7 Top Premium and Freemium WordPress Backup Plugins Reviewed

Backing up your WordPress site is essential. Without it, you run the risk of losing all of your hard work if something goes wrong. If your hosting provider loses your data, your site is hacked or you simply want to roll back to an earlier version of your site, keeping regular backups will save you a lot of work – and a lot of stress.

But backing up isn’t something you’re going to want to keep on doing manually. Keeping backups only works if it’s automated, with regular snapshots being taken of your site so that you have constant access to a recent backup you can restore if things go wrong. Which is where backup plugins come in.

In this post I’ll review seven of the top backup plugins for WordPress. All of these are premium or freemium (meaning there’s a free version and a paid for version), because when I was researching this post I found that if you want a backup plugin that’ll make the process of backing up and restoring your site quick and easy, you generally have to pay for it. And this is something that’s worth paying for – imagine what it would cost you if you had to take time out to recreate your site from scratch or even worse, your clients’ sites?

Disclaimer: I’m sure there are many readers who use plugins not on this list, including free ones, and are perfectly happy with them. As with all reviews, there is going to be an element of subjectivity in this post and my reviews will reflect my experience of researching or testing these plugins.

What Makes a Great Backup Plugin?

In this post I’ve focused on plugins which make the process of backing up, migrating and restoring your site easy, reliable and hassle-free. The plugins I’ll rate most highly will have the following features:

  • Automated backup scheduling, with the flexibility for you to choose what you back up and how often.
  • A choice of locations to store your backups, including third party services such as Dropbox and Amazon S3.
  • Backups stored for as long as you need with no time limit.
  • Straightforward migration or restoring via the WordPress admin screens or the provider’s website.
  • Quality one to one support.
  • Detailed documentation on the provider’s website.
  • Flexible billing plans (where appropriate), with monthly or annual options and different prices for different needs.
  • Support for WordPress Multisite without having to pay extra for each site in your network.

Not all of the plugins I’ve reviewed here meet all of those criteria, but what I’ve listed above is what the ideal plugin will boast. So let’s take a look at some plugins.

Snapshot

Snapshot

WPMU DEV Rating

4.7/5

The Good

  • Flexible automated backups, with the option to have multiple snapshots with different content and regularity
  • Support for third party storage services including Dropbox, Amazon S3, FTP/sFTP, Google Drive and GreenQloud
  • No limit on how long backups are stored
  • One click migration and restore from the WordPress admin
  • One-to-one support with fast response times
  • Documentation and how to videos
  • Option to buy just this plugin for a month or to subscribe to the full suite of WPMU DEV themes and plugins annually
  • WordPress Multisite support at no extra cost per site

The Bad

  • Annual subscription can be expensive if you don't need access to the full range of WPMU DEV themes and plugins

Ratings

  • Support: 5/5
  • Flexibility: 5/5
  • Storage Options: 4.5/5
  • Ease of Restoration: 5/5
  • Ease of Migration: 5/5
  • Price & Plans: 3.5/5
  • Multisite: 5/5
  • Overall: 4.7/5

The Bottom Line

A great backup plugin, which offers all of the features in my wish list. Restoring and migration are both done with one click and full Multisite support is included without you having to pay for each site in your network. The only downside is the cost if you're just looking for a backup plugin and don't want to subscribe to the full range of WPMU DEV themes and plugins. But if you do already subscribe to WPMU DEV (and if you're here there's a reasonable chance that you do), then Snapshot is effectively free!


VaultPress

vaultpress

WPMU DEV Rating

3.7/5

The Good

  • Backups run in the background with no input from the user
  • One-click restore and migration
  • Monthly or annual billing
  • Storage on Automattic's own servers
  • One-to-one support
  • Support for WordPress Multisite – but at extra cost

The Bad

  • No option to store your data using third party services
  • Documentation is less comprehensive than for some other plugins
  • Each site in a Multisite Network is charged as a separate site, which can add up

Ratings

  • Support: 5/5
  • Storage Options: 2/5
  • Flexibility: 2/5
  • Ease of Restoration: 5/5
  • Ease of Migration: 5/5
  • Price and Plans: 4/5
  • Multisite: 3/5
  • Overall: 3.7/5

The Bottom Line

VaultPress is Automattic's backup offering and uses the same servers that wordpress.com sites are stored on, so comes with that peace of mind. However, if you want the flexibility to store your data elsewhere or to choose what you back up and when, this won't be the plugin for you. Backups are managed via your WordPress dashboard on the valuators site (rather than in the WordPress admin), which will suit some people but not others, and while Multisite is supported, each site in your network is charged as a separate site.


