Backing up your data regularly is pretty much a fundamental requirement for using a computer nowadays, as long as you do anything even remotely important with it. Running a WordPress site is no different, and if you’re serious about the project, you should never allow yourself to be in a situation where you end up losing days (or more) of your work due to a problem with your host or a malicious attack.
There is a large number of plugins for WordPress that can take this duty off your shoulders and let you focus on creating engaging content and promoting your site. Let’s have a look at what some of the most popular ones can do for you.
1) UdraftPlus – this is a pretty flexible plugin that comes with multiple useful features right out the box and doesn’t require a lot of setup to get it running properly. You can choose to store your backups either locally or on a cloud server, and you can configure the backup schedule exactly as you like (including, if you want, making it manual). It supports many popular cloud storage services straight away, and if you aren’t using a proprietary service but rather a simple (S)FTP server, you can easily store your backups on that as well.
The basic license is free, but upgrading to the premium version gives you access to advanced functionality such as completely cloning a WP site. Many people will do just fine with the free version, but if you’re running multiple sites or need more precise control over your backups, you should definitely look into the paid one.
2) BackupWordPress – another popular one that’s used by many WP admins at the moment, BackupWordPress is lightweight, streamlined, and yet very powerful when used right. It gives you a comprehensive overview of all backups that have been performed with the tool, allowing you to restore from a specific one (as opposed to just the most recent one), and has a powerful scheduler.
The only downside to BackupWordPress is that one of its most useful features – backing up to a cloud service – is locked away behind a paywall, so you’ll need to upgrade to the premium version if you want to make proper use of the tool.
3) WordPress Backup to Dropbox – as the name implies, this one is designed specifically for storing your backups to Dropbox. If you’re fine with lacking storing functionality for any other platform though, it should be perfect for you, as it’s designed quite nicely and comes with many useful features, including a good scheduler and a clean interface.
Word of advice though, pay attention to how you’re setting up historic backups if you’re using a free Dropbox account (or if you store a large number of other data on it), as regularly backing up a number of larger WordPress sites can quickly eat up your storage quota if you’re not careful.
4) VaultPress – if you’re serious about your WordPress site and investing some money in a proper backup solution is not a problem for you, you should definitely look into VaultPress. The service is now combined with Jetpack, meaning you’ll need a Jetpack subscription to use it, but the pricing can be quite attractive to even solo administrators running smaller sites. A $3.50 monthly fee gets you access to the basic plan, and that should be more than enough for the needs of most people. For more advanced users, the company offers additional solutions at a price increase.
Note that the low-tier subscription limits your backups to 1 month, which may not be ideal for sites that need good access to their history.
5) WP-DB-Backup – a small solution made by a team of dedicated developers, WP-DB-Backup really deserves more attention than it normally gets in the press. This is especially true considering that the tool is among the most popular ones among users themselves, though to be fair, it does lack some features that might make it a less attractive solution for some.
The most notable one is the ability to backup your files, as the tool is entirely aimed at copying your site’s database. On the other hand, that functionality is not limited to WordPress, and you can easily clone other related databases on your site. It also supports scheduling for WordPress versions 2.1 and up, but it can only deliver scheduled backups via e-mail.