Regularly backing up your website is one of the most important things you can do to guard against losing all your data. After all, no one plans to be hacked or for their server to crash.
Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent, not to mention free, WordPress plugins available that will back up your posts, pages, product descriptions, and whatever else you have on your site.
First, we’ll look at the pros and cons of using free backup plugins, then we’ll provide you with a list of key features to be looking for when searching for the best backup solution. Finally, we’ll close with a list of the 11 best free backup plugins we could find.
Premium vs. Free Plugins
Although many backup plugins are free, there are some with extended features, like off-site cloud storage, that cost money. Before we look at the free ones, it’s worth considering the pros and cons of both types.
The biggest – and most noticeable – benefit of a free plugin is, of course, the price (or lack thereof). However, it’s always best to remember the phrase: “You get what you pay for.”
Premium plugins like Snapshot Pro typically offer a better support program. If something doesn’t seem to be working as it should, you can contact support and get the issue resolved. Support from companies that price their backup service on a monthly basis is usually very good at responding to your questions because they don’t want to lose you as a customer.
If you want to try a premium backup plugin, download Snapshot Pro – absolutely free! Plus, you’ll get 24/7 support and access to all of our premium plugins and services for 7 days.
That said, the free backup options are rated by other users. In some cases, they’ve been downloaded and installed by hundreds of thousands of fellow WordPressers. That should give you some peace of mind knowing that other people have gone on before you and found that the plugin was, at the very least, satisfactory.
When would you pick a free backup plugin over a premium backup plugin? Typically when your budget constraints demand that you do so. If you simply don’t have the money for a professional backup service, then your best (and only!) option is to go with a free solution.
Key Backup Plugin Features
When scoping out your backup plugin options, there are a few features that all backup plugins should come with:
- Automation. To be honest, there’s little point going for a backup plugin if it’s not automated; you may as well conduct the backup manually every time.
- Ease of use. Depending on how tech-savvy you are, the easier it is to restore from a backup, the better.
- The ability to backup your entire site. You don’t just want your database, but also all of your media files, themes, etc. A backup that only restores part of your site leaves you with a lot of work to do.
- Support. If you suddenly encounter a problem when restoring your backup, you need to have a resource to turn to. Whether it’s a well-stocked FAQ (a good start) or dedicated support (now we’re talking) – check that help is at hand.
With the above said, let’s take a look at those aforementioned free WordPress backup plugins!
UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration is one of the most popular free backup plugins available for WordPress. With more than two million installs and an extraordinarily favorable 4.8 (out of a possible five) star rating as of this writing, it should definitely make your shortlist.
You can use Updraft to back up your files to the cloud via Amazon S3, as well as other popular online file storage solutions including Google Drive, Dropbox, Rackspace Cloud, and DreamObjects. You can also back up your files to the server of your choice with an FTP transfer. You can also use this plugin to restore backups and set up automatic backup schedules.
UpdraftPlus is also offered as a premium version. This gives you a gigabyte of backup storage on the Updraft Vault, additional backup options (including Microsoft OneDrive, SCP, WebDAV, and OpenStack Swift), secure FTP, the ability to clone databases, automatic backup when updating WordPress themes, and the ability to send backups to remote destinations. The premium version costs between $70 and $195 plus yearly renewals, depending on how many sites you plan to install the plugin on.
Duplicator is a backup solution that not only backs up your data but also duplicates your entire WordPress site. As you can imagine, it is a powerful backup solution. Maybe that’s why the plugin has been installed more than one million times and currently enjoys a 4.9 star rating.
This plugin gives you the opportunity to migrate, copy, or clone your entire site from one location to another with zero downtime, which is a great solution if you’re looking for complete redundancy in the event that you need a failover option if your primary site goes down.
This plugin also has a PRO version that supports scheduled backups and multisite installations.
As a disclaimer, the author advises that the plugin requires above-average technical knowledge. So, if you’re someone who is unskilled in software configuration, you’ll need to delegate the administration of this plugin to a professional. This will cost money (unless you’re friends with a tame WordPress developer).
The appropriately named BackUpWordPress is another excellent option if you’re looking for a free WordPress backup system. It’s been installed more than 200,000 times as of this writing, offers support for multiple languages, and enjoys a 4.7 (out of a possible 5) star rating.
Be advised, though: This plugin requires PHP version 5.3.2 or later. It’s not too likely that your WordPress installation is using an old version of PHP, but you’ll want to ensure that your version is compliant with this plugin before you install it.
BackUpWordPress will back up your entire site, including your files and your database, at a schedule that suits your needs. It requires no setup and works on low memory – an excellent advantage if you’re operating in a shared host environment.
The plugin also gives you the option to use zip and mysqldump for faster backups. This can be a significant benefit if time is of the essence.
Keep in mind that as of this writing, the plugin has changed ownership and paid add-ons (e.g. for backups to Dropbox, Google Drive, and multiple locations) are no longer being offered. Also, the plugin stores all backups on your server, including all files on your root directory and your database, so your backup directory can get quite large.