ManageWP

managewp

WPMU DEV Rating

3.5/5

The Good

  • Flexible storage options with the ability to select what's backed up and when
  • Support for third party storage including Dropbox, Amazon S3, Google Drive, FTP/SFTP and email.
  • One-click restore from the ManageWP dashboard
  • One to one support via tickets
  • Monthly and annual billing options
  • Extra services included such as SEO and security checks

The Bad

  • Migrations are done via cPanel and FTP - no 1-click migration
  • No support for WordPress Multisite

Ratings

  • Support: 5/5
  • Storage Options: 5/5
  • Flexibility: 4/5
  • Ease of Restoration: 4/5
  • Ease of Migration: 1/5
  • Price & Plans: 5/5
  • Multisite: 0.5/5
  • Overall: 3.5/5

The Bottom Line

ManageWP isn't designed just as a backup service but backups are one of the things it offers. It offers great value for the features on offer although it doesn't make migration easy and there's no support for Multisite networks, as ManageWP is designed as an alternative to Multisite.


BackupBuddy

backup-buddy

WPMU DEV Rating

3.2/5

The Good

  • Automated backups with flexible options for scheduling and content
  • Support for third party storage services including Amazon S3, Dropbox, Backspace Cloud, FTP or email.
  • Online documentation and tutorials
  • Custom backup profiles so you can backup different files or tables at different intervals
  • Flexible pricing depending on the number of sites to be backed up
  • Extra tools including individual file restore, malware scan and database mass text replacement

The Bad

  • Migration and restore involves uploading a script – no options for one–click restore
  • Support via forums – not as user-friendly as for some services
  • No support for WordPress Multisite
  • No monthly payment option

Ratings

  • Support: 4/5
  • Flexibility: 4/5
  • Storage Options: 5/5
  • Ease of Restoration: 3/5
  • Ease of Migration: 3/5
  • Price & Plans: 3/5
  • Multisite: 0.5/5
  • Overall: 3.2/5

The Bottom Line

BackupBuddy is hugely popular and includes an impressive range of tools for backing up and restoring your site in the way that works for you. However, the process for restoring a site is complicated for novice users and there's no support for WordPress Multisite.


BlogVault

blogvault

WPMU DEV Rating

2.35/5

The Good

  • Automated backups with option to amend scheduling
  • Backups are stored on BlogVault's servers and on Amazon S3 and (optionally) Dropbox
  • Online documentation – but not as comprehensive as for some plugins
  • Supports Multisite – but only up to three sites
  • One to one support

The Bad

  • Backups only stored for 30 days
  • Restores are done manually using FTP and phpMyAdmin
  • No option to exclude specific files or tables from backups
  • Limited range of third party storage services supported
  • If you have more than three sites (i.e. your main domain and two sites) in your Multisite network, you'll have to pay again

Ratings

  • Support: 4/5
  • Flexibility: 1.5/5
  • Storage Options: 3/5
  • Ease of Restoration: 1/5
  • Ease of Migration: 1/5
  • Price & Plans: 3/5
  • Multisite: 3/5
  • Overall: 2.35/5

The Bottom Line

BlogVault claims to be the best backup plugin for WordPress, but it falls down on the process for restoring or migrating a site, which is no simpler than with any free plugin. It also doesn't let you store backups for more than 30 days and can cost a lot for Multisite users with large networks. Like VaultPress it stores your data on its own servers and you access it via their website, but it doesn't offer the same peace of mind as a provider as well known and trusted as Automattic.


BackWPUp

backwpup

WPMU DEV Rating

2.55/5

The Good

  • Automatic backup scheduling
  • Support for free and premium users via forum
  • Supports Multisite
  • Free version available
  • Multiple storage options available with the premium version

The Bad

  • Backing up files didn't work when I tested it – only the database was backed up
  • Restores and migrations have to be done manually using phpMyAdmin
  • No monthly payment option
  • Online documentation isn't very clearly worded

Ratings

  • Support: 4/5
  • Storage Options: 4/5
  • Flexibility: 1/5
  • Ease of Restoration: 1/5
  • Ease of Migration: 1/5
  • Price & Plans: 4/5
  • Multisite: 3/5
  • Overall: 2.55/5

The Bottom Line

BackUpWP is a "freemium" plugin in that there is a free version (BackWPUp Free) available in the WordPress plugin repository and a premium version (BackWPUp Pro) which you can download from their website. Both of these have the same basic features for backups, restores and migrations with the premium version supporting more third party storage services and including wizards for testing. However, when I tested the free version, it only backed up my database and not my files, which was a serious shortcoming. The process for restoring and migrating a site is also too complicated for a premium plugin, with users having to do these manually.


