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10 WordPress Backup Tools to Protect Your Blog and Site

“I lost all my data.”  That phrase strikes fear into every business owner’s heart. One reason: we feel one another’s pain when such an event occurs. Another reason: many of us fail to back up our data regularly, even though we know we should!

It’s even worse when you lose the data on your website or blog – because it’s obvious to the whole world and it affects your credibility.  Since there are so many small business owners using WordPress as their main websites, we thought it would be prudent to cover some tools that protect your WordPress content and data.  Depending on your Web host or server configuration, you may already have a process for daily or frequent backups, but I would suggest testing them to make sure they are covering all the important parts of the WordPress structure.

We’ve updated this article since I first wrote it to reflect some suggestions from readers (thank you!).

There are roughly two different types of backup tools.

First, there are “comprehensive” backup services designed specifically for WordPress sites.  These require some kind of payment – either a one-time license or a small monthly fee.  The advantage of the paid backup services is that they tend to be more comprehensive, arguably more secure, and some of them offer support via email and/or phone – critical if you’re a non-techie.

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Then there are free plugins that you install with your WordPress installation. However, if you have questions or need support you probably will find yourself searching through online forums for answers, or paying an hourly rate to a tech person to help you with the plugin.

Almost all of these have to be loaded into WordPress from within WordPress. Go to the Plugins section in the WordPress Dashboard and select Add New, then type the term “backup.”  You will get 15 pages of results with the word backup in them. I did a short screencast tutorial to cover the basics [6]. Each of these plugins does largely the same thing, so the descriptions on each will be short. There are dozens of backup tools that work with WordPress; the ones highlighted here were highly rated or had tons of downloads (implying that users liked or trusted the plugin application).

Let us know in the comments what tools or services you are using to back up and protect your WordPress (or website) data.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are a solo business owner with no tech support, I recommend creating a second site to test on.  Many people call this a sandbox. It is often a subdomain of your main site, within your Web hosting server, but since it is a separate testing site you can mess it up and not worry.  In this sandbox site, I would load up a few posts, a few pages and some images, and then try out these plugins.  Then, if it doesn’t work as expected, you can simply repair the sandbox site or start another one. Or try a solution like Blogvault [2] (see our review [13]) that allows you to do a test restore and offers customer service. The small monthly fee you pay would be worth it for those who are not confident in their technical skills.