the website enables users to undo changes or roll back updates without affecting the entire site.
  17. Staging sites (if needed): Staging site functionality allows users to test backups and changes in a controlled environment before implementing them on the live site, minimising the risk of errors or disruptions.
  18. Migrations (if needed): Built-in migration tools simplify the process of moving websites between hosts or servers, ensuring seamless transitions without data loss or downtime.
  19. Multisite support (if needed): For users managing multiple WordPress sites, multisite support allows centralised backup management and ensures consistency in backup processes across all sites.
  20. Activity log: Maintaining a detailed activity log helps users track backup and restoration activities, monitor changes, and diagnose issues, providing transparency and accountability in backup management.
  21. Invest in a quality paid option for mission-critical sites: For mission-critical websites, investing in a premium backup plugin with advanced features, reliable support, and enhanced security measures is advisable to ensure maximum protection and peace of mind.

Best WordPress Database Backup Plugin

The best WordPress database backup plugin, in my opinion, is UpdraftPlus. This is because you can easily take a backup of the database, restore the database, and download the database. All of this for free and at lightning speeds. With my hosting setup, it took less than 5 seconds to take the backup, and less than 20 seconds to restore it.

If you don’t need to ability to restore your database, and you’re happy to manually restore or import via phpMyAdmin, then BackWPup and Duplicator are two more goods options. These plugins are particularly good options if you want to download a full website backup including your database that is archived as a .zip file for safe keeping or future manual restores.

However, if you are happy to invest in a good backup plugin that does everything, not just database backups, then I recommend using BlogVault. Database backups, restores and downloads, are just as good as UpdraftPlus.

Best Backup Plugin for WordPress Multisite

The best backup plugin for a WordPress multisite is definitely Blogvault. At least if you want the ability to easily backup, restore, and migrate multisites without headaches.

I’ve worked on quite a few multisites over the years and it was never an easy process to backup, restore or migrate a multisite. You always had to tweak server PHP settings, the whole process would take ages, and everything just seemed more difficult than it needed to be.

BlogVault is different though. They do everything from their own servers. Everything is preconfigured. I’ve literally never had a problem using Blogvault for WordPress multisites.

So, don’t even bother looking at other backup plugins for multisites. You are just wasting your time.

Best Automatic Backup Plugin for WordPress

The best automatic backup plugin for Wordpress is Blogvault. Depending on the plan you choose, they will take automatic backups anywhere from once per day to once every hour.

However, if you want a free backup plugin to take automatic backups, and your server can handle the load, then UpdraftPlus is also a great option.

Best Backup and Restore Plugin for WordPress and WooCommerce

The best backup and restore plugin for Wordpress and WooCommerce is Blogvault. This is because they offer real-time backups that merge recent orders (if any) when restoring a backup.

If you run a WooCommerce site and want the ability to restore your site without losing orders, then real-time backups are essential. Otherwise you will need to export the latest orders from the live site before restoring your backup. Then importing those orders and hoping that everything is imported correctly. Even then, it’s possible for an order to come through while you are doing the actual restore or import process, which means either losing the order or not being able to import because of issues with order IDs. Trust me, you don’t want to put yourself in this situation.

Best Real-Time Backup Plugin for WordPress

The best real-time backup plugin for WordPress is BlogVault. I think it’s the only true real-time backup plugin. Let me know in the comments below if you have heard of another.

All of the other backup plugins I’ve found that claim to do real-time backups aren’t the same as BlogVault real-time backups. i.e. other backup plugins will take a backup, which you can then restore at any point. But the restore process doesn’t check for recent orders, changes, etc, so you end up overwriting everything between the time the backup was taken and the restore. The ‘real-time’ part refers to checking your site in real-time to make sure everything is backed up so that nothing is lost during a restore.

Best WordPress Backup Plugin for Multiple WordPress Sites

I believe the best WordPress backup plugin for multiple WordPress sites is Blogvault. You’ll have options for a 3-site or 10-site plan. I used to be on the 10-site plan, which was great for managing and securing multiple client sites. You’ll love their dashboard. Great user experience!

