Backup is the most important part of running a website. Loosing a website may not seem a problem at first, but the longer you stay online, more content you produce. More content you have on the website, longer it takes to reproduce the content again. If you are a photographer, imagine losing all the optimized pictures. If you run a food blog with recipes, imagine losing all of them. The longer you are in the website/blogging business more material you have to loose.
But loosing the content is not the only problem. Imagine your WebHost having major problems. Your website could be down, even for a day because of the bad hosting company. In addition to a bad hosting company, malware is getting more advanced each day. Imagine that your website gets infected. By having a reliable backup, you can quickly restore the website if removing the malware is not possible.
To me, having a proper backup is the most important as losing my websites, means losing my business.
Best WordPress backup plugins and how to choose the right one
Backup y is one of the oldest premium backup solutions. If you never heard of BackupBuddy, it’s being developed by the same team that also develops Security plugin called iThemes Security. It’s not that hard to guess that the company name is iThemes. They are one of the oldest WordPress theme and plugin companies around and have a lot of experience. My experiences with BackupBuddy are top notch. I never had any issue and I never had an issue with clients websites. Unfortunately, they don’t provide a free version, but pricing is one of the best. They have the usual pricing options but the best one is the Gold plan, which enables you install the plugin on as many websites as you want and you will receive lifetime updates. This is the only vendor that offers something like that. Ok, is it perfect? It has been working great for me, my friends and my clients but what about the world? I have heard some users complain about slow and failed to restore to various timeout errors, but from the reports what all they have in common is a shared hosting, usually bad hosting company.
Updraftplus is sort of a newcomer. Simbahosting (current owner of the project) took over a plugin called Updraft. They improved the plugin so much that it became the most popular free plugin. One of the areas Updrftpluss really excels is backing up websites which are hosted on shared hosting, even bad ones. The free version has a decent amount of features and can be used to backup a serious project. You can buy several add-ons which make the product complete. You can also buy a “PRO” version which includes all the add-ons but has a lower price than buying all the add-ons together. Compared to BackupBuddy, pricing is similar, but they don’t offer a lifetime option like BackupBuddy. If you need premium features, then you may investigate BackupBuddy to save some serious money in the long run.
VaultPress is a service from the same people that create WordPress. VaultPress is part of the JetPack plugin and is a premium add-on. Unlike plugins listed on the list, VaultPress is designed differently. Instead of using a push method(where your website has to create an archive and send it to the desired location) to backup the files, VaultPress connects from their backup repository and pulls files from your server. (VaultPRess server pulls data from your website). A reason why the backup is such a problematic topic for the website owners is that a process is very intensive for the website and puts a lot of stress on the server. That is also the reason why some owners have problems. Hosting companies put various limits to the clients to increase client count on the server. If all clients start a backup at the same time, they would all have a slow experience with their website. So VaultPress is not having the same issues. One good feature is also that it constantly monitor for changes and will backup several times a day. The more content you add to the site, to more it will be secured. At the same time, you won’t experience any slowness.
BuckUpWpup is also a free plugin which has a premium version as an option. The free version allows you to backup a website and stores it on the cloud like DropBox, Amazon S3, Rackspace, etc…) It allows you schedule automatic backup. The free version does not support Google drive. The plugin is easy to use. Some other nifty features are also limited compared to PRO edition. Premium version is one of the most expensive and it also does not feature a lifetime update.
BackUpWordPress is one of the most simple backup plugins for WordPress. Currently, it’s installed on over 200.000 sites with a 4,5 Star rating. One of the major problems with the free version is that it does not support a remote location (cloud) like a DropBox or Google drive. On another side, a commercial license (basic with one website and one remote location) can be had for $29.
Duplicator has started as website duplicator and evolved to a backup program in a commercial incarnation. Duplicator is one of the best website migration plugins. I have successfully migrated websites from domain to another domain several times. It’s very reliable and one of the features is that it generates installer file. That means that you don’t need a WordPress on the server you are migrating to. Instead, you copy a backup and an installer file, and soon your WordPress site is recovered. The free version only allows you to create an archive file on demand, while the PRO version can be used as a full-fledged backup program. It allows scheduling and cloud locations.
No matter the product you use if you don’t test a recovery process. WordPress ecosystem can be a very complicated beast. Web-hosting, website size, the number of files, a bug in the plugin, bug in the WordPress, bug in X plugin affecting backup plugin…. All of this reasons can cause either you backup or restore to fail. No matter the product. I mean, if you have the best plugin out there, you may still experience problems if it has a bug or the web-hosting company has some stupid limits imposed on their clients. What matters in such cases in great support and large install base, preferably of commercial clients. Also, sometimes it helps if you use 2 backup products with 2 destinations. Just in case. But never, keep a backup on the same server you host your website. If if fails, you will loose the website and a backup.
My product of choice is BackupBuddy. 2 reasons. 1. Good support and large install base. 2. Lifetime updates. I never had any problems, but it’s true that I use VPS servers for my websites and my clients. If you are looking for a free product, then I recommend UpdraftPlus. It’s a pretty good piece of software.