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5 Key Features to Consider When Choosing a WordPress Backup Plugin

Are you looking for a backup plugin for your WordPress site? If yes, that’s great. Performing a regular backup is highly recommended. It’s one of the essential things in website maintenance. In the WordPress ecosystem, you can use a plugin to ease your job in backing up your website regularly.

Not all WordPress backup plugins have the same features. Some might don’t work the way you expected once you installed it. The key concept of backing up a WordPress site is technically easy: you make a copy of your WordPress database as well as the files under the installation directory (root directory). With a backup plugin, you don’t need to perform the copying process manually. More importantly, you can set a scheduled regular backup to make sure you have a copy of the last version of the database and the WordPress files.

Here are the key features to consider when you are looking for a WordPress backup plugin.

1. Backup options

As mentioned above, the key concept of backing up a WordPress is technically simple enough. You make a copy of the WordPress database as well as the files under the installation directory of your WordPress site. And you can do that manually. Copying the database and all files under the installation directory means you make a full-site backup. The WordPress components that will be copied if you perform a full-site backup are:

  • Site contents (pages, posts, comments, and so on)
  • Plugins
  • Themes

When backing up your WordPress site, you always have a chance whether you want to perform a full-site backup or partially (maybe you want to backup your posts only).

Some backup plugins allow you to exclude certain elements or even directories. This is great if you have a large website since backing up the entire website means you will have large files as well. For instance, you can exclude a directory that stores the high-resolution images from the regularly scheduled daily backups to ensure that your backups are performed quickly.

2. Automated scheduled backup

The main purpose of why you prefer to use a backup plugin while you can perform a backup manually is because you don’t want to bother to regularly backup your website. The vast majority of WordPress backup plugins come with this feature. You can typically set a daily backup, weekly backup, monthly backup or yearly backup. Here are some scheduling features you can consider:

  • Multiple types of backups (full-site backups, database-only backup, combinations of backups, and so on)
  • Backup schedule intervals & start times (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and so on)
  • Scheduling doesn’t rely on WordPress Cron jobs

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3. The options of storage locations

You need a storage medium to store the backup files of your WordPress files and database. If your server has a spacious enough storage capacity, you might think that you store your backup files on it instead. Let us tell you, it’s not a good idea. It’s because if your server goes down or something bad is happening to the storage (say damaged), you will lose your website forever. We suggest you store the backup files to a different location. Today, the vast majority of backup plugins support cloud storage integrations, allowing you to send the backup files to services like Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive.

If you have an FTP server and want to send the backup files to it, make sure to choose a plugin that supports FTP.

4. Ease of restoration

A good backup plugin is not the one that only allows you to backup your WordPress files and database, but also allows you to restore your website effortlessly if you should do so. Choose a plugin with a minimum technical prowess to restore your website. One of the key things to consider regarding the restoration feature is, does the plugin allow you to restore your website with minimal downtime?

5. Migration feature

One day, you might find a better web hosting provider than you are currently using and you decide to migrate to it. If your backup plugin has the capability to handle hosting migration process, it will be a great bonus for you.

Migrating from one web host to another web host service provider is an complex task which should have zero data loss with 100% back up of your website along with top-notch email migration support for your hosted mailboxes.

Final words

Backup is an integral part of website maintenance. If you have no backup files of your website while your server is on the trouble (and cannot be solved due to hardware damage), then you are over.

There are a bunch of website backup services and tools out there. Some services and tools are designed specifically to handle WordPress backup. You can actually backup your WordPress site manually by copying the files under the root directory as well as the database. A backup plugin allows you to set scheduled backups so you don’t need to bother to perform regular backup manually. The 5 features we have covered are the very basic features you need to consider when choosing a backup plugin, especially a paid plugin.

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