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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Online Backup for WordPress

BackupTechnology and Online Backup

Requires: WordPress 2.8.6 or later

Price: Free

This is an outstanding plugin that features nearly everything you need for full-blown, time saving, disaster-recovery WordPress backup. Along with a solid feature set, Online Backup for WordPress comes with free online storage (up to 100MB) as well as a friendly, monitored support forum.

Online Backup for WordPress
Online Backup for WordPress

Even better, Online Backup for WordPress offers encryption, and that alone makes it worth an extended look. If you're concerned about the sensitivity of your data, or simply want to prevent anyone from snagging your bread and butter, the ability to encrypt those backups will be a big draw.

The encryption is not set by default, but fortunately is easy to configure. From within the General Settings tab you select the encryption type and then set an encryption key. (Make sure you document the key -- should you forget it, your backups cannot be recovered.)

Once installed, Online Backup for WordPress can be managed by going to Tools > Online Backup. You will need to walk through a few simple tabs in order to get your backup configured. One nice addition lies in the Overview tab, where you are presented with a configuration checklist. This list will outline exactly what you have left to set up so your backup will successfully run.

UpdraftPlus Backup

David Anderson

Requires: WordPress 3.2 or later

Price: Free; premium add-ons available

UpdraftPlus helps to make backing up your WordPress site simple. With just a few clicks, your content and databases can be backed up to a cloud service (Amazon S3, Dropbox or Google Drive) as well as to FTP and email.

UpdraftPlus Backup
UpdraftPlus Backup

This particular plugin supports backing up of plugins, themes, uploads and any other content found within the wp-content folder. UpdraftPlus allows you to back up files and databases on separate schedules, and failed uploads are automatically either resumed or retried. There is also a simple exclude feature that enables you to configure the exclusion of directories or files.

UpdraftPlus not only offers a one-click restore, it offers backup encryption, so you can rest assured your content is safe from prying eyes. Unlike Online Backup for WordPress, UpdraftPlus does not allow you to choose the encryption type (it uses Rijndael ); however, you do have to set the encryption phrase.

The default plugin is free. You can purchase a variety of add-ons that remove ads ($10), offer support for multiple sites ($25), give you access to user support ($25) or let you schedule backups ($10). The Premium package offers all of these for $55.

The only limitation to UpdraftPlus is that it does not back up the WordPress core. This means you will need to re-install WordPress should something catastrophic happen. But once you have the core installed, you can then restore your WordPress site with one simple click.

VaultPress

Automattic

Requires: WordPress 2.9.2 or later

Price: Starts at $15/month

This is a proprietary service (plans start at $15 per month ) that allows you to back up your WordPress content in real time -- so should your site crash and burn, you always have an up-to-date restore at your fingertips -- a crucial feature for sites that update regularly and often.

VaultPress
VaultPress

VaultPress features a dashboard that gives you instant access to a real-time view of the status of your backup. For Premium Subscribers (who pay $40/month), VaultPress also regularly scans the site for suspicious code. Should any malicious or suspect code be found within a WordPress site, the administrator will be notified.

During the testing, VaultPress did notify me of a piece of suspect code -- the Xcloner.php code left over from XCloner (another WordPress plugin I tested for this article), which contained the php.system.globals pattern often used in malicious shell scripts. Because I knew the code was safe, I could click the Ignore Warning button. Had I been unsure, it would be necessary to manually examine the code -- or take advantage of VaultPress' Concierge service, which is available with the VaultPress Premium and Enterprise plans and provides security and backup specialists who can help with initial setup, backups, restoration of data or security issues.

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