Back up your website: 10 WordPress plugins that keep your data safe

If WordPress' default backup system doesn't suit, here are 10 plugins that can help.

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BlogVault

BlogVault

Requires: WordPress 2.8 or later

Price: $9/month (1 site); $19/month (up to 3 sites); $39/month (up to 7 sites)

A proprietary service that can fully automate your WordPress backup solution, BlogVault will appeal to WordPress power users who don't want to be concerned with anything but the content of their site.

BlogVault
BlogVault

This plugin offers a test restore feature, which can serve as a simple sandbox solution to ensure a full-site restore succeeds. The test restore works by running a complete restore on the BlogVault test servers, so you can validate the restore before moving forward with your own site -- and you won't have to second-guess if a site will return to production state or fail.

In order to install the plugin, you must first sign up for either a free trial or a full-blown account, at which point you will be given a download link. Once the plugin is installed on your site, BlogVault begins the syncing process.

Until the site actually starts backing up, you will not see anything on your BlogVault dashboard; but once the sync begins, all of the BlogVault tools become available. With the plugin up and running, you are able to not only manage your backups, but your account as well.

Once the initial sync completes, BlogVault will monitor the site and continually back it up. But what really sets BlogVault apart from other backup tools are its restore features. Not only can you test a restore, you can easily set up an auto-restore or migrate your site to a different location.

BlogVault also allows you to upload a backup to Dropbox; a feature that can be found by clicking the History link (in your BlogVault dashboard) and then clicking Upload to Dropbox. Although BlogVault already does automatic off-site backups, it's still nice to have a copy of a backup located in your own personal cloud.

Complete Central Backup

justingreerbbi and blackbirdinteractive

Requires: WordPress 3.4.2 or later

Price: Free

Complete Central Backup is one of the fastest ways to back up your WordPress database from within your WordPress dashboard. Once installed, with a single click you can have a downloadable backup of your WordPress database. Although the plugin doesn't have the most intuitive layout, it only takes a moment to hover the cursor over its Action icons and then click to restore, delete or download a database.

Complete Central Backup
Complete Central Backup

Though Complete Central Backup doesn't include a wealth of features, it does contain the ability to easily set up weekly database backups as well as send automatic emails to the site administrator of backup success, failure or change.

Currently, a weekly backup is the only scheduling option available. A more granular backup schedule is in the works, as well as the ability to browse your backups and back up off-site. According to the vendor, once the new features are considered stable, they will be added to the plugin in the standard repository.

If you're looking for one of the simpler ways to back up your WordPress database, this might be it. I found Complete Central Backup to offer one of the cleanest, easiest-to-use dashboards I've seen; it can be used by people with nearly any level of experience.

One word of warning, though: When running the restore via the dashboard, the site can wind up back at the installation screen. This happened to me during one of three restore attempts. I recommend testing the restore of the database on a non-production server first. If you do not have access to a non-production server, you can always do the restore through a tool like phpMyAdmin.

MyRepono

ionix

Requires: WordPress 2.8 or later

Price: Variable; starts at 2 cents per 1GB per day plus 20 cents per 1GB transferred

If you're looking for a "set it and forget it" backup solution, MyRepono should be one of the first on your list. MyRepono is a paid service that offers remote automated WordPress site backups for nearly every aspect of your site (minus the WordPress core).

MyRepono
MyRepono

The backups are automatically encrypted on the MyRepono servers. If you need stronger security, you can opt to enable Rijndael 256-bit encryption, but only if your WordPress hosting server supports the mcrypt library/extension.

To set up your backup, you just create a MyRepono account, upload and install the plugin, and connect the plugin to your account by clicking the Connect Plugin button from within the MyRepono settings windows of your WordPress site. You then enter your account credentials (in the popup window) and click Connect.

With the plugin connected, you can begin to configure what you want to back up, choose the frequency of backups, configure the database information and even create specific profiles for different backup jobs (a handy feature for anyone who might want to set up different types of backups with varying schedules).

The MyRepono plugin pricing is a bit different than most other off-site backup services. Here's how it works: You pay into a balance (minimum of $5 USD); as you use the service, charges are deducted from your account (based on your usage). When the account balance is zero, you top off your account with more funds.

Cost starts at roughly 2 cents per day per 1GB for storage and 20 cents per 1GB of data transferred. (MyRepono has a chart that offers cost estimates.) New users get a $5 credit.

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