Imagine putting all your efforts into establishing a website and then losing all that overnight; It’s nothing short of a nightmare, right?
You can lose your website data for several reasons. Your server can crash, or the website might get hacked, or a faulty plugin can mess up your WordPress site.
However you might lose your data, you can always recover it, if you back up your data beforehand.
Often our hosting providers offer an automatic backup feature. But that is not always the best way to back up your data. If your website is based on WordPress, it’s better that you use a backup plugin to back up your data.
However, among the countless backup plugins available for WordPress, it is not always easy to find out the best one. So, here we have compiled the list of 10 best backup plugins, from where you can choose the one that suits you.
- Why do you need a WordPress Backup Plugin?
- What to Look for While Choosing a Backup Plugin?
- Our Top 10 Backup Plugins – Tried & Tested
- Performance Test using WP Hive
- Expert Opinion – Which is The Best?
- Wrapping things Up
Why Do You Need A WordPress Backup Plugin?
We get asked a lot, “my web host provided me a free automatic backup policy, why do I still need to back up my website data with a WordPress Backup Plugin?”
Yes, it’s true that many hosting providers offer free backup policy. But they don’t really tell you the whole story. First of all restoring data from your host is a complicated process. It takes a certain level of technical knowledge to do so.
However, we cannot just discourage you to use that because it is a complicated process. The truth is, that is not the only thing that is wrong about the automatic backup features offered by your hosting provider. Even if your hosting provider offers you an automatic data backup feature, it’s unlikely that they’ll ever take any responsibility in case something goes wrong.
Don’t believe us? Let’s check out some of the hidden terms you unknowingly accept from renowned hosting providers.
HostGator is not responsible for files and/or data residing on your account. You agree to take full responsibility for all files and data transferred and to maintain all appropriate backup of files and data stored on HostGator’s servers.
– UNIVERSAL TERMS OF SERVICE AGREEMENT (HostGator)
You agree to back-up all of your User Content so that you can access and use it when needed. GoDaddy does not warrant that it backs-up any Account or User Content, and you agree to accept as a risk the loss of any and all of your User Content.
– UNIVERSAL TERMS OF SERVICE AGREEMENT (GoDaddy)
You will be solely responsible for backing-up all Subscriber Content, including any Subscriber Websites off of Bluehost’s servers. This is an affirmative duty. Bluehost is not responsible for the loss of any Subscriber Content.
IT IS SOLELY SUBSCRIBER’S DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY TO BACKUP SUBSCRIBER’S FILES AND DATA ON BLUEHOST SERVERS, AND under no circumstance will Bluehost be liable to anyone FOR DAMAGES OF ANY KIND under any legal theory for loss of Subscriber files and/or data on any Bluehost server.
– User Agreement (Bluehost)
As we can see from the terms above, even if your hosting provider promises you an auto backup policy it is not always guaranteed. So, unless you want to face a sudden loss of data, we recommend you to use a proper backup plugin for WordPress.
Features You Should Look For While Choosing A Backup Plugin
Modern backup solutions have loads of features at your disposal. It’s often hard for a newbie to tell what are the key features that one should look for while choosing a backup plugin for WordPress.So, let’s get to know what are those features that distinguish a good backup plugin from bad ones.
Scheduled Backup Policy: It is without any doubt, one of the most crucial features that you must seek while choosing a backup plugin. A scheduled backup policy ensures automatic website backup on a fixed time, even when you’re not around.
Full Website Backup: Some backup plugins only backs up your database. It’s better to choose plugins that can back up the whole website. A full website backup includes all your media, themes, files, and of course the database.
Backup to External Storage: Your backup plugin should be able to back up your data to external resources such as Dropbox, G Drive, Amazon S3, OneDrive. Apart from your hosting, it’s better to keep your data saved on different storage. However, This feature is now included with almost all the modern backup plugins.
Our Top 10 List – Tried & Tested
So, we know why we need a backup plugin, and we know what are the essential features that we should look for. But there are a lot of plugins that match our criteria. So, we narrowed down the list for you by testing a lot of them, and here is the list of top 10 backup plugins from our test.
BlogVault is one of the most popular backup plugins on WordPress. It is a feature-rich plugin that not just works as a backup plugin but can also migrate your website to another host.
It does incremental backup, so only the changes you make to your website will update on the cloud storage, where your backup is. It takes off a significant amount of pressure from your server. It also backs up your data to an off-site BlogVault server. And with 90 days archive, so you can be assured that whatever happens to your website, you can always recover.
Apart from that, it also has a real-time data backup feature for WooCommerce stores with 365 days archive facility.
Annual charge for this plugin starts from $89 for a single website.
- Super-fast backup and restore.
- Simple and intuitive setup process.
- Works for any web hosts.
- Always backs up on scheduled time.
- Price is higher than most of its competitors.
- Doesn’t back up to popular cloud servers, rather backs up on its own servers.
