VaultPress Comes Out on Top in Recent Survey of WordPress Backup Tools

Vault Featured Image
photo credit: Code(license)

Steven Gliebe asked 21 WordPress professionals what they use to generate backups for their personal sites and published the results on the Pro Plugin Directory blog. The results are split into two groups of people – writers and developers.

All of the writers mentioned VaultPress as their go-to backup solution. Some of the developers use VaultPress but most rely on backups generated by their webhost in addition to a plugin or custom strategy. BackupBuddy by iThemes ended up with the second most mentions.

Although WP Migrate DB Pro is used primarily to migrate WordPress sites, Gilbert Pellegrom of Dev7studios, uses it to backup his databases and user uploads with a setup similar to this.

Bill Robbins of Organized Themes, says WPEngine provides a prompt reminding users to generate a full backup before upgrading. This sounds like a great idea and is something I think more hosts should look into doing. Daniel Espinoza of Shop Plugins, uses a backup strategy that allows him to own his data.

To learn why these 21 people use the backup strategies that they do, I encourage you to read the full article. What plugins and services do you use to backup your sites?

25 Comments


    1. Vaultpress is great for the small publisher wanting a secure third party backup. Curiously enough it’s one of the Jetpack services which is available standalone (as it can standalone and doesn’t need the crutch of a bundle).

      If you have a lot of sites to manage, ManageWP, MainWP and InfiniteWP (unlike BackupBuddy which can’t handle large sites reliably) will do rock solid backups for you without per site monthly expense (2 Vaultpress sites is $10/month, 60 Vaultpress sites is $300 month) to the destination of your choice.

      I agree with Peter (strangely enough) that putting one’s data on an American server is a very serious security issue (it means full access to your user database is available to any alphabet soup agency in the US). This may affect a minority of publishers but who it certainly does affect are:

      1. independent media (you don’t want your full user database available)
      2. big business (in case there are business secrets in revisions or even in your user database)
      3. political membership sites (it’s a breach of trust to hand your users pseudonyms attached to their email addresses to the authorities)

      Those are at least a few examples of where you wouldn’t want to use Vaultpress. But for the medium sized site already hosted in the US, Vaultpress is a fantastic service and value. No small publisher should be without it (medium and larger should look at the other solutions outlined above)

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      1. “If you have a lot of sites to manage, ManageWP, MainWP and InfiniteWP (unlike BackupBuddy which can’t handle large sites reliably) will do rock solid backups for you without per site monthly expense”
        Yes, this is exactly our case. Furthemore, I bought lifetime subscription to MainWP and all needed extensions/addons so we don’t have any monthly fees at all, regardless of number of sites we take care/maintain.

        I have also BackupBuddy Gold licence but, in practice, found out that MainWP for us is more easy to use in everyday maintain activities.

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      2. George, that’s a good point.

        Frankly I’m very impressed by Automattic’s record on resisting takedowns (there was a guy with a Canon Rumors site which you kept up among others). The problem is not with you but with the laws in the US. You can be forced to give up data and not be able to say anything about it.

        It’s quite funny. At the height of the Cold War, one of the US arguments is that they stand for freedom of expression and freedom from government repression, with sanctity of mail (opening only with a warrant), telephone (wiretapping only with a warrant), habeas corpus and the right to a fair trial (indefinite detention is now legally possible, witness Guatanomo Bay while entire families are murdered every day under the drone program with no legal process).

        Now Russia offers substantially greater legal protections and privacy to its citizens.

        It’s good to see Automattic is protecting its users rights as best you can. Unfortunately the deck is systemically stacked against you and anyone else using any US-based IT service. Keep up the good fight though.

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  1. I regularly download the auto backups that cPanel generates for my site. It’s also easier to restore a complete site if need be at a later date.

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  2. I fall into the writer category. Because I believe that redundancy is an essential component of a proper backup strategy — I really don’t want to have to write stuff twice! — I use two backup solutions.

    The first comes included with my hosting package from lightningbase. I have used this on a number of occasions to recover from situations caused by user error. Or, rather, I should say that Chris at lightningbase has done it for me! So far, this has never failed, so I don’t know how well my other backup solution works as I haven’t had to call upon it.

