Our Review of the Best Backup Plugins for WordPress
On the surface, the best WordPress backup plugin offerings are more or less the same. After all, they have a very simple goal: back up your data so nothing is lost if your website is compromised or your hosting company suffers a technological breakdown.
When you dig a little deeper, however, you will see that there are some important differences between these plugins. We’ve researched the industry favorites and have identified the best picks for anyone looking to backup their WordPress site.
What Criteria We Used to Rank the Backup WordPress Plugins:
- Cost. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on this part of running your site. Yes, backups are important and worth investing in, but there are plenty of other things to pay for on your site as well. Fortunately, plenty of free and inexpensive options are available in this market, so there’s no reason to break the bank when seeking the best WordPress backup plugin.
- Backup frequency. Obviously, taking backups more often is going to result in a relatively recent version of your site being available if you need to turn to a backup to restore your site. With that said, paying more for higher frequency may not make sense in your case. If the content on your site is only updated occasionally, taking a backup multiple times per day would be excessive. Think about the reality of how your site operates when deciding how often your plugin will need to take a backup.
- Saving methods. Where will the backup file be saved after the plugin has done its work? Saving files on your local computer is easy enough, but you could run out of space and those files would be at risk if something happened to your machine. Storing them in the cloud is another option, although there may be a cost associated with that approach if you have large backup files. The best WordPress backup plugin will make it easy for you to store backups in various locations.
A backup plugin that is free (or low-cost), takes backups frequently, and saves your files to the right places will be a winner. There are likely to be several options in the list below that check all of the right boxes for your site, so it should be easy to find a backup plugin you’ll love.
Our List of the Top WordPress Backup Plugins
Without further delay, let’s jump right into our list of the best WordPress backup plugin options.
UpdraftPlus delivers on everything you’d like to see in one of the best WordPress backup plugin options. If you want to get started as soon as possible with a new plugin for your backups, make this your pick and get going right away.
A plugin this popular offers plenty of scheduling options for taking backups. You can force a backup manually, and you can also set them to occur at periodic intervals. For sites that are updated constantly, you can schedule these backups to occur as frequently as every four hours. That won’t be necessary for most sites, so you can move your time frame out as far as a month if the content on your pages is relatively static. Beyond scheduling, other attractive features include UpdraftVault Storage, strong security measures, and support for WordPress multisite.
To put this plugin to work on your site, you’ll need to pay an annual fee. The low cost of this plugin will make it one of the more affordable tools you add to your site, and given the important role that it will play in securing your data, it’s well worth the investment. There are several pricing tiers available as well, so you can move up to pricier tiers if you need more storage capacity, backups on more sites, etc.
The appropriately named BackupBuddy is another great pick to save your website’s data. This plugin has been around for more than a decade and has tons of dedicated users. While there are plenty of notable features to point out for this product, the ease of use is something that stands out right away. BackupBuddy makes it easy to manage backing up your site and you won't spend a bunch of time fussing with settings and figuring out how to use a backup plugin.
Similarly to UpdraftPlus, you can easily schedule backups to be taken at your preferred interval — options include hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and more. And, while the plugin is easy to use, there are also some customization options to further dial in precisely the way your backups are taken. The zip file you are provided can be stored in many different places, including locally or on a cloud platform. You will also get an email notification regarding your backup so you can be sure that the job has been done.
BackupBuddy uses an annual subscription payment model for, and it comes with a higher price than that of UpdraftPlus. There are three pricing tiers available, with the lowest tier offering backups on one site. At the highest level, you’ll be able to perform backups on unlimited sites, and you’ll also receive 5GB of storage space to keep your backup files with BackupBuddy instead of storing them elsewhere.
To be in the good company of hundreds of thousands of other WordPress sites, consider using BlogVault for your backups. This plugin delivers a set of features that are very similar to what’s available through the first two plugins on our list, and pricing falls in the same general range as well. The reliability of this plugin has been confirmed by countless previous users, so you can rest assured that your data is in good hands.
When thinking about a backup plugin, one important factor to weigh is how quickly and easily the restoration process will be if you need to use one of your backups. That’s an area where BlogVault shines. More than a million website restorations have been completed from BlogVault backups, and you’ll be impressed with the speed of these recoveries as well.
If you want to try out the plugin without committing to a purchase, you can sign up for the plugin’s seven-day free trial. That will allow you to take a backup, see how it works, and experience the interface for yourself.
4. Jetpack Backups
You may already be familiar with the Jetpack brand, as it offers a number of products to WordPress users. These products have an excellent reputation with current site owners and operators, so their version of a backup plugin is certainly worthy of your attention.
If you feel intimidated by the process of saving backups of your site and then potentially having to use one to restore the site, Jetpack makes it easy. There is plenty of power in this plugin, but it doesn’t get complicated in a way that will be overwhelming for beginners. Those at any level of experience within the world of WordPress will have no trouble with Jetpack backups.
