Jetpack is splitting out its commercial Backup feature into a standalone plugin that can be used without installing the core Jetpack plugin.
The commercial product includes automated daily or real-time backups with one-click restores, even for sites that are offline. Backups include all WordPress database, theme, and plugin files, which are stored on WordPress.com’s infrastructure with redundant copies on multiple servers. The product was built with WooCommerce in mind and can restore a site to any past state while keeping current orders and products in place.
Jetpack representative Rob Pugh said the product was split out of the core plugin because “many developers and site owners asked for the flexibility to use specific components of Jetpack as part of their own, custom-built ‘tech stack’ of plugins.”
The standalone plugin is available on WordPress.org and requires a user connection to WordPress.com. It is essentially a shell for connecting the commercial product, as the plugin doesn’t have a free tier or perform any function unless you click “Upgrade Now.”
The plugin’s description on WordPress.org is somewhat misleading, as it isn’t explicit that this is a commercial-only product. The “Get Started” section states, “Installation is free, quick, and easy. It only takes a few minutes to install Jetpack Backup.” The fact that it’s a paid product isn’t evident unless you dig into the accordion FAQ section about how to create a backup: “As soon as you purchase Jetpack Backup, it will be activated, and the first backup will be completed.”
The launch of the new standalone plugin should not affect current Jetpack customers using the backup services.
“It’s the same engine that powers the backup solution that’s part of the full Jetpack plugin and we’ve developed loaders to only load the engine once—whether you have only Jetpack, only this, or both,” Jetpack engineer Brandon Kraft said. “If you have Jetpack already, this adds some UI for you, but the same service.
“The loader tech is the same that ensures the connection code only loads once between this, Jetpack, Boost, WooCommerce Payments, etc and ensure the latest version is running. [You] don’t have to load into memory more than you need.”
Jetpack is often criticized for being “bloated” and bundling too many features. In 2019, the Jetpack team began promoting feature suggestions on the plugin search screen in an attempt to solve a discovery problem, where users are quite often not familiar with the plugin’s dozens of modules and end up installing plugins to perform functionality that Jetpack already includes. Splitting the backup feature out into its own plugin should be helpful on this front and is part of a long-term plan to make Jetpack more modular. Jetpack Backup joins Jetpack CRM and Jetpack Boost, two features already available as standalone plugins outside of the core plugin.