Never underestimate what a major difference having one of the best WordPress backup plugins installed on your website can make.
If your site isn’t performing at its best, having a solid backup copy of that site on hand will allow you to restore it to good working order. Ultimately, this ensures that your website users enjoy exactly the kind of quality experience they were expecting you to deliver and that you save yourself from the kind of damage to your site performance, revenue, and reputation that a broken, faulty, or hacked website can create.
Below, I’ll share with you the five tools I consider to be the very best of the best when it comes to backing up and restoring WordPress, all based on nothing more than my own experience in using these tools to help me create my multi-million dollar content website portfolio.
Before I do, let me just reiterate why backup plugins are one of the fundamental must-have WordPress plugins that any new site owner should enjoy.
What are WordPress Backup Plugins, and Why Do You Need One?
Even if you’re an expert-level WordPress user with years of experience, there’s still any number of things that could go wrong with your site that are initially out of your control.
Website hacks, malware, and any number of other security problems can create any number of problems for you, not least of which being that they could render your entire site unusable.
Then there’s the fact that WordPress itself is not a one-and-done installation.
The core WordPress installation is frequently updated, and if your WordPress theme and plugins aren’t also updated to keep up with new developments, that can lead to a multitude of conflicts that negatively affect either the design of your website, its functionality, or occasionally even both.
If you’re new to all this and just learning how to start a WordPress blog, even more problems can arise as one rookie mistake could end up ruining all of the hard work you put into your site.
Throw in the potential for server crashes, and there’s a whole host of things that could easily go awry when growing your site.
This is when top WordPress backup plugins like the ones I’m about to show you today can be worth their weight in gold.
Once installed, they can create regular backups of the last-known working configuration of your website. If something does go wrong, these backups can then be restored, bringing your website back to a time when it looked and functioned exactly as it should and saving both you and your users from a world of problems.
Top 5 Best WordPress Backup Plugins in 2022
Now that we’re all agreed about just how invaluable these tools can be, let’s take a look at the tools themselves.
As the go-to backup plugin for over 3 million WordPress sites (including those from major brands like the NBA, Microsoft, and even NASA), UpdraftPlus really isn’t kidding when it boasts that it’s the world’s most trusted backup tool.
Still, UpdraftPlus doesn’t just get by on brand recognition alone. The reason it’s such a universally revered WordPress plugin is that it really does offer everything you could possibly ask for when it comes to backing up and restoring your website.
First of all, there’s beginner-friendly ease of use.
If the idea of tackling the backup process seems like a technical task beyond your expertise, you’ll find a lot to like about the simple, easy-to-navigate interface, which allows you to manage the whole process with a single click.
More importantly, though, UpdraftPlus does a tremendous job of giving you all the flexibility and control you could hope for.
Backups can be done manually on an as-and-when needed basis, something which is always a smart idea to do before and after making major website changes.
However, they can also be scheduled to occur on a daily, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis.
If you’re running the kind of high-traffic website that gets a lot of use and updates throughout the day, those backups can even be scheduled to occur every 2,4,8, or 12 hours, meaning you’ll always have a good working copy of your website on standby no matter how frequently your site gets updated.
This alone makes UpdraftPlus one of the best tools around for backing up your website, as few plugins offer this level of flexibility without charging a premium rate.
Of course, that’s just for starters.
Backups can either be saved on your computer or sent directly to the cloud thanks to integrations with popular storage options like Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace, and more.
Add all this to the fact that the plugin has been tested and proven to provide successful backups of sites up to 100GB across an extensive different range of server environments, and it’s no wonder UpdraftPlus remains the undisputed leader of WordPress backups.
- Manual and scheduled backups
- Backs up all files, databases, plugins, and themes
- Back up files and databases on separate schedules
- Automatic backups prior to WordPress core updates and when themes and plugins are updated
- Database backup encryption
- Password protection to keep backups from falling into the wrong hands
- Compatible with WordPress multisite
- Support via ticket and web forum.
UpdraftPlus is available as a free WordPress plugin that provides all of the features most WordPress users could need to successfully manage their website backups.
If you want extra functionality, there is a premium version available that offers additional features, including:
- Simultaneous backups to multiple storage locations
- WordPress site migrations
- 1GB of free storage space on UpdraftVault
- Create cloned test sites
- More third-party storage options including Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Backblaze
- WP-CLI integration
- Priority support.
