This is the Best Free WordPress Backup Plugin used by the Experts

BackWPup[Updated August 18, 2014]

Looking for the best free WordPress backup plugin?

Well, look no further.

Out of all the free backup plugins available for WordPress, there’s none as good as BackWPup.

In this article, I’ll show you why BackWPup is the best free WordPress backup plugin. After, I’ll guide you in setting up your automated backups.

Why BackWPup Is the Best Free WordPress Backup Plugin

After using BackWPup for the first time, most users are surprised to learn that it’s a free plugin.

Most free backup plugins don’t have many features. On top of this, many of these free backup plugins aren’t reliable.

But BackWPup offers features and reliability you’d only find in paid backup plugins.

Here are just a few of the features that make BackWPup the best free backup plugin:

  1. Options to back up to many different storage services, including Dropbox and Amazon s3.
  2. You can choose how often backups occur (ie, hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly) and the exact time.
  3. Backup your entire site, including all folders, plugins, themes, and database.
  4. Choose folders to include or exclude (you can even include folders outside of your WordPress install).
  5. One click restores and downloads of all backup files without leaving WordPress.

Now, let me show you how to create your backups with BackWPup.

How To Create Automated Backups with BackWPup

Below is a video tutorial walking you step by step through the process of creating your first backup.

If you prefer text instructions, here’s a quick overview of how to use BackWPup:

  1. After installing BackWPup, go to the left-hand menu in the dashboard, hover over BackWPup, and select “Add New Job”.
  2. You are now on the “General Tab” for your new backup job. Give your job a name. Also select the “Job Destination”. The other options are best left at their default settings.
  3. Click on the “Schedule” tab. Under “Start Job”, select “with WordPress cron”. Then under the scheduler options, select a type of backup (monthly, weekly, daily, or hourly) and a time for it to run.
  4. Click on the “DB Backup” tab. You don’t have to change anything here unless you want to exclude certain database tables from the backup.
  5. Click on the “Files” tab. Here, you can select certain folders to exclude. You can also add folders that are outside of the WordPress install (such as PDFs uploaded to your root directory).
  6. You can skip the plugins tab.
  7. Finally, the last tab will be the settings for where you want to save your backups to. On this tab, you’ll be able to connect services (such as Dropbox or Amazon s3) and edit any other settings (such as what folder to save to)
  8. Once you have saved all changes, go to “Jobs” under the “BackWPup” menu item in the left hand menu. Find your newly created job and click “Run Now” to create your first backup.

After you’ve successfully created your first backup, BackWPup will run automatically. If there are any errors, the admin of the site will receive an email notification.

In the beginning, I recommend checking on the backups every now and then to make sure everything is working correctly. Also check that backups are saved to your storage service.

Go Get BackWPup

To get started, click here to download BackWPup. You can also install it from within WordPress in the Plugin search page.

If you’d like to learn about a paid backup plugin that’s even easier to use than BackWPup, check out our review of VaultPress. VaultPress is what we use at myWPexpert.com and only costs $5 a month.

Comments

  1. Joel says

    Thanks for this easy to follow tutorial and suggestion. As I understand it, if I were to have a complete loss of site (server crashes or infected with malware etc) the backup on amazon would be all I need to re-launch my site?

    Or would I also need to be exporting xml files from within wordpress?

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      You would only need the backup from Amazon. You might need someone to help you with restoring the site, but you won’t need an XML file. Everything is in the backup.

  2. says

    Brandon: I started to use BackWPUp and all was fine and I created a job per your video. I started the job and said 1. try creating a tar. But I told it in the begining to use tar instead of zip. It locked up there and did not proceed. What did I do wrong or need to change?

    thanks

  3. says

    If you use Better WP Security, back up is one of its features. Also it makes your blog secure to other brute force attacks which makes it my #1 plugin, you should check it out. Other are WP Backup and the premium ones like Backup buddy.

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      Hey Mike. Do you know if Better WP Security does an entire site backup, or just a database backup? And does it backup to the server or to an offsite location?

      I like backup buddy as well.

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      Hi Shashank,

      It does indeed backup your images. What this plugin does is backup BOTH your WordPress files and database. That means it takes an exact copy of everything on your site and stores it. If you need to, you’ll have everything you need to restore your site.

  4. says

    This plugin is really great. I also made some recommendations on my blog a few hours ago… I recommended 7 backup plugins but you can see The Reasons One Should Make a Backup Below:

    Top 4 Reasons You Should Always Backup Your Blog

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      Thanks for the comment Antoni, and the link. People should definitely read your post to find out why they should backup their blog.

  5. says

    Thanks so much for this Brandon. I was struggling getting the images more-or-less where I wanted them, but now knowing that I can control this b positioning the cursor is really helpful.

  6. says

    I started the job and said 1. try creating a tar. But I told it in the begining to use tar instead of zip. It locked up there and did not proceed. What did I do wrong or need to change?

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      Hi Sujeet

      I’m having a little difficulty following what you did. If it says trying to create tar, it means you’ve selected tar as the compression method.

      As for the lock, sometimes if the site is too large, your server has problems processing the backup.

  7. says

    Brandon,

    This is a great vid and BackWpUp looks like a solid plugin.

    A lot more functionality to most of the free plugins around, but I’m still partial to my paid plugins especially for things like backups.

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      Hi Adam

      It would seem the paid plugins are better, but I’ve found a lot of the paid ones don’t do any better than the free, especially backup buddy.

  8. says

    As of last update BackWPup does not word well at all and hangs at 65%. I would like to see al web reviews remove this plugin from their top lists until the author fixes it.

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      Hi motti

      I’ve seen this happen and usually depends on the hosting company and the size of the back up. If you have a huge site on a sub par host, the backup will freeze.

  9. says

    I am glad I stumbled upon this useful article. I will definitely give a try to this plugin. What is the limit of one backup in megabytes allowed by BackWPUp? For example, this awesome plugin BackUpWordPress (Downloads: 731,730) I use currently allows up to 75 MB per one backup. This is the downside of this plugin if you have a website greater in megabytes than this limit.

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      Hi. The only limit is your server’s limits. You’ll need to contact your hosting company.

  10. Daivd says

    Great video Brandon, thanks. I notice that you’re using v 2.1.17 of Backwpup. I have heard many recommend staying with that version, even though they have forked v.3 into free and pro.

    do you have any comments on upgrading to v 3.0, and does the Free version cripple any features that 2.1.17 allowed you to do? I’m still on 2.1.17 and wondering if i should upgrad to v.3 free, or just keep it as is.

    Thanks so much!

  11. says

    WP-Clones is my free excellent option, i tried this before , it seems awesome when “cloning” about. You can make an exact copy (no bugs) and restore it in another domain or host. The bad thing, not third party services.

  12. J.D. says

    Hey! I keep getting the error:

    The specified location-constraint is not valid

    I try to re-name my bucket but keep getting the error. What is the problem? Thanks for your help.

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      Hi J.D.

      Ask your question here:

      http://wordpress.org/support/plugin/backwpup

      The plugin author will be able to help you out.

  13. gmadhavi says

    You can store your wordpress backup at ziddu.com, you need to follow below steps
    Step1. Upload the contents of backup-to-ziddu.zip to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory or use WordPress’ built-in plugin install tool
    Step2. Once installed, you can access the plugins settings page under the new Backup menu
    Step3. The first time you access the settings you will be prompted to authorize it with Ziddu

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      Hi Eashwar. Backup Buddy is definitely a great plugin. It isn’t a free plugin though. And BackWPup offers many of the same features as Backup Buddy, but without having to pay for the plugin.

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