Backups are important, there's no question about that. But sometimes it's a bit of a hassle to actually deal with them - some would even say boring. Even though backups of WordPress installations are certainly not the most exciting thing in the world, we simply have to deal with them. If the site ever goes down or breaks, you'll thank yourself.
To effectively and comprehensively secure WordPress, there are many options. One of the most convenient solutions is to install an extension that does much of the work for us. However, there are so many different approaches here that one can quickly lose the overview. Therefore, we present in this article the 10 best backup plugins for WordPress.
Why make backups at all?
The question should actually answer itself. But if you are still seriously wondering why backups make sense at all, here is the answer: Backups let us all sleep better. If something happens to the website, you can simply restore an earlier version. If there is no backup available, it means work, stress, and way too much coffee.
If the hoster already makes backups
Fortunately, many hosting companies now offer their customers the option of performing backups themselves. These are then usually created automatically and can be restored to the hoster at the click of a mouse if necessary. Depending on how seriously the hoster takes this matter - or how much the customer is willing to pay - the period between two backups can also be quite long.
Backups from hosters are a good thing, but you shouldn't always rely on an external company to take care of your data security. So it's always a good idea to create your own backups in addition to the hosters' backups - and it's not that hard to do, as the following overview shows.
UpdraftPlus is one of the most popular solutions to perform backups of a WP installation via plugin. The extension is used on over two million websites and allows you to easily create a backup in the backend of the website. All content and the database belonging to the WordPress installation are backed up.
One of the biggest advantages of UpdraftPlus is for scheduled backups. A time and date can be set at which the plugin automatically performs a backup. The files created in this way can be downloaded manually to the computer or stored in the cloud. Supported here are Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 and Rackspace. It is also possible to "park" the files directly on your own server, as well as sending them by e-mail - which is not recommended in every case, depending on the size of the backup.
The free version of UpdraftPlus is sufficient in most cases. If you want more functions - such as incremental backups - you have to buy the Pro version which is available from 40 euros.
VaultPress takes a different approach than UpdraftPlus. The plugin is powered by Automattic, the operators of WordPress itself. The extension is only available as part of Jetpack and has its price accordingly. A free version is not (anymore) available.
VaultPress offers unlimited backups on Automattic's servers or the cloud. It is a very WordPress-specific backup, which means that, for example, the settings of the WP dashboard are also saved and can be restored if necessary. The import of backups is very simple and happens directly in the backend of the installation.
The plugin is particularly suitable if you already have a Jetpack subscription and VaultPress can be integrated so easily. However, it is important to point out that VaultPress is also only available by subscription. Here are at least 3,85 Euro per month due. For this price, you get automatic backups every day, protection against brute force attacks, downtime monitoring, and automated spam filtering. However, backups are only provided for 30 days each.
BackupBuddy is a pure premium plugin, so there is no free basic version available. Backups can be stored directly on the servers of BackupBuddy, depending on the plan at least 1 GB of storage space is available.
BackupBuddy has evolved since its launch in 2010 and now boasts over 500,000 customers. Besides the possibility to store backups directly at BackupBuddy, backups can also be stored at Dropbox, Amazon S3 or Rackspace's cloud.
A manual download is of course also possible if the cloud should not come into play. Backup files can also be stored directly on your own server.
BackupBuddy is not available by subscription (unlike VaultPress), but is purchased once. If you only want to backup one WP installation you pay 48 dollars. Up to 10 sites can be backed up with 76 dollars - and those who need to create even more backups pay a one-time fee of 120 dollars.
Total Upkeep is a free backup solution from BoldGrid. With the plugin, backups can be easily created and later reintroduced. Highlight of the plugin is definitely the automatic backup, which for example then strikes before an update of WordPress is performed. So there is in any case a backup with a working installation, if something should go wrong during the update.
Backups can be made in the free variant of Total Upkeep can only be saved with a few cloud services. A download or save via FTP is also possible. Total Upkeep also allows you to completely clone pages in order to unpack them later on another server.
