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Best of 2013: No 1 – 6 Top WordPress Backup Plugin Recommendations

31 December 2013 BY

During the holiday weeks we will be showing you the 15 best read posts of 2013. Except for on Christmas and New Years day, each day you can read the best articles again, going from number 15 back to number 1.

Now it’s time for the best read post of 2013, originally posted on January 8 2013, a post by Jackie Hole.

Keeping your own website or blog takes time and effort but what happens if you lose even part of your information? Having to re-do content or scrape the Wayback Machine for indexed page records is time consuming and sketchy. Even after that there is no guarantee that you can retrieve all files.

Having recently experienced perils of cheap hosting on WordPress affiliate sites (cobbler’s children worst shod and all that),  I found out the hard way that not practicing what you preach to clients with regards to backing up database files can result in a lot of extra work and effort and of course lost income!

Even hardcore professionals suffer from procrastination when it comes to boring tasks like backups so I thought that I would share my plugin findings in the hope that it saves you data, time and prevents you from ever having to re-make anything ever again - [*disclaimer* - in theory]

WordPress Backup Plugins

A manual backup of any WordPress database via SQL or FTP is advised, but if you are not really sure about manual backups or are intimidated by the ‘geeky stuff – here are 6 Top WP backup plugin suggestions.

Obviously there are many more available and a whole host of cloud backup services, but I have kept this post as backup plugins that are tried, tested and come highly recommended by colleagues that are actually using the plugins.

vaultpress-logo1. VaultPress

Plugin URL:

This plugin came up several times as top notch. When colleagues use the word ‘special’ closely followed by the word ‘costly” it reminds you that sometimes you do  get what you pay for. According to Michel Wester our resident tools expert and Rhys Wynne at 3 Door Digital – VaultPress is a solid choice.

“If you have the budget, then I do recommend a monthly subscription to VaultPress. Set up is as simple as installing a WordPress Plugin on your site, and it carries out incremental backups, with your database getting backed up several times a day, and files getting backed up whenever they are subjected to any change.  Also it’s run by Automattic, the corporate arm behind WordPress, so it’s not going anywhere!” - Rhys Wynne, Digital Marketing Consultant at 3 Door Digital


  • Simple interface
  • One-Click restore
  • Scheduling
  • Concierge Service – VaultPress security specialists additional services to help keep your website safe


  • No option for where to store backup
  • Potentially, if the Concierge Service was compromised it ‘could’ allow unauthorised users into the back-end of your website (on the grounds that any software with 3rd party access carries a risk)


  • Monthly Fee from $15 per month for basic, – $350 enterprise level per site

What it looks like:


VaultPress Screenshot

backwpup-logo2. BackWPup

Plugin URL: Suggested by colleague Dan McGuire a seasoned WordPress Developer and ThinkVis Speaker and highly recommended by our very own expert Bastian Grimm - regular blogger and speaker with all things WordPress around the globe. Here are just some of the things they had to say:

“We’re heavily using BackWpUp since this one can also put your backups into Dropbox, G-Drive and other cloud storage services; Plus it has regular FTP backup options and such. Not talking about scheduling and the usual features. Also worth mentioning: It can basically back-up everything – including themes, uploads, plug-ins and whatever else you want it to do!” - Bastian Grimm - Founder and CEO of Grimm Digital

“I’ve used BackWPup for over 2 years now and I have yet to have any issues with it. I currently use Amazon S3 to store my daily backups, which I keep a week of, and Dropbox to store 1 backup per week just for ease of restore if needed. With such a wide array of backup locations, anyone should be able to backup any important areas of their website to a storage solution that suits them. And all of this for free. I couldn’t recommend it more.” - Dan McGuire - WordPress Developer


  • Simple to use
  • Schedule multiple backup operations
  • Choices of place to store your backups:
    • Folder
    • FTP
    • Amazon S3
    • Google Drive
    • Miscrosoft Azure
    • Rackspace Cloud
    • Dropbox
    • Email
    • Control over what files/folders/database tables you backup
    • Simple restore


  • No warranty or support except via forums. This is true for most plugins except those you pay a monthly subscription for.