BackUpWordPress

backupwordpress

WPMU DEV Rating

3.65/5

The Good

  • Flexible backup options – choose what to back up and when
  • Range of third party storage options with premium version including FTP/SFTP, Dropbox, Googe Drive, Amazon S3, Dreamhost Dream Objects, Rackspace Cloud and Microsoft Azure
  • Free version available
  • Email support for free and premium users (with priority given to premium users)
  • Backups managed via WordPress admin
  • Online documentation – above average for free plugins, not as comprehensive as for some other premium plugins
  • Multisite Support

The Bad

  • Restore and migration has to be done manually via FTP and phpMyAdmin
  • Plans just for single site or unlimited sites, with nothing in between

Ratings

  • Support: 4/5
  • Storage Options: 5/5
  • Flexibility: 5/5
  • Ease of Restoration: 1/5
  • Ease of Migration: 1/5
  • Price & Plans: 4.5/5
  • Multisite: 5/5
  • Overall: 3.65/5

The Bottom Line

BackWordPressUp is another freemium plugin, with the same basic functionality available in the free and premium versions. By buying the premium version you have access to more storage options as well as priority support. Like the other freemium plugins reviewed here it doesn't offer one-click restore or migration so it's not suitable for novice users, but it is more reliable than BackWPUp so if you're looking for a free plugin, this is the one I'd recommend.


Overall – Backup Plugins Compared

Support

  • Snapshot: 5/5
  • VaultPress: 5/5
  • ManageWP: 5/5
  • BackupBuddy: 4/5
  • BlogVault: 4/5
  • BackWPUp: 4/5
  • BackUpWordPress: 4/5

Storage Options

  • Snapshot: 4.5/5
  • VaultPress: 2/5
  • ManageWP: 5/5
  • BackupBuddy: 5/5
  • BlogVault: 3/5
  • BackWPUp: 4/5
  • BackUpWordPress: 5/5

Flexibility

  • Snapshot: 5/5
  • VaultPress: 2/5
  • ManageWP: 5/5
  • BackupBuddy: 4/5
  • BlogVault: 1.5/5
  • BackWPUp: 1/5
  • BackUpWordPress: 5/5

Ease of Restoration

  • Snapshot: 5/5
  • VaultPress: 5/5
  • ManageWP: 4/5
  • BackupBuddy: 3/5
  • BlogVault: 1/5
  • BackWPUp: 1/5
  • BackUpWordPress: 1/5

Ease of Migration

  • Snapshot: 5/5
  • VaultPress: 5/5
  • ManageWP: 1/5
  • BackupBuddy: 3/5
  • BlogVault: 1/5
  • BackWPUp: 1/5
  • BackUpWordPress: 1/5

Price & Plans

  • Snapshot: 3.5/5
  • VaultPress: 4/5
  • ManageWP: 5/5
  • BackupBuddy: 3/5
  • BlogVault: 3/5
  • BackWPUp: 4/5
  • BackUpWordPress: 4.5/5

Overall

  • Snapshot: 4.65/5
  • VaultPress: 3.85/5
  • ManageWP: 4.15/5
  • BackupBuddy: 3.65/5
  • BlogVault: 2.25/5
  • BackWPUp: 2.5/5
  • BackUpWordPress: 3.4/5

Summary

Of all the plugins I’ve reviewed here, Snapshot is the one which comes the closest to meeting all of my criteria – in fact, it meets all of the criteria except for price, as it is expensive if you don’t want access to all of WPMU DEV’s other plugins and themes. However, I believe that secure, reliable and user-friendly backups are worth every penny you spend on them so I think that it’s worth the money.

If your budget is tight, however, and you decide to go for the free version of a freemium plugin, I would certainly recommend the BackUpWordPress plugin. Like all free plugins it requires you to restore or migrate your site manually, but it’s far more reliable than the BackWPUp and has better documentation.

