Whether you run a blog, online store, service-based business, or personal website, backups are an important piece of infrastructure. They protect your hard work against hackers and mistakes, ensuring that even if something goes wrong, you don’t lose everything.
There are a variety of WordPress backup plugins you can choose from, but we took a moment to compare two popular choices — Jetpack Backup and UpdraftPlus.
Ease of setup and restores
Setting up backups shouldn’t be rocket science and shouldn’t require a developer. Jetpack Backup is activated and your first backup is created automatically as soon as you complete your purchase. The only additional step is to add remote access/server credentials, which makes it easy and quick to restore your site if needed. Jetpack walks you through the process of acquiring those from your hosting provider and is available to help.
UpdraftPlus is also pretty simple to set up, but does involve a little more work. There are a variety of settings to configure — like backup frequency and storage location — and, if you decide to store backups with a third party like Dropbox, you’ll need to integrate your site with that platform.
But what about restoring a backup? The last thing you want is to be scrambling when something goes wrong or your site is down completely. You want a WordPress backup plugin that requires little work to restore and is completely reliable.
With Jetpack Backup, you can restore your website with just one click, even if your site is completely down. There’s no complicated code and no need to access your server or host. All you need to do is visit your activity log — a complete, incremental record of everything that happens on your site — find the backup you want to restore, and click Restore to this point. You can track the progress directly on this page and will receive an email once your site is back up and running.
What if your site goes down when you’re away from your computer? You can also restore a backup from your mobile device using the WordPress app.
Restoring a backup with UpdraftPlus isn’t too difficult if your site is still functioning. Log into your WordPress dashboard, navigate to UpdraftPlus settings, select the files you want to restore — plugins, themes, uploads, etc. — and click Restore. You’ll receive a notification once the restoration is complete.
The tricky part comes when your site doesn’t load or you can’t log into the WordPress dashboard, which can happen for a variety of reasons. In this case, you have two options:
- Completely delete your current WordPress installation (or duplicate it elsewhere), set up a new site, install UpdraftPlus, and restore using the steps above.
- Complete a manual restore. This involves setting up a new WordPress installation, editing core files, uploading backup files to your server via FTP, and importing your database using PHPMyAdmin.
Both of these methods require either technical knowledge or developer help.
You may be considering migrating your WordPress site to a new host. Perhaps you’re looking for more server bandwidth or simply aren’t happy with your current provider.
With Jetpack Backup, there’s no add-on or extension required to migrate your website — you just need to follow some simple steps. Don’t worry about complicated code or server management; everything’s taken care of for you.
In order to migrate your site with UpdraftPlus, you’ll need to purchase the $30 migrator add-on. Then, you’ll need to set up a WordPress installation on your new host, install UpdraftPlus, and import your backup files in order to migrate your website, which can be a trickier process.
Your website backups should be stored:
- Separately from your host. If your server is compromised, your backup files could be too.
- In multiple locations. If something happens to one set of files, you can still restore the other.
Jetpack Backup stores your files redundantly in multiple locations to ensure complete protection. Both backups are completely separate from your server, and storage is included — there’s no need for you to purchase a third-party storage tool like Dropbox or Google Drive.
UpdraftPlus automatically defaults to storing backups on your server, which leaves them at risk if your host is compromised. You can, however, choose to send backups to tools like Google Drive and Dropbox (among others), but an account with enough space to store backup data typically costs $10 or more a month. While you can choose multiple platforms, each one comes with its own costs.
Backup frequency and coverage
The backup frequency you choose should depend on how often you update your site. If you’re a blogger that posts often or an eCommerce store with consistent orders, you’re going to want your files copied more often than someone with a relatively static website.
Jetpack Backup has two options: daily and real-time. Daily backups happen once every 24 hours, while real-time backups happen every single time something changes on your site — a page is published, an order is placed, a plugin is updated, etc. You can use the activity log to keep an eye on things. Then, with real-time backups, restore your files to just before an action took place. So if you know that a plugin update crashed your site, you can restore a backup from right before you performed that update.
UpdraftPlus offers a variety of frequency options, from monthly to every two hours. While this is enough for some websites, if you’re an online store, the orders that take place within those two hours won’t be saved.
Integration with additional security features
Backups are closely related to security. Why? Because, in a lot of cases, backups need to be restored because your website has been compromised. If your WordPress backup plugin integrates with additional security features, you get the best of both worlds.
Jetpack offers an entire suite of security features, including:
- Brute force attack protection
- Downtime monitoring
- Two-factor authentication
- Spam protection
- Malware scanning
The first three features are free with Jetpack Backup. Spam Protection and malware scanning are purchased separately, or together as part of Jetpack Security. If you choose to activate any of those features, they’ll work hand in hand with your backups. This means that you’ll have seamless protection for your site. Let’s say that Jetpack Scan finds something suspicious and sends you an alert. You can view more information, find out exactly when the threat appeared using the activity log, and then restore a backup from right before things went wrong, if needed. It all works perfectly together.
UpdraftPlus, however, solely offers backup solutions. So while it may work with other security plugins, the experience won’t be completely seamless.
Level of support
Support is extra critical when it comes to backing up and restoring your site. Choose a tool that offers help from experts that you can count on.
Since Jetpack also offers the additional security features mentioned above, the support team can handle any issue that might arise on your site. So if a hack causes your site to go down, they can not only help you restore it, they can also help you troubleshoot what went wrong.
“Our support engineers are experienced with all kinds of security incidents. These are the kinds of problems they work on every day. They’re very good with advice and support around any kind of security incident, even if you’re not paying for a security product.” – Steve Seear, Jetpack Code Wrangler, Team Lead.
Jetpack offers both detailed documentation and makes it simple to connect with support to resolve any issues.
UpdraftPlus offers a support forum for the free plugin and a ticketing system for paid customers.
UpdraftPlus does have a free plan, but it doesn’t include the storage fees which can run $10 per month. And it doesn’t include automatic backups. That might be okay for a hobby site, but it’s hard to trust a business to it. As the old adage goes: you get what you pay for.
With all of the great advantages that Jetpack Backup offers, you might be surprised to find out it wins on price as well. Jetpack has introductory pricing that makes it only $4.77/month. And that includes storage. Updraft Plus’ basic plan is $5.83 a month for the first year, but once you add storage, you’re likely paying $10 to $15 per month.
Trust your site to Jetpack Backup
No matter what industry you’re in or what size site you run, Jetpack Backup is the best option for affordable, reliable, hassle-free, easy-to-manage backups. It’s well worth the investment to know that your hard work is completely protected thanks to multiple, off-site backups and a team of WordPress experts who truly want you to succeed.