  • £FREE

 What it looks like:

backwpup screenshot

BackWPup Screenshot

backup-logo3. Backup

This one actually came out tops when searching for backup plugins on

Plugin URL:


  • Scheduling system for backups
  • Allow you to select what you want backing up
  • Can store backups on Google Drive or locally
  • Email notifications when an error occurs
  • Very easy to use
  • Free


  • No options for Dropbox or Amazon S3 for backup storage
  • Reading reviews it has had a few bugs in the past

 Costs: £FREE

What it looks like:

 Backup WP Screenshot

Backup WP Screenshot

4. WP-DB-Backup

A free On-demand backup of your WordPress database highly recommended by Rhys Wynne at 3 Door Digital as his “preferred free solution when backing up databases” Plugin URL:

“WP-DB is relatively easy to set up, and does work with most hosting providers. However it’s limitations are that it only backs up the database, rather than the entire site, and sometimes it struggles with larger databases. However, I use it for all my own sites.” – Rhys Wynne3 Door Digital


  • Very simple, low-impact script


  • Only backs up the database, no files
  • Is an old plugin that is no longer updated so may stop working with Word Press in the future
  • No option on where to store your backups
  • No support, even via forums

Costs: £FREE

What it looks like:


WP-DB Backup Screenshot

5. WP-DB Manager

Another suggestion from Seasoned SEO Consultant and WP Developer Dean Cruddace who uses WP-DB Manager as it emails a daily backup.

“This plugin is not as simple as some. Most people will head for the email daily back up option and that is not as straightforward as you would like it to be. It takes persistence to stick with this plugin but it is worth it” - Dean Cruddace, Freelance SEO Consultant

Plugin URL:


  • Emails Daily Backup
  • Automatic repair and optimisation of database
  • Can speed up website


  • It is not immediately apparent where to start with it.
  • Entry level is not basic & you need to have server access as it is not always plug and play

Costs: £FREE

What it looks like:


WP-DB-Manager Screenshot

6. BlogVault

blogvault-logoRecommended by Sos team member Carla Marshall and Director of Sorbet Digital as a well supported web based service that is easy to use and affordable.

Plugin URL:


  • Free Trial
  • They take care of things so you don’t have to
  • Fast support response time
  • You can backup individual files
  • Easy blog migration


  • Web based service may annoy the geeks!

Costs: $9 per month for single site to $39 a month for 7 sites

 What it looks like:


Other Backup Plugins (not tried and tested)

I kept this post as tried and trusted from SEO colleagues but there were others that came up while doing the research. I can’t vouch for these, but they may be worth a look as they compare themselves to many of the above. I would be very interested in any comments you have or any that may have been missed out.

Quick List:

  • Backup Buddy and Backup Breeze both compare themselves to blog vault
  • WP Time Machine
  • Updraft Plus
  • Press Backup
  • Cloudsafe365
  • SME Storage

…and if you weren’t aware, you can also schedule backups of your files and databases to Google Drive.


The real cost of not backing up your WP DB!

The cost of re-making data and the loss of affiliate revenue – even temporary loss on sites that are not hugely important were earning more per month than many of these services charge for a monthly fee (you certainly can’t beat FREE).

If you haven’t added ‘must backup files more often’ to your New Year Resolutions list – sign up to something, and at least take one copy of your site as it stands RIGHT NOW!

Huge thanks to all who helped and advised and a special thanks to Dan McGuire for helping me to sift through the suggestions and test the pro’s and cons!


