WordPress Wednesday: Automated Backups with BackWPUp

Geek Factor: 2

This week’s WordPress Wednesday is a quick ode to the plugin BackWPUp, which we’re current testing out on a handful of our websites. I’ve only been using it for a few weeks, and already I would recommend it as an excellent automated backup tool.


Having backups of your site can be valuable if anything goes wrong; they can be a downright lifesaver should your website ever get hacked.

At Stem, we’re using the plugin to back up sites to a separate FTP space, but you can also store it on the same server as your website, or download it to your computer on demand. BackWPUp allows you to specify how many copies of each backup operation you’d like to keep at any given time, so you don’t run out of storage space.

For database backups,¬†BackWPUp lets you select which tables you’d like to back up, rather than taking the whole database. It also can run database checks, optimization and repairs when it creates the backups. If you prefer your backups in XML form, BackWPUp can be set to create an XML file of all your WordPress posts and pages.

One of the big pluses with this plugin is that it allows you to schedule separate backups; this means databases and uploads which, arguably, change the most often, can be backed up more frequently than the site’s theme.¬†Last but not least, BackWPUp also keeps detailed logs, so you can see whether or not the backup has run on time, and if any issues cropped up during it.

If you don’t already have a solid automated backup tool for your WordPress website, I highly recommend that you check this one out. If you already have another plugin/setup that you love, it’d be great to hear about it — please share in the comments below!

  1. David said:

    Hoping that’s over sFTP & not regular FTP — otherwise the security of the recipient machine comes into question.

    @ 10:26 am
  2. Really good point, David!

    The plugin allows FTPS, but not SFTP. I had a FTP account specifically for the backups, but it sounds like it would be more secure to push them to Dropbox or S3 instead.

    @ 11:24 am
  3. David said:

    I’d be wary of dropbox, myself. The sad part is any backup that’s secure isn’t going to be part of any particular plugin. Security requires customization for the mostpart.

    I’d recommend investigating a solution that offers rsync based backups that can be encrypted. Encrypt them locally on the stemlegal system & rsync them off to some big storage solution like s3.

    Most of your tables would be unnecessarily encrypted (ignoring plugins & wp_users, which contain all sorts of goodies), but, if they were siphoned off it’d really hurt to have someone launch a site with all of your content without the effort!

    @ 11:31 am
  4. Thanks David — this is really helpful!

    Looks like I have some more investigating to do… thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

    @ 11:42 am

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