How much you’ll pay for this premium version depends on how many sites you want to use it on, with pricing as follows:
Personal – Up to 2 websites
$84 for the first year, then $50.40 p/y
Business – Up to 10 websites
$114 for the first year, then $68.40 p/y
Agency – Up to 35 websites
$140 for the first year, then $104.40 p/y
Enterprise – Unlimited websites
$234 for the first year, then $140.40 p/y.
Pros and Cons of UpdraftPlus
- The free version provides enough features for most WordPress users.
- Tested on backups up to 100GB in size, with only web hosting limitations preventing larger backups
- Backs up unlimited external databases and non-WordPress files
- It may not be suitable for large-scale eCommerce or media sites over 100GB in size.
- Backing up to Microsoft OneDrive, Azure, Google Cloud Storage, and other services is only an option in the paid version.
How to Get Started With UpdraftPlus?
- Install UpdraftPlus in the WordPress Plugins Directory
From your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins – Add New, then search for UpdraftPlus. When the plugin displays, click Install Now, followed by Activate.
Alternatively, you can manually download the free version of UpdraftPlus from the WordPress Plugins Directory and install it using the Upload Plugin button.
- Start the UpdraftPlus Setup Process
Once activated, UpdraftPlus will take you to your plugins menu and prompt you to start the setup process with a handy pop-up.
Click the Press Here to Start button to begin that process.
- Set your backup schedule
On the next page, navigate to the settings tab and set a schedule for backing up your files and databases, or leave it set to ‘Manual’ if you prefer to backup on an ad-hoc basis.
- Choose a backup location
On the same page, scroll down to the Choose your remote storage options and select one of the third-party storage solutions to use.
Keep in mind that some of these, like Microsoft OneDrive, are only available on the premium version.
Having chosen your preferred location, UpdraftPlus will prompt you to connect with your account on that service to make migrations easier.
- Chose what to backup
From there, choose what to include in your backup and what not to include.
- Click save
With that done, you can scroll to the bottom, taking care of other options, such as whether you want a basic backup report sent to your email address en route.
Finally, hit Save Changes, and the free version of UpdraftPlus is ready to start backing up your website.
If you later decide to upgrade to Premium, you can simply click the ‘Premium’ link in the settings menu, which will take you to a purchasing page.
Being able to backup your WordPress files to a location of your choosing may be a great idea, but what if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of setting up a Dropbox or Google Drive account just to store your backups?
You take a look at BlogVault, that’s what.
Rather than operating purely as a plugin that leaves all of the settings up to you, this widely-used platform functions as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution which handles everything via the company’s own servers.
This means that the backup process is carried out away from your site, ensuring that your website isn’t slowed down while a backup is being performed.
It also means that all of your backups are stored on those same BlogVault servers, so not only do you not have to worry about connecting with a third party, you also get the peace of mind that even if your entire website is offline, your backups are still accessible and can be restored.
That’s not to say that you can’t create more backups. BlogVault does allow you to download your backups and upload them to services like the aforementioned Dropbox and Gdrive, giving you the complete flexibility to manage this process however works best for you.
- Unlimited daily backups of files, themes, WordPress core files, databases, user details, plugins and plugin settings, and more
- Zero load backups
- Incremental backups
- 90-day backup repository
- Encrypted backups.
BlogVault doesn’t offer a free plan, but it does come with a 7-day free trial so that you can try it out.
If you decide to stick with it, you’ll find that BlogVault offers no less than 12 different payment plans based on the number of sites and included features.
It would take all day to discuss each of these 12 plans in detail, so here are my top 3 recommendations.
Personal Basic – $7.49 p/m
For use on up to one website.
- 90-day backup archive
- Daily backups
- WooCommerce backups
- One-click website recovery
- Website migrations
- Multisite support for up to 5 websites
- Site performance checks.
Small Business Plus – $29.90 p/m
For use on up to 5 websites.
Includes everything in Personal Basic plus:
- Unlimited automatic malware scanning and removal
- Plugin-based website firewall
- Login protection
- Website hardening
- Multisite support for up to 20 subsites.