Jackie Hole is an Award Winning Search Marketing consultant specialising in Paid Search, Conversion Improvement and Organic Search / SEO for the USA, Canada and European markets. Starting out in Multimedia & Interface Design, Jackie has over 15 years experience in online marketing and was recently awarded European Search Personality of the Year. Jackie is Company Director of 22M
  • Carly Wood

    I personally use ManageWP which manually uploads a backup every day to my DropBox folder. I’ve always hoped that’d be enough but never actually delved into the zip it uploads to see what’s in it or how much data I’d actually retrieve. You’ve inspired me to double check and do a test run to see how I’d go about actually recovering a lost site! On the to do list, thanks!

    • Abuzar

      I like your approach Carly Wood i love this method by doing manually. for newbies i prefer to suggest them UpdraftPlus

  • Illiya Vjestica

    I’d personally recommend VaultPress if you are looking to do this hassle free and in the most professional manner.

    I wouldn’t personally ever recommend WP-DB-Backup as it has been prone to lots of errors, duplicating databases backups which end up filling up your entire server and swiftly bringing it crashing down to it’s knees.

    Other than that, a great list.

    • Rhys

      Hi Illiya,

      Thought I’d better comment on this as I did recommend this :).

      I never host the backup on the same server as the database, primarily if the server screws up, then your backups could screw up.

      I use WP-DB Backup to backup, once a day (week for some of my less active sites), to an email which is then emailed to me. I test the backups once every few days, just making sure that everything is fine.

      As such, I’ve not been aware of your issues, probably because I use the plugin differently to how you use it.

      Thanks for the comment!

      • Illiya Vjestica

        Thanks for clarifying how you use it Rhys. Yes, I definitely think you need to be careful how you use it to ensure you don’t have any issues. My backups were stored on the same server as my db – the error duplicated files meant a lack of memory which in turn caused the server to crash.

        This can be easily rectified I’m sure, however some of the other plugins you mentioned are much better at doing this.

    • Dean

      Pretty much a similar setup to Rhys for the sites I use it on too. Not on the server, get the zip emailed. I have had to use it on a couple of occasions as well. Without it I would have been screwed.

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  • Karl J. Gephart

    Backup Buddy is worth every cent! I highly recommend it for moving a WordPress site!

  • Webloggerz

    i used backwpup but suddenly my site started facing issues bcz of this…..

    • toy davis

      Yeah I was using it too and have suddenly lost confidence. It was throwing errors on one site, and I just installed it on a new client’s site and immediately after install the site became 100% dead (php error). I had to trash the plugin directory to remove it. It’s also quite big.

  • Jackie Hole

    Thanks for all the comments guys! Really interested to see how you get on if you try something new (or any nightmare stories of backups you have used!) – Glad to see you are keeping your files safe! :-)

  • WPCanvas

    As far as security is concerned website backup is very essential and WordPress provides ample backup plugins to create a regular backup of the database. Nice set of plugins.

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  • Sarah B

    Hi everyone-

    I work for CodeGuard, a cloud-based website backup, monitoring, and restore service that offers a great option for backing up your WordPress files and databases by connecting via FTP/SFTP. We did some research into the website backup market recently, and created a pretty awesome infographic (at least we think so!) about who is backing up their sites, on what platforms, how, and why. Check it out here on the CodeGuard Blog:


  • Fishing Co

    I use Squirrly Seo plugin for my WordPress blog

    What impresses me is that squirrly has multiple keyword research based on competition.

    Now I know if my keyword is searched or is there a keyword my competition uses and works better.

    And I really like the Seo live assistant that tells you the right keyword density and how many words to right.

    Worth to try

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  • Jaehun

    Thanks for the great article. I just had an issue an backWPup. I was trying out the free version to see how it works. Doing the backups is a breeze. The problem is restoring. It looks like they removed the option to do this in a recent upgrade. They only say that it is not needed anymore. There is no documentation on the site on how to do a restore. I searched the internet and it looks like people are recommending “phpmyadmin” to do restore. It does not seem like an elegant solution to me.

  • Chris Andersen

    Which of your recommendations have you tested for a restore recently?