BackWPup is a very popular solution with more than 600,000 installations. Although not as highly-rated as some of the other plugins with a 4.4-star rating as of this writing, it’s definitely still a plugin worth considering if you’re looking for free WordPress backup solutions.
The plugin gives you the option to use an external backup service such as Dropbox or S3. It also allows you to FTP the backup files to the server of your choice.
BackWPup is free. However, there is a premium version that’s offered with support. The premium version also supports backups to Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud, SugarSync, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Glacier.
BackWPup also gives you the option to optimize, check, and repair your database. That’s a feature that isn’t advertised with many other solutions.
Consider BlogVault if you’re looking for a free solution that offers automated daily backups of your WordPress site. It has 50,000+ installations as of this writing with a 4.1-star rating.
This plugin offers an automated backup solution directly to Dropbox if that’s your tool of choice for online file storage. However, blogVault requires some setup, though the documentation claims that the setup is “easy” and that it will require a minimal investment of your time.
This plugin also boasts that it doesn’t use any local storage for backups. Instead, all storage is handled offsite, ensuring that the resources for your WordPress blog aren’t consumed with costly backups.
The blogVault solution also offers incremental backups for huge websites. Nice touch.
If you’re looking for a solution that only backs up your database but not your files, then have a look at WP Database Backup. As of this writing, this plugin has been installed 70,000+ times and has a user star-rating of 4.6 out of 5.
This plugin boasts that you can create backups with just a single click. It offers auto backups on a repeating schedule, backup file downloads from your WordPress dashboard, and support for Dropbox, FTP, Google Drive, Amazon S3, and even email. This tool also requires minimal configuration. It’s simple, but it gets the job done.
XCloner is a solution that not only works for WordPress but also works for Joomla!, if you’re interested in that kind of thing (traitor!).
The plugin will back up and restore both your files and database and uses open source technologies, such as TAR, to back up your important content. You can rest assured that your redundancy is handled with prevailing, popular standards. XCloner has been downloaded more than 40,000 times and has a 4.2-star rating.
WPBackItUp Backup and Restore plugin for WordPress has been around since 2012.
According to its developers, the plugin will generate a compressed backup of your entire website regardless of how large your site is and deliver you a backup file that can be quickly and easily downloaded right from your WordPress dashboard.
The plugin requires no access to FTP or cPanel and no knowledge of MySQL or phpMyAdmin. Some of its features include unlimited backups, backup cancellation, status email notifications, and professional support. The premium version allows you to perform one-click restores, set up automated backup schedules, import backups from your WordPress dashboard, site migration and cloning, and priority support. You can use their WPBackItUp Safe extension to store your backups offsite.
The WPBackItUp backup plugin has over 20,000+ active installations and enjoys a 4.6-star rating from the user community.
Keep Backup Daily is a plugin created by a PHP WordPress developer to keep a regular check on WordPress database plugin usage and user activity and for debugging purposes.
The plugin’s backup cron schedule can be run from the developer’s site or you can run it on your own. Although the plugin is called Keep Backup Daily, you can schedule it to also run weekly, monthly, or yearly, and have it emailed to you, or just download it inside WordPress. You can also choose to maintain a log of your backups with date and time.
This is a lightweight and easy to use plugin with 1,000+ active installations and a 4.5-star rating.
WP Time Capsule works a little differently than most other backup plugins for WordPress. Your files and database are stored in your cloud storage app – Amazon S3, Wasabi, Dropbox, or Google Drive. You can change the backup interval to every 6 hours or 12 hours or daily. The plugin then backs up and restores only your changed files and database to your cloud app, not your entire site.
The cloud apps’ native file versioning system detects changes and maintains file versions to create reliable backups and restores and backups are done in real-time, so you can revert your site if necessary.
You’ll need to sign up for an account with a 30-day full-featured trial on their website.
The plugin automatically performs a backup of your site before each update, so if there are any problems with updates, you can easily restore your site. It also offers encrypted and GDPR-compatible database backups.
Because backup files are performed incrementally and dropped directly into your cloud account without requiring to be compressed and zipped first, this plugin also uses fewer server resources and less disk space, as well as faster restores, which can be performed even if you don’t have access to your site or plugin.
As of this writing, WP Time Capsule has 20,000+ active installations and a 4.1-star rating.
Backup by Supsystic lets you easily backup your WordPress site to FTP, your local drive, and cloud services like DropBox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Amazon S3. The plugin is currently translated into over 10 languages and supports Multisite backups. As of this writing, it has over 1,000+ installations and a 4.1-star rating.
You can perform encrypted and secure backups, view backup logs, manage offsite backups, easy restores (including test restores) and site migrations, incremental and real-time backups, and backup monitoring.
The PRO version of this plugin includes access to features like backup scheduler, website migration, secret key for database backup, and remote FTP, SFTP(SCP), and FTPS server backup.