Developers Advanced – $149 p/m
For up to 20 websites.
Includes everything in Small Business Plus, as well as:
- Real-Time backups
- 4 active staging sites
- Multisite support for up to 100 subsites
- Backup orders
- White label solutions for developers.
Pros and Cons of BlogVault
- Works well for large-scale websites above 100GB
- Eliminates the need to deal with third-party storage solutions
- Ability to restore your website even if you don’t have access to your WordPress dashboard or server
- A large number of payment plans can make it confusing to find the right plan
- No free option.
How to Get Started with BlogVault?
- Head to BlogVault.Net and click ‘Start Free Trial’
- Create a username and password and click ‘Get Started.’
- Enter the URL of your website, then enter your WP admin credentials on the next screen to install the plugin
- Configure the settings to set up BlogVault how you want it and let the plugin get to work on creating those backups.
3. Jetpack Backups
If you’re already taking advantage of the multitude of tools offered by Jetpack, it might make the most sense to use the platform’s own in-built Jetpack Backup Plugin.
One thing I love about this one is that Jetpack was created by Automattic, a company launched by WordPress’ original founders. In other words, it comes from people who know WordPress arguably better than anyone.
This means they’re always on the ball to ensure Backups and other services continually run smoothly on all of the best WordPress website hosts with no problems arising due to updates or plugin conflicts.
That’s not all; Jetpack Backups is also one of the best options out there for backing up WooCommerce sites, with all of your products, encrypted customer data, WooCommerce tables, and more all fully protected.
Since some services are limited in their ability to backup large-scale eCommerce sites (or otherwise charge a small fortune to do so), this makes this plugin, in particular, a worthwhile investment for online store owners.
Along with automatic real-time updates and a simple, one-click backup and restore process, this makes it the ideal option for existing Jetpack users.
- Automatic real-time cloud backups
- Full, incremental, and differential backup options
- 30-day archive and activity log
- Restore sites from Jetpack mobile app
- Off-site backups to reduce the server load
- Easy WordPress migrations.
Jetpack Backups Pricing:
As a stand-alone add-on to your existing Jetpack setup, Jetpack Backups is available at two different price points.
10GB Storage Option
- $3.75 p/m for the first year, then $7.49 p/y
- Includes a 30-day backup archive.
1 TB Storage Option
- $18.50 for the first year, then $37 p/m
- Includes a one-year backup archive.
Pros and Cons of Jetpack Backups
- Unlimited backup size (depending on your storage plan)
- Best for creating secure backups of WooCommerce customer data
- Can be cost-effective when combined with a Jetpack bundle.
- Only backups to Jetpack’s own servers. There’s no integration with services like Dropbox or Google Drive, so if you wanted to store backups there, you’d need to download a copy of your site and update it manually.
- Requires you to already be running Jetpack, which comes with a lot of features some site owners may find unnecessary.
How to Get Started with Jetpack Backups?
- 1. Install and configure the Jetpack plugin on your WordPress site if you haven’t already
- 2. Head to https://jetpack.com/upgrade/backup/
- 3. Choose either the 10GB or 1TB storage option and click ‘Get Backup.’
- 4. Enter your payment information
- 5. Connect Jetpack Backups to your existing Jetpack installation, and you’re ready to go.
BackupBuddy is one of the most well-established WordPress backup plugins around, proudly protecting over 1 million sites over the course of its 12 years in existence.
A solid alternative to any of the plugins we’ve looked at so far, BackupBuddy offers a clean, simple-to-use interface that makes it possible to schedule automatic backups to a number of third-party cloud services.
This includes all of the big players like Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Amazon S3.
You can also sync the system to upload backups to your own remote server via FTP or have a copy emailed directly to you.
If you prefer not to deal with third-party storage providers, BackupBuddy also includes its own storage solution called Stash, and you’ll get a limited amount of free Stash storage with each plan.
However, the real advantage to using this plugin over any other is that it comes with a very-useful database restore and rollback feature.
This allows you to restore individual files (such as an accidentally-deleted blog post) or roll back to an earlier version of your theme template or stylesheet if you make a mistake, all without having to restore your entire website.
Combine this with some of the best customer support of any plugin in this guide, and you’ll find BackupBuddy to be a solid solution for protecting your site.
