10 Wordpress Plugins That Keep Your Data Safe
WordPress may be a popular CMS, but its built-in backup isn't ideal. Here are 10 plugins that can help you keep your entire site safe.
Thu, March 14, 2013
Computerworld — WordPress has become the leading blogging platform with good reason -- it's powerful, flexible, reliable and user-friendly. With the help of its comprehensive plugin system, WordPress is also amazingly extendable.
However, even the best application has its weaknesses, and one of the weakest features of a default WordPress installation is backup. The included backup system limits you to exporting posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories and tags. What you don't get are backups of directories, files and databases -- without which, should disaster strike, you won't be able to get your WordPress site back up and running quickly.
Thankfully, there are plenty of plugins available to improve the WordPress backup solution. These range from single-minded database backup to more complete full-site backup.
Because the list of backup plugins is fairly lengthy, I have pared it down to 10 tools that I consider the most useful.
[[For more WordPress tools and information, check out these articles: Choosing an open-source CMS, part 3: Why we use WordPress; Securing WordPress against hacks; 10 essential WordPress plugins and Site builder shootout: Drupal vs. Joomla vs. WordPress.]]
Most of these plugins are easy to install, simple to use and flexible enough to back up your database, your folders/files, your posts/comments/tags or your entire site. Some of these plugins need to be downloaded from a third-party service while others can be installed directly from WordPress.org. Some are free; others need to be paid for.
With that said, let's dig into these plugins and find out which is best suited to meet your needs.
WordPress 2.6 or later Price: $75 (2 licenses), $100 (10 licenses), $150 (unlimited licenses). Licenses include 1 year of support and upgrades.
BackupBuddy isn't quite as user-friendly as the rest of the plugins listed here. Whereas most of the others are almost immediately usable after installation, BackupBuddy requires a bit of care and feeding before you can back up your WordPress site.
Once the plugin is installed, you have to visit the settings page and configure your email recipients, storage limits, database table settings, file and directory exclusions, and compatibility options. In addition, remote locations (such as A3 or Dropbox), backup types, scheduling and more must be taken care of.
This seems like quite a lot to manage. But this is the most costly plugin on the list, so it should come as no surprise that it has an extensive feature set, which gives BackupBuddy more options and more flexibility. That -- along with an included 512MB of online storage space, the ability to back up everything on your site and the inclusion of a malware scan -- easily justifies the price for people who value those features. On top of that, BackupBuddy offers a quick at-a-glance information page that offers a good deal of information regarding your server, database, files and tools.