Though it is a bit pricier, it is surely one of the rare plugins that have almost all the features that you would expect from an ideal backup plugin.
UpdraftPlus offers one-click backup and restore with ease. It’s a reliable backup plugin that is loved by many.
It can back up directly into the cloud storage like Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 (or compatible), UpdraftVault, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, DreamObjects, Openstack Swift, and email. The paid supports even some more. It offers advanced data encryption methods, yet a fast and smooth back up experience that works both by scheduling and manually. With this many features, no wonder it has over 2 million activate installations on WordPress.
UpDraftPlus is free to use. However, if you want to get access to features like incremental backups, more database option, there is also a premium version that starts from $70/year.
- The free version works great.
- Supports multiple cloud platforms for backing up data.
- Both scheduled and on-demand backup facility.
- The premium version doesn’t offer significant updates over their free version compared to the price.
- Advanced configurations are somewhat confusing.
We liked using UpDraft plus a lot. The features it has does justice to it’s 2 million-plus installation for sure.
VaultPress is from automattic, the mother company of WordPress. Apart from doing backup, it also has security scanning services.
It is powered by Jetpack and it’s able to back up every post, comment, media file, revision, and dashboard setting on your site. While the protection against any intruders or malware is a bonus you’re getting.
The starter pack starts at $3.50/month, which may seem cheap, but there’s a catch. The cheapest plan offers just 30 days archive, and if you want to update the plan, the price shots up at $20/month. Plus, it’s Jetpack dependency means you’ll also have to buy Jetpack to use it!
- Developed by WordPress mother company Automattic, meaning you can rely on them with a sense of assurance.
- The starting price is cheaper than most plugins.
- Offers security features as well.
- The starter plan offers only 30 days archive of your backup. Need to spend $600/year if you need real-time backup and unlimited archive.
- Jetpack dependency.
VaultPress is one of the most reliable backup plugins out there. Feature-wise it is fine, but for most of the people, the pricing may seem sky-high compared to its features.
BackupBuddy is a backup plugin from iThemes. It has an active installation of half a million according to its website.
It can back up your entire website to BackupBuddy Stash, Amazon S3, Google Drive, Dropbox & more cloud storage. There’s a real-time backup, but it’s only available if you use BackupBuddy Stash to store your data. After every backup completion, you can download the whole website as a zip file, which is pretty cool!
Once you buy their premium plan, which is priced at $80/year for one website, you’ll get access to their support forum, 1GB BackupBuddy Stash storage, and some more premium features.
- BackupBuddy is pretty straightforward to use.
- Free 1GB BackupBuddy Stash storage.
- Backup to offline storage.
- Limited functionalities.
- No free trial version.
BackupBuddy is a kind of plugin that offers just what you need and not a thing more. We appreciate the simple plugin but would love to have some more features.
BackWPup is probably the most feature-packed free backup plugin. It has over 10 million downloads and an active installation of more than 6,00,00, making it one of the most popular backup plugin for WordPress.
It can backup your whole website to Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace, even when you use their free version. You can also set a recurring backup schedule.
Its premium version offers backup to Google Drive and Amazon Glacier. Also, the premium version allows you to encrypt your backup and restore the encrypted backups.
While the free version is up to the mark, its pro version offers even more exciting features, which starts at $69/ year.
- Extensive features even on the free version.
- Basic & Advanced features that will suit both beginner and pro users.
- Multiple cloud storage support
- The Premium version is reasonably priced compared to the features.
- No on-demand backup option. Only scheduled backup is available.
BackWPup is an excellent option for any kind of user. While its free version is not as good as UpdraftPlus, two plugins have almost similar feature-set.
Duplicator is mainly a website migration plugin that works pretty well as a backup plugin. It’s 1 million-plus active installation is mainly due to its efficiency for site migration. You can move, migrate, or clone a website to the same or another host with this plugin. And in the same way, back up a website or a certain part of it.
Duplicator Pro has decent features, such as scheduling your back up and storing your data to cloud storage. Unfortunately, those features are not available for the free version.
If you wish to use Duplicator, it’s better to use the pro version, not just because the free version lacks a lot of key features but also because of the excellent value for money the Duplicator Pro offers.
The pro version starts at $59/year for three sites, which is significantly lower than its competitors.
- Excellent value for money.
- Offers remote backup storage to Amazon S3, Google Drive & Dropbox.
- 30 days money-back guarantee.
- Requires at least a primary level of technical knowledge to use.
- No on-demand or scheduled backup option for the free version.
- No restore backup option.
Being mainly a site duplicator, as the name suggests, Duplicator also offers fairly good site backup features. We liked using it, but as it is a little less intuitive, your opinion about it may vary depending on your level of technical expertise.
WP Database Backup
What’s more satisfying than to be able to protect your website data? Obviously the way to do it for free! WP Database Backup is a hundred percent free plugin that can back up your database (yes only the database, not your files) to cloud storages like Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 or even to your FTP and Email,
With this free tool, you can do an on-demand backup anytime or schedule automatic back up for a repeating time. It also has an easy one-click restore option.