- Manual and automatic scheduled backup options
- Store backups in multiple third-party locations
- Entire WordPress installation backup (including settings, users, widgets, custom post types, and more)
- Easy WordPress migrations
- Website cloning and staging.
BackupBuddy is a premium-only plugin that comes in four different pricing plans.
These plans are charged at a flat rate rather than on a per-monthly subscription basis.
Whether that’s a good thing or not depends on your circumstances. For some users, the flat-rate approach works best as there’s no need to keep on top of monthly payments.
For others, however, the higher upfront costs may rule this one out of the running.
The four plans are as follows:
Blogger – $80
- For use on up to 1 website.
- Includes 1GB of Stash Storage Space
Freelancer – $127
- For use on up to 10 websites.
- Includes 1GB of Stash Storage Space
Gold – $199
- For use on unlimited websites.
- Includes 5GB of Stash Storage Space.
Plugin Suite – $499
- For use on unlimited websites.
- Includes 10GB of Stash Storage Space plus:
- iThemes Security Pro Gold plugin and Restrict Content Pro, the latter of which was one of my top picks for the best WordPress Membership Plugins of 2022.
Pros and Cons of BackupBuddy
- Real-time backups available with the Stash storage upgrade
- Unlimited backup sizes (dependent on web hosting limitations)
- The rollback feature makes it easy to restore and recover individual files.
- Doesn’t support integration with some major storage providers like Rackspace
- The lack of monthly pricing options may be a problem for some users
- Doesn’t support WordPress multisite.
How to Get Started With BackupBuddy?
- Head to https://ithemes.com/backupbuddy/
- Click ‘Buy BackupBuddy’
- Choose your pricing plan and click ‘Buy Now.’
- Review your order, go to checkout, and enter your payment information
- Download the BackupBuddy Plugin
- On your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins – Add New and upload BackupBuddy
- Enter your activation key and configure your desired settings to start backing up your site.
Last but by no means least, we come to BackWPup.
If you’re running your WordPress website on a shoestring budget and need a good free WordPress backup plugin but didn’t like what UpDraftPlus had to offer, this might prove to be the best alternative out there.
Though the free version is severely limited in some respects (there’s no automatic backup to Google Drive or OneDrive, for example), it does most of the basics very well without costing you a penny.
All databases and files can be backed up to S3 services like Amazon S3, Google Storage and others, as well as Dropbox, Rackspace and your FTP server.
If you do want to save your backups on non-support services, this can be done by downloading a copy of your backup from your web server and uploading it manually.
Speaking of uploading, only the premium version (more of which later) supports automatic restoring from connected services and servers, so you’ll have to manually download and install backups if you need them.
While this may seem a bit cumbersome, the good news is that the process is incredibly straightforward and can be done with zero-technical know-how.
While this might not be the most succinct and streamlined way to manage your backups, BackWPup does make a great choice for owners of smaller sites who may be happy to sacrifice a little added convenience for the sake of keeping costs down.
- A complete database and file backups
- Multisite support
- Database checks
- WordPress XML export
- Backup archives management
- Backups to Azure, S3 services, Dropbox, and Rackspace
- Backups to local servers, FTP servers, and email.
As I’ve already discussed, the reason I like BackWPup is that it’s a solid free plugin that provides a decent and secure backup service for site owners with limited budgets.
If you do have some money to spend, however, you can always choose to pay for the premium upgrade. This costs $69 for the first year and $39 for each year thereafter.
Break this down into costs-per-month, and you’re talking only $5.75 per month for the first year, followed by just $3.25 per month for all additional years.
If you’ve been paying attention, that makes even the premium version one of the cheapest around.
Should you choose to upgrade, you’ll unlock a wealth of extra functionality, including:
- Backup to Google Drive, OneDrive, and HiDrive
- Restore backups directly from local and FTP servers
- Restore backups directly from third-party services like DropBox, Google Drive, etc.
- Custom API keys for DropBox and SugarSync
- Backup schedule wizard
- Premium support
- Automatic updates.
Pros and Cons of BackWPup
- A lightweight plugin that won’t slow your site down
- Beginner-friendly ease-of-use
- Free and low-cost options.
- Only the premium version allows for restoring backups
- No support for free users.
How to Get Started With BackWPup?