If you only want to use Jetpack Backups and not some of their other features, this is an extremely affordable backup option. Of course, you will also have the option to spend more so you can access features like anti-spam, site scans, and more. Either way, you’ll have access to reliable daily backing up of your site files.
5. WP Time Capsule
Our last suggestion is a backup plugin that does things a little bit differently. With a typical backup, the entire site is copied and saved — every single time. So, even if your site hasn’t changed, or has only changed in very minor ways, the whole thing will be recorded. That approach is a little bit inefficient, to say the least. With WP Time Capsule, a different way of creating backups is used to accomplish basically the same goal.
When you use WP Time Capsule, you will have the changes to your site backed up as they happen. That way, you will always have a backup of the most current version of your site. Should you need to utilize WP Time Capsule to restore your site, you can do so with just one click.
In terms of cost, WP Time Capsule falls right in line with the other options we’ve highlighted. This is an annual subscription product, although it does offer the option to buy the plugin for a one-time price if you’d like to spend more upfront.
Why Is It Important to Use Backup Plugins?
You can never be too safe when it comes to running a website. In addition to locking down your site through a variety of security measures, you should also take regular backups to ensure that older versions of your site are always available if something happens to the live version. Through the use of a backup plugin, it’s easy to restore your site after a catastrophic event and be back to normal in no time.
The threat of illegal activity impacting your website and causing data loss should not be taken lightly. Some site owners view this as an unlikely event that won’t happen to them but don’t be so sure. Between direct hacking and viruses infecting machines, you can never assume that all of your site data is safe and secure. A backup is an affordable and simple way to provide your site, and yourself, with some insurance. Instead of taking manual backups, which you will probably forget to do from time to time, use a plugin to automate the process and take this chore off your plate.
With so many great backup plugins available, there is no need to risk losing your entire site to a hacker or tech malfunction. It might seem like a long shot, but it’s always better to be prepared. You never know when an unwanted event may occur on your site, so get started today by installing one of the backup plugins we have highlighted above.
Frequently Asked Questions
My hosting company provides backups — isn’t that enough?
Your web host may be completing periodic backups of your site, and that’s a good start. But what if something happens to their data? Basically, you can use a backup plugin to create redundancy in the system and have even more options for recovering data if your site is lost for some reason. With free versions of many plugins available, you might not even need to spend a dime to create these additional backups, and they will deliver you significant peace of mind.
How much do WordPress backup plugins cost?
You’ll find a range of prices represented when shopping for a backup plugin. You can get started for free with some versions, although you will be limited in functionality at the free level. Paid backup plugins will sometimes charge just a one-time fee to purchase the plugin, while others are subscription-based. The list of options we have provided in this article covers many price points, so there should be something there that fits your budget.
Are backup plugins hard to use?
The thought of backing up your entire website may seem like a technical challenge, but these plugins make it quick and easy. You won’t need any technical knowledge beyond what you already have as a website owner and operator. Just add your chosen plugin to your site and follow the directions to set up your backups in a way that makes sense for your needs.
How often do backup plugins save my site data?
You’ll have flexibility within any of these plugins to choose how often a backup is taken. By scheduling backups at set intervals, you can make sure that not too much time has passed from one backup to the next. Also, you will be able to take backups on-demand when needed, like right after updating a lot of the content on your site or after creating new pages. Depending on the plugin you choose, it might be necessary to upgrade to a premium version to take as many backups as you would like.
Where will my backups be stored?
This is another area where most plugins offer you great flexibility. You could choose to store your backups locally on your regular computer or even an external hard drive. Also, you could opt for one of the many cloud storage services available, some of which are free up to a certain limit. Storing your backups in various places might be the best way to secure your data.
Should I take backups every day?
The appropriate frequency of backups on your site will depend entirely on the nature of the site and how often new content appears. If you run a blog where you post a new article once per week, there is no reason to run daily updates — nothing will have changed from one day to the next. Instead, you’d want to run weekly updates that occur shortly after the new post has gone live. Customize your scheduling to match up with the way your site operates to get the most value and protection out of your backup plan.
How long should I keep my backups?
As you start to take backups on a regular basis, whether it is daily, monthly, or some other interval, you will notice that the files quickly start to add up. If you are backing up a large site, the storage space you need to keep all of these files available may get out of control. Of course, at some point, you can delete the old backup files with newer ones available to use. It’s not wise to keep only one viable backup file on hand, just in case that file is corrupted or faulty for some reason. For most sites, keeping backup files for two or three months before they are deleted is a good middle ground. That will provide you with plenty of files to work with, yet it will avoid accumulating an overwhelming amount of data that needs to be stored.