The Premium version of Total Upkeep is available for 30 dollars and can be used for one year. Services such as Amazon S3 and Google Drive are also available here.
BlogVault is also a popular plugin to get backups under control. Here, however, you go a slightly different way than with the solutions presented so far, because it is about backups independent of the server. Backups are not triggered by WordPress itself, but come from the outside. The files end up on the servers of BlogVault , which has both advantages and disadvantages. Backups are stored for 90 days.
The biggest advantage of BlogVault is incremental backups. Here, only the files that have changed since the last backup are saved. On the one hand, this saves time, but on the other hand, it puts much less load on the server.
BlogVault is available from 89 dollars per year, if only one site is to be secured with it. In addition, there is malware protection and various other goodies.
BackWPup from the German provider Inpsyde GmbH also offers a simple way to store backups locally or in the cloud. Even in the free version, the plugin for WordPress makes a good figure, because here, among other things, scheduled backups can be performed. Depending on how often there is new content on your site, a fairly high frequency of auto backups is recommended.
Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace and other cloud providers will be available at BackWPup is supported; however, backups can also simply be downloaded to your own computer as a .zip file.
In the Premium version of BackWPup there are then even more features like encrypted backups or an automatic restore. BackWPup Pro is available from 59 euros.
The free version of Duplicator allows you to easily create backups and then save the files locally or on the server. Contents and the database are of course equally backed up.
One of the highlights of Duplicator is definitely the clone function, which prevents a lot of rework. The website is copied almost completely and offered as a download, in order to import it again on another server. An installer also helps with this.
The chargeable Duplicator Pro starting at $79 is recommended if backups are preferred to be stored in the cloud at Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or Amazon S3.
WP Time Capsule
WP Time Capsule is also available in a free and paid version - whereby the free version can already convince with many interesting features. The plugin creates backups in "real time", which means that you can always go back to an earlier point in time.
A lot of storage space is used by the backups of WP Time Capsule not occupied, because backups are created incrementally here, so only the changed files are added to backups. Another highlight is the test function, with which backups can be checked by the system before the real restoration.
Who is interested in the Premium version of WP Time Capsule interested, who gets it from 49 dollars per year. One or two pages can be backed up here. If up to ten pages are to be backed up, then the annual fee is 99 dollars.
The WP plugin ManageWP is characterized by its flexible pricing. Although the prices start at 0 dollars - backups can also be created free of charge - but depending on the type of use and backup frequency, a few dollars more will be charged.
Just like WP Time Capsule, ManageWP relies on incremental backups. This way, your own server is not cluttered with huge backups. Instead, during the backup process, you focus on files that were only changed or added after the last backup. Also worth mentioning is the multisite support.
The premium version of ManageWP is purchased as a subscription. Prices vary greatly depending on exactly which services are to be used.
WP-DBManager is a rather simple plugin that we have saved for last. Unlike the previously presented, sometimes very extensive extensions, WP-DBManager has a different user group in mind.
The free plugin, which has been developed for a very long time, offers a pure backup of the database. Contents of the page - such as media or the folder wp-content - are disregarded during the backup. After the manual or automatic backup of the database, it can be restored via the plugin. Optimizations of the WP database are also possible, as well as manually performed changes.
WP-DBManager is available in the plugin directory of WordPress.
Conclusion: The 10 best backup plugins for WordPress
There are many WP plugins for backups - and they often offer similar, but rarely the same functions. With the overview we have hopefully helped you to at least narrow down the circle of candidates. Some plugins are certainly a bit too big for smaller websites, here a free variant is sufficient in many cases.
Depending on how often you post new content, you may want to use an extension that only creates incremental backups. The server will surely thank you for it, as it will be much less loaded that way.
In practice, a mixture of cloud and local backup can often make a lot of sense. If one of the two options is not available - because the notebook is broken or the cloud provider only responds very slowly - then the other is used without further ado.