- Head to your WordPress dashboard
- Go to Plugins – Add New and search for ‘BackWPup’ or download BackWPup from the WordPress themes directory and manually upload.
- Install and activate the plugin
- Configure your desired settings to start backing up your site
- Click the link to the premium version if you decide to upgrade.
How to Choose the Best WordPress Backup Plugin for Your Website
There are countless WordPress backup plugins out there, so how did I determine that the five listed above are the very best of the best?
More importantly, what should you be looking for when determining which one of those five (or any others) to use on your website?
To answer these two questions, here’s a quick look at the most important factors I considered when making my selections and how each factor may influence your decision.
It’s rare that you’ll ever find a WordPress backup plugin that doesn’t allow you to manually create and restore backups as and when you need them.
While that’s a good start, the set-it-and-forget-it approach often works best when it comes to backing up your WordPress files and databases.
After all, isn’t it better to enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that your site is automatically being backed up on a regular basis rather than manually going through the whole process every time you update your site?
With that in mind, it’s important to look at the different options available for automatically scheduling backups.
Weekly, fortnightly, and monthly backups may be suitable for most small-medium blogs, but if you’re growing a large-scale site with one or more daily updates, then the ability to schedule daily backups or even have your site backed up every few hours will prove to be very helpful indeed.
Backup plugins work by creating a file that contains all of the elements that make up your WordPress website so that you can restore them when needed.
Obviously, those backup files have to go somewhere.
The most basic backup plugins will allow you to save a copy of your backup to your hard drive or have it stored on your web server, though the latter option drains precious server resources while the former can take a big chunk out of your hard drive storage if you have a particularly big site.
This is why it’s often best to look for plugins that will automatically upload your backup to a cloud storage solution and connect with that same platform when it comes time to restore your files.
The key here is to think about which cloud storage service you’re going to use before you install a plugin. If you know that you’re going to store all your backups on Google Drive, for example, then it doesn’t matter too much if the plan you’re thinking of buying doesn’t offer support for Microsoft OneDrive.
Ease of Use
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Whether you’re installing a WordPress security plugin or a tool to help with email marketing, ease of use should always be one of the most important factors to consider.
Even if you’re a relatively experienced WordPress user, plugins like the ones I’ve shared with you today are supposed to make your life easier, so if the interface is confusing or difficult to navigate, or if utilizing some key features requires some technical know-how that’s beyond your expertise, it’s hardly doing its job properly.
Fortunately, all of the tools I’ve included in this guide today are simple enough that even WordPress novices should have very little difficulty in using them to their full potential.
Frequently Asked Questions About WordPress Backup Plugins
How long should a WordPress backup take?
This all depends on the size of your site. Small and medium sites may take as little as 5-10 minutes, while large-scale sites may require a few hours to complete a successful backup.
Does WordPress save backups automatically?
No. Sadly, your core WordPress installation doesn’t have a feature for saving a backup of your files, which is why third-party WordPress backup plugins are so important.
Can I manually back up my WordPress site without a plugin?
You can, but it’s not going to be anywhere near as straightforward as using a plugin. The manual process involves logging into your hosting server either via the dashboard or FTP and manually downloading the files and databases separately.
What is the Best WordPress Backup Plugin to Use in 2022? My Final Verdict
The truth is that any one of my top five picks could technically be considered to be the best WordPress backup plugin, as each one does a stellar job at making it easy to create secure backups and restore them as and when needed.
Still, I understand that this isn’t exactly helpful if you’re trying to pick just one tool to use on your site, so here are a few final recommendations to help you make that decision.
If you’re already running Jetpack on your website and you want to keep things as simple as possible without adding yet another third-party plugin, look no further than Jetpack Backups, a Jetpack extension that takes all the hassle and hard work out of ensuring you’ve always got a saved copy of your site on hand.
If you need more features and functionality than Jetpack can offer, but you don’t want to deal with the headache of setting up a third-party storage solution to host your backup files, then BlogVault may be the one for you as all your files are saved on the platform’s own storage servers.
However, if you’re determined to use the all-round best WordPress backup plugin available in 2022, then UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin is undoubtedly the one for you as it combines newcomer-friendly simplicity with extensive features and a free plan that is unrivaled by another tool out there.