4 WordPress Back-up Plug-ins to back-up your entire site

I was recently talking to a new client whose WordPress installation needed updating. When I mentioned his database needed backing up first, he wasn’t sure how or where to do it or even if his web host provided a way to back up the entire site (something I recommend to anyone who uploads images, videos and other media files).
As many of my clients’ hosted websites use CPanel and back-ups can be done very easily from there, I’ve had no need to install WordPress back-up plug-ins, although of course, I knew they existed, so I offered to look into it for him. I thought I’d share the information here.

Why you should back up  your entire WordPress website

It’s very important to back up your database before updating to a new version of WordPress. I also like to back up the database before installing or updating plug-ins. Of course, if you write articles on your blog regularly (daily, weekly), you should be backing up your database regularly too. You never know when you might lose your data and need to re-import it. There are many WordPress plug-ins available for you to do this, and if you have a self-hosted website, your web host provider should also provide a means to back-up your data (MyPHPAdmin, for example).
However, if you add a lot of images, video or other media files, then you should be doing full (site-wide) back-ups and saving a copy offline or in the cloud or both. You never know when your whole site may need restoring, or when you may need to move your site to a new location.
Below are just a few WordPress back-up tools that I found that will back up your entire site not just the database. These plug-ins will create a compressed copy of all your website files including photos, video, PDFs and other media that you added to your WordPress website or blog.
Each are different in their own way, i.e. one is paid, one saves the back-up to DropBox, one works with CPanel (self-hosted websites) only, and one saves your back-ups to random servers. Most can be scheduled and/or with one-click you can create an immediate back-up. If I come across any more, I will update the list later.
Please note: I do NOT endorse any of the following plug-ins and have never used them as I do all my back-ups and those of my clients manually through CPanel.

Backup Buddy

I read a review that said this is one of the best back-up plug-ins for WordPress. However, it is not available for free and therefore not available directly from WordPress.org. This plug-in backs up everything on your site not just the database.
To purchase it visit http://pluginbuddy.com/purchase/backupbuddy/
You will need to purchase and download the zip folder, and then install via WordPress plug-in uploader.

  • Log in to your admin dashboard
  • Go to Plug-ins and click Add New
  • Click the “Upload” link
  • Browse to the zip folder you just downloaded and click “install now”.
  • Once installed click the “Activate plugin” link.
  • From there, navigate to the plug-in and follow the instructions that came with the installation.

Free back-up tools (available via WordPress.org)

To find and install free back-up tools from WordPress.org follow these instructions:

  • Log in to your admin dashboard
  • Go to Plug-ins and click Add New
  • Type the search term “WordPress backup” in the search box
  • From the list of available plug-ins, click the details link of each plug-in
  • Check the plug-in meets your needs
  • Ensure it is compatible with your version of WordPress, has a 3-5 star-rating and good reviews
  • If you are satisfied that it meets your needs, is compatible and has a good star-rating and review, click the “Install” link
  • Once installed, click the “Activate Plug-in” link
  • From there, navigate to the plug-in and follow the instructions that came with the installation

Here are a 3 free plug-ins that back up the entire site.

WordPress Backup to Dropbox

Available for free – backs up both your database and files to a DropBox folder (stored in the cloud). Useful if you have Dropbox installed on more than one computer as you can pick up the database file when you’re on the go. You can also put a copy on your computer. (Be careful not to drag and drop to your C-drive – it will remove the file from your Dropbox folder.)

Backupper: WordPress Backup Plugin

For a hosted WordPress website, if you have CPanel, you can time your back-ups (daily, weekly, monthly) as well as do instant back-ups and this plug-in backs up your entire site. It sends a compressed file to your FTP account. Great for if you are a daily blogger.

WP Complete Backup

Complete backup to randomized storage locations with automatic backup and restore tool. To date, has not been tested on WordPress above version 3.2.1. You may need to wait till it has been updated.

Know of any more back up plug-ins?

If you find another WordPress plug-in that backs up the entire site or use one that you can recommend, why not leave a comment below to let me know and I will add it to the above list to share with everyone else.