One of the best tips you will ever get is to keep your WordPress blog secure. The best way to do that is by keeping a WordPress backup.
There are many WordPress backup plugins available in the WordPress plugin directory, but very few of them allow for a complete backup. When we talk about a complete backup, it means taking a backup of database, and a backup of the “wp-content folder”. Moreover, it’s always recommended to automatically backup WordPress to make sure you have the most recent version of your blog backed up.
Why is backing up your WordPress blog important?
Most bloggers make the mistake of not backing up their blog and they end up regretting it later. If you are one of those bloggers who hasn’t yet configured a backup system for your blog and rely on a backup offered by your hosting company, you are making a big mistake.
Understand that WordPress is software, and it runs on PHP and MySQL. All the files are stored on your web-hosting company. As a rule, anything that is related to computers and web hosting can crash any day. A hacker might hack your server or website, or someone can log in and delete your complete WordPress directory. In the end, you will be left with nothing except a feeling of sorrow for never creating a WordPress blog backup. All of your hard work will be gone in a jiffy.
One important rule here:
- Your backup files should be stored on a remote and reliable place. It should not be kept on the same server where your blog is hosted.
Ironically, it is quite easy to automate the backup of WordPress blogs. I will discuss three methods here that let you do scheduled automatic backups of your complete WordPress website. This includes the WordPress database and all the related files, including theme files, plugins, and images.
Necessary files to backup in WordPress:
Though you can configure a complete backup of your installation, we only need just one file and one complete folder as a backup. They are:
- Database backup
- WP-content folder backup
In the WP-content folder, you can exclude those themes which you are not using and exclude the “WordPress DB backup directory” if you are keeping a backup of many old databases or using some other method to make a WordPress database backup.
Also, you should optimize your database files to lower down the backup size.
Best WordPress Backup Plugins that you can trust:
I use VaultPress to take backups of ShoutMeLoud. I pay $9/month & it gives me complete peace of mind. VaultPress is a solution by Automattic (parent company behind WordPress). This solution is perfect for those who need to take a backup of 1-2 blogs.
If you need to take backups of multiple blogs, I would recommend looking for another solution which doesn’t cost you so much in recurring monthly fees. Otherwise, for a single blog, VaultPress is a perfect solution and lets you completely restore your blog from a backup.
To configure VaultPress, you can use the Jetpack WordPress plugin. Before this, you need to buy a VaultPress plan.
I have the basic plan & when I purchased it, I paid $5. That plan is hidden & you can access it using this link. In the basic plan, VaultPress makes a complete backup of your blog once every day. With just one click you can restore your blog from a backup. What I like about them is the support they offer. Since the people behind VaultPress are WordPress experts, your blog backup & security are in good hands.
Check out VaultPress (Recommended for one site)
2) UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration
This is another popular WordPress backup solution.
– UpdraftPlus comes in two versions:
- Lite (Free in WordPress plugin repository)
- Premium Version: Official site here
With a rating of 4.9/5, UpdraftPlus is the most popular backup solution for WordPress. It offers all the features which you would need to backup your WordPress blog.
What make this plugin stand out is the variety of options for backup. With UpdraftPremium, you will also get (for free) 1GB of space for the UpdraftPlus Vault (their cloud storage).
UpdraftPlus also offers more than just backups. It also has a cloning & migration feature which allows you to easily migrate a WordPress site from one host to another.
For someone who has multiple WordPress blogs, UpdraftPlus is the best choice. You only need to configure everything once & after that, you don’t have to worry about your blog’s backups.
Get UpdraftPlus Now (Recommended for backing up more than 2 WordPress sites)
3) ManageWP Backup
ManageWP is a popular service to manage multiple WordPress sites. I have been an avid user of ManageWP since its launch & use it to manage all the blogs in my network. What I like about ManageWP is how easy it is to optimize, update & track your blogs all from one dashboard.
ManageWP offers real-time protection as well as incremental backups. That means instead of taking a complete backup every time which slows down your server, it takes a backup of only those files which have changed. It is then uploaded to their cloud storage infrastructure.
- The best part of using ManageWP for managing or creating backups of your WordPress site is you don’t have to worry about dealing with configuration.
- With one button toggle, you can enable or disable backups. You can take backups using Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, or the ManageWP cloud infrastructure.
Note: “Every 24th” in above screenshot means it takes a backup on every 24th hour (one day).
To get the most value from your money, ManageWP is the best option for anyone with more than 5 WordPress sites.
Other Free & Premium Backup Solutions for WordPress:
All of the above three solutions are the best WordPress backup plugins at the moment. I will list out more free & premium solutions which are recommended by our community members.
Note: I’m listing only those plugins which offer essential features such as taking backups of the database & files, ability to schedule backups & supports other various services for the backup.
- BackUP WordPress (Free)
- Dropbox backup & restore (Supports only Dropbox & it’s free)
- BackupBuddy (Pro)
Remember: Many web hosting companies take daily backups of your blog. This is especially true for those who are using a managed WordPress hosting service like WPEngine. This means you don’t have to setup a third party backup system.
However, I’m a little paranoid when it comes to having complete control & this is why when even my hosting offers free off-site backup, I always take another backup using VaultPress for ShoutMeLoud & ManageWP for all my other sites.
I hope this guide helps you to pick the right backup solution for your WordPress site. Let us know which one you picked/are currently using & why?
I would love to hear your opinion in the comment section below.
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