Best WordPress Backup Plugin for Secure Backups

The best WordPress backup plugin for secure backups is BlogVault because they store encrypted copies of your site backups on cloud servers, i.e. across multiple servers. BlogVault also specialises in WordPress security with their other plugin called Malcare (something you get for free with BlogVault), so you are in very good hands.

Why it’s Important to Backup WordPress

The ultimate reason why it’s important to backup WordPress is that you can restore your website to a previous version when things inevitably go wrong. That’s right, it’s inevitable that something will go wrong.

Here is a list of things that could go wrong, requiring a website restore from a backup:

  • Your website breaks because of a recent WordPress, theme or plugin update.
  • Someone made changes to your website that are easier to remove by restoring an old version than going through and manually reverting each change.
  • Your website gets hacked.
  • Your WordPress website gets deleted. Either by accident, on purpose by hackers, or by your host because you stopped paying your bills or because your site was infected with malware.
  • Your server gets deleted. Either by accident or on purpose by hackers.
  • Your hosting provider’s data center is somehow destroyed with no redundancy.

The above are just some situations that might occur, requiring a backup. But some of these situations require backups of backups, which is why it’s important to have multiple backups. You could have one backup on your server, one backup in the cloud, and one backup stored locally on a hard drive.

Server Backups vs Plugin Backups vs Manual Backups

Not all backups are created equal, and not all situations can restore a backup, even if you had one. This is why it’s important to take backups using different methods.

There are three main backup methods:

  1. Server Backups: These are backups that are usually taken automatically by your hosting provider. e.g. This website is hosted on Rocket.net that takes one automatic backup per day. These backups are stored for 2 weeks and can be restored to any day over the last 2 weeks.
  2. Plugin Backups: These are backups taken by a plugin installed on your WordPress site. Backups can usually be initiated manually or scheduled. They can also be stored on your server or remotely, i.e. external to your server on a platform like Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
  3. Manual Backups: These are backups taken manually by downloading all website files and database from your server (e.g. file manager, FTP, SFTP, SSH, phpMyAdmin, etc.) or from your backup plugin’s download option. The best backup plugins to download a neat archive of your website files and database are BlogVault, BackWPup, and Duplicator.

Server Backups

At the very least, you should have server-level backups. These are often the easiest to restore if needed. However, some hosting providers don’t do backups. If your host doesn’t do server-level backups that can be easily restored, then consider using a better WordPress hosting provider.

If for whatever reason, you can’t afford ~$10/month for a decent hosting provider that does server backups, then I recommend using a free backup solution like UpdraftPlus. This will work in a similar way to server backups, in that the backups will get stored on your server. You can also opt for having them stored remotely (e.g. Amazon S3, Dropbox, etc.) if your server doesn’t have enough disk space.

Pros:

These are the pros of server backups WHEN using a decent managed hosting provider.

  • Automated backups
  • On-demand backups
  • Usually the easiest and safest to restore

Cons:

  • Backups aren’t stored indefinitely, usually between 1 and 4 weeks
  • Backups are usually deleted if you delete your server or if you stop paying for hosting
  • If your server has issues, or if your site or server is hacked, this could affect your backups

Plugin Backups

If you do have server backups, then it’s still a good idea to use a backup plugin that stores remote backups for redundancy. This is especially important for those using cheap shared hosting providers. I would not trust most cheap hosting providers to store your backups. And even if they could take a backup and store it safely, I wouldn’t trust them to be able to restore the backup without problems.

Pros:

  • Options to automate and schedule your backups
  • Backups can be taken manually, i.e. on demand
  • Options to store backups remotely, not just on your own server

Cons:

  • Restores aren’t usually as reliable as restores from server backups
  • Your server must be able to handle the additional load from using a backup plugin

Manual Backups

In addition to the above, I like to take manual backups prior to major website changes, hosting migrations or website handovers. These are taken just in case. You should be able to take a manual backup from your server (either yourself or by requesting a backup archive from support) or downloading it from your backup plugin.