It’s worth considering which plugins will work best for different WordPress setups:

  • If you’re running Multisite, Snapshot is the only plugin which will include all of the sites in your network for no extra fee and let you make one-click restores.
  • If you’re running a single site installation and prefer not to set up backups yourself but have it all done for you, then VaultPress will meet your needs.
  • If you’re running single site and want your data stored where you want it but prefer using the plugin’s website to manage your backups, then ManageWP could be for you.
  • If you want to manage your single site backups from the WordPress admin and have easy options for restoring your site, then I’d recommend Snapshot.
  • If you don’t want to spend any money and are comfortable restoring your site manually, then I’d recommend BackUpWordPress, which gives you the option to start out with the free version and upgrade if you want more flexibility later.

What do you use to backup your WordPress website? Let us know your favorite backup solution in the comments below.

21 Responses

    matt_may

    Very informative article with a brilliant breakdown of each backup plugin – especially the comparison at the end.

    However, I’m quite a big fan of a backup plugin that hasn’t been featured here and that’s UpdraftPlus. Are you familiar with this particular plugin? And if so, how do you rate it compared to the others mentioned here.

    Again, fantastic post!

    HunterGatherer

    Not too bad an evaluation from the sellers of Snapshot.

    BTW: Been using Snapshot for a few years with no issues, as an annual WPMUDEV member.

    Matt

    “Not all of the plugins I’ve reviewed here meet all of those criteria, but what I’ve listed above is what the ideal plugin will boast. So let’s take a look at some plugins”

    UpDraft Plus does all of this in an extremely easy to setup manner, with the exception that they (rightfully so) provide multi-site and site migration options in a one-time paid version.

    As a geeky side note, I successfully run WordPress on a server with NGINX + HHVM + CRONTAB running my wp-cron jobs and have had ZERO issues or errors with UpDraft Plus – which says a LOT for a freemium plugin that stays on the cutting edge.

    DavidAnderson

    As the lead developer, I’d have loved to have seen UpdraftPlus included in this comparison. It’s currently the most downloaded and installed of all WordPress backup plugins, and was downloaded more times in 2014 than any other (stats from the wordpress.org stats pages).

    David Anderson

    Kathy

    I, too am a huge fan of Updraft. I’d like to know from Rachel why this plugin wasn’t included. With 1.6mil downloads, it surely deserved to be included.

    Kathy Porter

    Matt

    Ok, I’ve been holding this back too long. Pull this post if you must, but this directly affects me as a paid subscriber to WPMUDEV so I have the right to say it …

    With absolutely zero offense to Rachel and the rest of the talented writing staff, I have to question the true intent of this and many other reviews that pit WPMU products up against weak and/or affiliate competition.

    I honestly wouldn’t have cared on this particular article until I realized that each time I refresh or revisit the page I’m struck with a pretty annoying slide-out box pushing WPMU’s Snapshot backup program while on the other side of the coin, an apparently highly commented on plugin that meets all of the criteria mentioned in the opening statement was completely overlooked, and no attempt at an apology or an update to the article has been made by staff.

    As a subscriber to WPMU’s entire product line, I would gladly provide you with a less contrived form of marketing called word of mouth if the Snapshot product had actually worked on either attempt I made to use it.

    Same goes with the “Smush-It and check back next week” plugin that you guys took over when it failed under Yahoo’s management.

    Here’s the deal guys, please fine tune and modernize the plugins that made you famous because a lot of them have gotten dusty from neglect over the last few years and I, for one, don’t appreciate paying over $200 for an overly-hyped set of products that can’t, don’t and probably won’t ever live up to the imaginative marketing you’ve created for them.

    Sorry for venting on your article, Rachel, but this isn’t about you – it’s about the underlying neglect of the products that you’re most likely encouraged to squeeze oil from while the developers sit on their thumbs.

    Happy New Year and best of luck fixing this before it’s too late! ;)

      Timothy Bowers

      Hey there Matt,

      I’m not involved in the writing process, or the research that writers do, however on this occasion every solution possible was not included. Rachel does express in her article “As with all reviews, there is going to be an element of subjectivity in this post and my reviews will reflect my experience of researching or testing these plugins.”. And Rae then added that she’ll add it to the list “for inclusion in a future follow up post.”

      There are other plugins like Duplicator, that wasn’t included either and is just over a million downloads:

      https://wordpress.org/plugins/duplicator/

      I’m not sure if you’ve ever developed a product, or code before, but if you have then I’m sure you can appreciate how long it can take design, code up, test, fix, code, test, fix, code, test, fix, etc. Sometimes you even need to redesign and develop chunks that don’t work so well, that can add days, weeks, or sometimes months to the development time.

      UpFront, our new theme framework was released as a beta in the forums before Christmas. This is to replace our older themes, and it’s been in development for over two years now I believe. We had a pretty big team working on it too, this was because our members wanted new updated themes.

