Back up your website: 10 WordPress plugins that keep your data safe

If WordPress' default backup system doesn't suit, here are 10 plugins that can help.

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The only limitation to UpdraftPlus is that it does not back up the WordPress core. This means you will need to re-install WordPress should something catastrophic happen. But once you have the core installed, you can then restore your WordPress site with one simple click.

VaultPress

WordPress 2.9.2 or later Price: Starts at $15/month

This is a proprietary service (plans start at $15 per month ) that allows you to back up your WordPress content in real time -- so should your site crash and burn, you always have an up-to-date restore at your fingertips -- a crucial feature for sites that update regularly and often.

VaultPress

VaultPress features a dashboard that gives you instant access to a real-time view of the status of your backup. For Premium Subscribers (who pay $40/month), VaultPress also regularly scans the site for suspicious code. Should any malicious or suspect code be found within a WordPress site, the administrator will be notified.

During the testing, VaultPress did notify me of a piece of suspect code -- the Xcloner.php code left over from XCloner (another WordPress plugin I tested for this article), which contained the php.system.globals pattern often used in malicious shell scripts. Because I knew the code was safe, I could click the Ignore Warning button. Had I been unsure, it would be necessary to manually examine the code -- or take advantage of VaultPress' Concierge service, which is available with the VaultPress Premium and Enterprise plans and provides security and backup specialists who can help with initial setup, backups, restoration of data or security issues.

WordPress Backup to Dropbox

WordPress 3.0 or later Price: Free

This simple plugin allows you to back up your WordPress site files and databases directly into your Dropbox account. Since Dropbox allows you to sync your data to multiple machines, WordPress Backup to Dropbox makes for a pseudo-redundant backup solution.

WordPress Backup to Dropbox

Once the plugin has uploaded your backup to your Dropbox account, the backup will then sync with all devices associated with the account. With this solution, you could easily restore your WordPress site from any machine with access to your Dropbox account.

After WPB2D is installed, you have to authorize the plugin to access your Dropbox account. Upon successful authentication, the backup configuration appears, and you need only set up the day, time and frequency. For anyone concerned with security, the WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin takes advantage of OAuth (an open standard that allows end users to grant authentication privileges to third-party providers), so Dropbox credentials aren't retained on a third-party server.

The one caveat to WPB2D is the size limitation in the Dropbox free accounts. Should your WordPress backup exceed the 2GB limit, your backup will fail. In that case, you will need to purchase additional storage from Dropbox.

XCloner

WordPress 2.0 or later Price: Free

XCloner is a third-party PHP/MySQL backup application that also includes a WordPress plugin. With XCloner you can back up every aspect of your WordPress site and restore to any server that supports WordPress.

XCloner

XCloner's restore tool works in similar fashion to BackupBuddy: Create a full backup (or select a previously created backup), clone the backup, enter the FTP details for the target server, submit the files to the target, point a browser to http://address-of-target-server/Xcloner.php and walk through the restore wizard.

Unfortunately, the free version of XCloner doesn't offer much in the way of direct support. However, there is a community-driven forum where you can post questions, which are answered fairly quickly. If you need a more commercial approach to support, XCloner can oblige for 9.95 euros/month, 49.95 euros/year or 99.95 euros for unlimited support.

If your WordPress site contains sensitive data, XCloner does provide a built-in security layer. There is one caveat, though: Even with the backup encrypted, XCloner stores the backup with permissions set in such a way that anyone can download the file (so long as they have access to the directory containing the backup file). You are better off storing your backup outside of the document root of your Web server (configured in the "Backup store path" option in the General tab of the XCloner setup).

Jack Wallen has been covering Linux and other tech topics for more than a decade. Wallen is also the author of the novel I Zombie I and other series, as well as the DJ for zombieradio.org.

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This story, "Back up your website: 10 WordPress plugins that keep your data safe" was originally published by Computerworld.

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