Pros:

  • Manual backups can be stored wherever you want. e.g. hard drive
  • Manual backups can be taken and downloaded from your server
  • Manual backups can be taken and downloaded from your backup plugin

Cons:

  • If your hard drive stops working, you’ll lose your backup
  • Manual backups usually require technical expertise to restore

Best Way To Backup WordPress Sites

The best way to backup WordPress sites is by following the below process. You’ll have redundancy backups and be able to easily restore backups when things go wrong.

  1. Use a managed hosting provider with automated daily server backups.
  2. Use a backup plugin like BlogVault or UpdraftPlus to schedule redundancy backups each month.
  3. Take a manual backup before major events, e.g. Website revamp, website migration, website handover, etc. Download the website archive including database and store locally.
  4. Take on-demand server backups before any website changes, software updates, etc.
  5. Use BlogVault for real-time WooCommerce backups to make sure you don’t lose recent orders during a website restore. In this case, you would restore using BlogVault, not your server.

Final Verdict

Finding the best plugin to back up WordPress sites is not a straightforward exercise of picking one over the other. It needs careful consideration of your website, its needs, your priorities, and your budget.

However, I believe the overall best WordPress backup plugin is BlogVault.

What are the best and worst backup plugins that you’ve tried?

Share your experience in the comments below.

FAQ

What are the best WordPress automatic backup plugins?

The best WordPress automatic backup plugins are BlogVault and UpdraftPlus. These plugins offer automated backup scheduling and features for restoring WordPress websites.

What’s the best way to backup or restore a WordPress blog?

The best way to backup or restore a WordPress blog is to use your server’s in-built backup and restore features or use a reliable backup plugin.

Alternatively, you can manually backup your WordPress files and database via FTP/SFTP and phpMyAdmin, respectively, but this method is more complex and time-consuming.

What is the best backup plugin for WordPress?

The best backup plugin for WordPress depends on your specific needs and preferences. However, I believe the overall best backup plugin for WordPress is BlogVault.

How do I backup my entire WordPress site?

To backup your entire WordPress site, you have three options: 1. Use your server’s on-demand backups (if they have backup functionality), 2. Use a reliable backup plugin like BlogVault or UpdraftPlus, or 3. Manually backup files and database via FTP and phpMyAdmin, respectively.

Does WordPress do automatic backups?

By default, WordPress does not provide automatic backups. However, you can implement automatic backups using your server or backup plugins.

Which plugin is used for automated backups?

Several plugins are used for automated backups in WordPress. I recommend using BlogVault (paid) or UpdraftPlus (free & paid options).

How do I backup my WordPress site without plugins?

You can manually backup your WordPress site without plugins by using your server’s in-built backup functionality (if they have it) or accessing your site’s files via FTP and downloading them to your local computer. Additionally, you can export your WordPress database using phpMyAdmin or a similar database management tool.

How often should I backup my WordPress site?

The frequency of WordPress backups depends on factors such as the frequency of content updates, site traffic, and the importance of data. However, as a minimum, I recommend taking backups daily. Ideally you would have daily backups done by your server, monthly backups taken by a plugin and stored remotely for redundancy, and manual backups taken before any major event like website migrations, website revamps, etc.

What is a WordPress backup plugin?

A WordPress backup plugin is a tool designed to simplify the process of backing up and restoring WordPress websites. These plugins typically offer features such as automated backup scheduling, various storage options, and easy restoration procedures to ensure the safety and security of WordPress site data.

Max Jacobs - Author - www.maxjacobs.com.au
Author
Max Jacobs

My name is Max Jacobs and I’m a Web Designer, SEO and Marketing Consultant based out of Geelong, Australia. Visit my about page.

Recommendations are based on my experience building, optimising and maintaining WordPress websites over the last 7 years. However, I don't claim to be an expert or pretend that I know everything. The more I learn, the more I realise how much I don't know. 😅 I'll update these articles as I continue to learn though!

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