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  • uncjennash

    Hi Jackie. I have updraft plus and I was wondering if my blog post writing is backed up. I see plugins and other categories in my dropbox, but I don’t see any of my writing. I don’t care about the plugins or theme, i just want to make sure my writing never goes away. Does updraft plus save writing? How do i make sure?

    • Denise

      uncjennash, I use UpdraftPlus too. Your blog posts are stored in your site’s database, so the database backup has got them covered. No worries. :-)

    • Fernando Benito

      Your writing is saved in the database. If you have a backup of the database then you hava a backup of your writing.

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  • William De Sousa

    I’ve used most of the plugins out there and I would absolutely recommend BlogVault as the easiest and most versatile solution I’ve found. As a web developer I have numerous client sites that need to be backed up and they’ve never let me down.

    They also have an excellent site migration utility (which I use on new builds) and a test restore function which allows you to see any potential issues..

    I’m a geek and a web interface really doesn’t annoy me, one less complication imo.

    Oh and the support is pretty awesome too – just received an answer to a query at 11.23pm UK time…

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  • Anchor1

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my site thus i came to go back the prefer?.I am trying to in finding things to enhance my site!I assume its adequate to make use of a few of your ideas!!

  • Liton Arefin

    Backup is essential for every wordpress sites. I have been looking this kind of wordpress plugins. Great collection of wordpress plugins. Thanks for share.

  • Paket Wisata Bromo

    Thanks for this articel, confused with plugin for back up,and i got answer there.

  • nour

    thank you very very much for this review. I hesitated on what plugin should I install to restore my files, now with your help I found the right one. thank you again.

  • Adam Connell


    This is a brilliant list, really liked that you were brutally honest about all of these plugins.

    I’ve used a number of these, WP DB Manager is one that I’ve used for a while, you’re bang on with the lack of plug and play here but despite that I still find it really straight forward and a quick option if I want to optimize or repair my database.

    BackupBuddy is my favourite out of the paid plugins though, haven’t tried BlogVault yet but it’s next on my list.

  • Adam Connell

    Hi Jackie,

    Really liked how you were brutally honest about all of the pro’s and con’s of these plugins.

    BlogVault looks interesting, but I haven’t tried it yet.

    BackupBuddy has been working really well for me so far.


  • Paul G.

    Hi Jackie, and the readers..

    I just wanted to let you know of one other other options – it’s like VaultPress, but without the budget requirements: It’s WorpDrive ( and is served within the iControlWP WordPress management system so you manage all your backups in 1 place.

    Daily, automatic backups start at $1/month, so if you’re looking for reliable, fully supported, daily full site backups, it’s worth checking us out. :)

    Many thanks!

  • fahad mahmood

    Keep backup daily is another good option to take regular backups.

  • scott

    I can definitely vouch for BackUp Buddy also. I used a lot when migrating sites and doing updates. Now I use ManageWP for backups, but Backup Buddy is still a very solide option.

  • twitter_satori_design

    I can definitely vouch for BackUp Buddy also. I used a lot when migrating sites and doing updates. Now I use ManageWP for backups, but Backup Buddy is still a very solide option.

  • Wisata Pulau Tidung

    Thank you :D

  • Krystian

    Thanks for this, You have saved my day! All the best.

  • may loc nuoc

    I’m used WP-DB Manager plugin, great! Thanks a lot for given great points on here :D

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  • vinay

    Very informative! I have selected backWPup and fully satisfied with it!

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  • Alexa

    I found new plugin for backup wordpress data.

  • Graham


    My WP site isn’t a blog, it will sell downloadable products. I have already created it using WooCommerce and tested using PayPal Sandbox. So far so good. I am using a plugin Updraft to backup but it fails as my hosting company doesn’t allow wp-cron on it’s servers. Do any of the suggestions here avoid this problem?


  • Bartosz Kaczmarek

    I use the UpdraftPlus and I am very happy.

  • Dustin

    What about BackupBuddy?

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