      MarketPress 3 has been in development for around year or so, and is about to drop. We’re just improving some UI/UX stuff first. It also received a number of releases last year with various improvements developed alongside the forthcoming one.

      The System System received it’s front end integration members asked for, and Pro Sites integration too.

      New Blog Templates received various enhancements included the member requested integration with Gravity Forms.

      Appointments Plus received a fair few new extras.

      PopUp Pro had a makeover, and a ton of improvements.

      Sidebars received a Pro version, and a new interface.

      Most plugins received various updates, they were not neglected and to claim so is a little unfair to those hardworking developers that keep putting in hour after hour to develop and bring you theses products.

      If you wish to continue this discussion further, please contact us here:

      http://premium.wpmudev.org/contact/

      Happy new year!

    Rachel McCollin

    Thanks for the comments, everyone. As I always make clear at the beginning of all my posts, it’s impossible for me to review every plugin or theme out there, so there will always be some people whose favourite is missed out. It’s just the way it has to be with reviews!

    jean_p_

    One thing I’d like to add is the plugin called Duplicator. The whole process from making backup packages to restoring is pretty easy. While there aren’t options to store or backup to other sites like S3 or Dropbox, they are stored on your server or you can download them to your machine.

    Oh and it’s a FREE plugin!

    Atlas

    We use Snapshot on a multisite install, and my only complaint about it is that each site has to be set up individually – there is no universal setting for backup. Having to set up each site is time consuming and somehow not particularly in the spirit of multisite in my mind.

    With that said, Snapshot, as a plugin, is a great. When you compare the cost to VaultPress for multisite install, it’s even better. I have tried a couple others on the list and am not enamored of any of them.

    One of our priority focus for this quarter is to find a backup system that is more multisite friendly, both in setup and pricing. I’ve never heard of Updraft, but I’ll have a look at it after reading this.

    I did not think that Snapshot was designed for migration, though? I believe I read in a support thread either here or on wp org that it was not being sold as such. What’s the scoop?

      Timothy Bowers

      We agree, it’s annoying not being able to backup the whole multisite in one go. It’s the topic of ongoing discussions internally and something we’re look at for the future.

      An option to hit a button and it stagger the backups to avoid too much resource usage would be cool.

      Snapshot does have options for migration in there. It’s classed as a beta feature, but it’s there. :)

    Nemanja

    Nemanja from ManageWP here – thanks for the informative comparison, Rachel; you’ve done a bang up job of covering the strengths and weaknesses of our service.

    I just have to point one solitary error – our cloning/migration tool only needs cPanel and FTP if you’re cloning/migrating to a blank location, i.e. with no WordPress installation present.

    If there is a WordPress installation on the destination, then it’s just three clicks to migrate:
    1. Pick a source site
    2. Pick a destination site
    3. Start the cloning

    Let me know if you need a ManageWP account to confirm this, I’d be happy to help :)

    James Wolfensberger

    Checking out UpdraftPlus immediately. This is what I love about the WordPress community… often the discussion is as valuable as the post.

    Snapshot has a lot of strengths. I also use BackupBuddy for some clients, and it has to do with nuances between the two products. Mainly, BackupBuddy integrates with the iThemes Sync product and provides a dashboard for monitoring multiple sites, comparable to WPManage as an example. Meanwhile, Snapshot lacks what is a critical feature for my firm: email notifications – otherwise, I love it. I realize notifications could likely be custom coded, but that doesn’t make sense for a premium backup plugin. Notifications are a basic feature for a premium backup plugin.

    Meanwhile, top-shelf shared hosting and certainly any managed VPS should offer solid backup/recovery options as well for your file structure and database; it’s just a matter of understanding how they can be automated with notifications, which is almost always do-able. A WordPress admin uncertain of their server-level backup/recovery options can contact their host for assistance – some even go so far as to just set it up for you and then you’ll receive notifications of success and failure.

    For any new administrators… please, please… test backup and recovery procedures on a clone or test version of your site. It’s essential disaster preparedness to know that the recovery procedures work in *your* WP environment properly, not just an essentially blank TwentyFifteen install with the Dolly plugin :)

    rebeca_castillo_melgar

    They are so good but I use an unknown plugin called WordPressA Security Plugin because it is the only one I know for prevent attacks. It works telling you which of the other plugins you have are vulnerable. Thanks to it, I can update or patching it and take my WordPress safe XD.