As we already told you this tool is completely free to use and has a more 60,000+ active installations with a 4.6 star review on WordPress plugin repository to prove that it gets the job done!
- Completely free, not a single penny needed.
- Easy to set up and use.
- Supports scheduling and multiple storage options.
- It only backs up the database, not the whole website. Meaning your media and files will not be protected.
- Doesn’t support incremental backup, meaning your website will likely to act slow during the backup process.
How much can you expect from a free plugin? Not much, right? Even if you are used to getting premium support, give this plugin a try. Because, in the end, how much can it cost at max? That’s right, nothing! Yet we think you will like the simplicity of this plugin.
WPvivid is yet another free backup plugin to protect your website. Albeit, this one has a premium version, the free version doesn’t lack many.
This free plugin can back up your entire website to Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon S3, DigitalOcean Spaces, SFTP, FTP. This all in one backup plugin can take care of your back, restore, and even site migration needs.
You can schedule an automatic backup or do a manual one anytime you like. The site migration works like a charm and takes just one click! You can also download all your data to your computer.
This plugin is free to use. The only notable feature that might attract you to opt for the pro version is the incremental backup option. The pro version starts from $99/year for 3 websites.
- Free to use unless you want the incremental backup feature.
- No limit of backup size.
- Works with almost all common hosts.
- The paid version is not a significant update over the free one.
- The migration feature is still new and causes problems sometimes.
If you are not willing to spend any money on your backup plugin, yet don’t want to compromise on data protection, this is the plugin is for you.
Backup Guard is a nifty plugin to deal with all your backup solutions. It has a 4.5-star rating on the WordPress repository and often praised for extraordinary after-sale customer support.
Backup Guard is a conventional backup plugin whose free version has left many things to be desired. The free version of the plugin can backup your whole website either on dropbox or on your computer. However, if you want to backup your data to more cloud storage like Google Drive, Amazon S3, OneDrive & SFTP/FTP you have to buy the pro version. You can easily restore the backup from both the free or pro version. The plugin also offers a site migration option, which requires the pro version.
The pro version starts at as low as $25 for lifetime usage with customer support and unlimited updates for 1 year.
- Excellent value for money for the pro version.
- Backup to all popular cloud storage.
- No incremental backup feature, even for the pro version.
- The free version doesn’t offer any storage option other than Dropbox.
The plugin lacks advanced features but you can do the basic backup and restore very easily and without costing a fortune.
WP Time Capsule
WP Time Capsule is a cool choice for a backup plugin for WordPress. It’s fast, lightweight, and easy to use. There is however no free version, if you want to use it after 30 days trial, you have to pay for it.
WP Time Capsules’ key features are incremental backup, lots of cloud storage support, and restore a backup from a specific date (perks of having a realtime incremental backup?).
This plugin has no free version, a bummer! The premium version, however, starts from $49/year for two sites.
- Incremental backup support.
- Restore backup from any specific date.
- Reasonable price.
- No free version, only a 30 days trial.
- No on-demand backup feature.
We found WP Time Capsule to be pretty good while using. If you have a tight budget but you also want to premium support, this can be your go-to plugin. But if you are looking for a free backup plugin, this is not the one, mate!
Performance Test using WP Hive
|Plugin||Memory Usage (On average)||Page Speed||Latest PHP Compatibility||Latest WordPress Compatibility||Frequently Updated|
|Updraft Plus||363.81 KB||+0.01s||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|WP Database Backup||89.62 KB||+0.03s||No||No||Yes|
|WP Time Capsule||1067.07 KB||+0.05s||Yes||Yes||No|
That was the performance test for WP Hive, not a single plugin has a negative effect on page speed, but some of them have are memory hungry, and some are not compatible with the update PHP and WordPress version.
If you want to check any plugin specifically for a more detailed performance test, click below.
Expert Opinion – Which is The Best?
It has been a long read, and now finally it’s time to let you know our favorites among these excellent plugins.
Best Free Offering: UpdraftPlus
We think UpdraftPlus offers both the basic and advanced features of their free version. It’s offering as a free plugin has exceeded our expectations.
Best Premium Offering: BlogVault
BlogVault has been one of the most instrumental plugins to back up a website. Whether you need it for personal use, or you’re from an agency looking for a multi-site deal, it offers something for everyone. It is by far the best backup plugin for WordPress from our point of view.
Wrapping things Up
Your data is precious, and you want to protect it. But choosing the right backup plugin is not easy. Especially when there is an ocean of backup plugins out there. We wanted to help out and make it easy for you to choose from the best. Losing your data is hard, losing control of your website is even harder. That is why we also have an extensive security guide for you to keep it safe from intruder and unwanted malware.
If you enjoyed the article and found it helpful, do appreciate with a comment. If you have a question, ask away!