    My backup backup is UpdraftPlus. This doesn’t seem to put any load on my sites, and enables me to store my backups on Amazon S3. It also issues a comforting report. It seems to work so smoothly that I am going to try out the migration add-on.

    Perhaps I should add that, before I moved to lightningbase, I did have an occasion to call upon my then-backup solution. It was BackWPUp. But it failed me. So that’s when I switched to UpdraftPlus.

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  3. I used VaultPress before it was cool. ;-)

    Seriously, it kinda just works. If you haven’t tried it, spend 5 or 10 bucks and give it a try. It’s impressive and super easy.

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    1. They offer now 5 days trial, so everyone can try it free. It looks cool and probably one of the most reliable solution for WP backups now, anyway I m not always comfortable with cloud solution if I m not able to control data there. All data are somewhere, I don’t know where.
      I was not able to delete these data after deactivation and not sure what is just hidden and what is really deleted. I had to contact support, answer was super fast and they fixed it.
      Still I m not able to delete whole account there, that I don’t like at all in any website or service, the same as all wp.com account.

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    2. I enjoyed VaultPress until it stopped working for me. I think there are some serious issues with signing up under their Akismet + VaultPress plan. I still get emails from them every day saying my sites are disconnected even after canceling their service because it stopped working.

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      1. We’re actively iterating on that, apologies if you got caught in the fray!

        Have you reached out to support about the emails you’ve been getting? We’d be happy to manually fix that on our end if need be.

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      2. I did and just got reconnected with someone and it sounds like we’ve gotten it all worked out. Thanks!

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  4. Hey thanks for covering this. I definitely learned some things.

    Nobody mentioned blogVault in my interviews but I’ve been hearing of it quite a bit from other people since then. I’m going to have to take a good look at it.

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  5. The thing I noted, that I was most proud of, was that your average user — the bloggers — six of the seven picked VaultPress.

    As a developer, I know I can often fall prey to a bit of an ‘inside baseball’ mentality, building it for other folks that act and think as I do. I’m tremendously proud of how VaultPress aims to support — and be easily usable by — the average user, and I believe the feedback shows its success in that.

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    1. Any chance you’ll be offering change notifications? They are a key element of my security strategy and one reason why I continue to use CodeGuard.

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  6. I strongly recommend VaultPress to every client….strongly. About 90% take my advice. Yes, their are “free” options but none with the restore simplicity that VaultPress offers.

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  7. Overall, I feel VaultPress is a solid solution, although there are other good solutions out there as well. The only item I can make a complaint about VaultPress is the fact is does not allow multi-site backups. I asked them about this a couple of months ago because as one who designs WordPress themes, I’d like a way to backup my theme demo websites (which are on a WP network (multi-site)) setup.

    Unfortunately the only way I can do that is to get a subscription per demo site — which would exponentially add up to a lot of cost. However, if I remember correctly from their response, it’s something they are considering, to allow one backup solution for a complete multi-site backup; just no timeframe was mentioned.

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    1. I second that. I’d use VaultPress for theme demos if there was some kind of bulk discount for multisite networks based on size. I assume it’s technically difficult but also know Automattic can make magical things happen.

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  8. Personally, I keep themes and plugins (built by our team) under Git (incl. remote) – that’s pretty solid backup by its nature. We host all sites on our VPS multiserver setup with Digital Ocean, database dumps and uploads are being processed automatically on a server level and stored in Amazon S3 (Ireland). This strategy never failed and it just works since it was set up.

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  9. VaultPress is the only backup tool specifically made for WordPress which I would consider using. I don’t use it, because last I checked, the costs for multisite installations were too much. It’d cost me a few hundred per month, which is out of my budget for my personal sites.

    Instead, I just run a regular old Cron job, which zips everything up and sends it off to Amazon S3 every once in a while. It’s much more reliable than a WordPress plugin can be, and doesn’t cost any money at all (aside from the obvious hosting costs).

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  10. I wonder if VaultPress is used by most of the bloggers surveyed because when they started blogging, VaultPress was the best premium solution. I have been using BackupBuddy without major issues for about 5 years and it has grown into a very reliable backup solution. Migrating sites is also very easy now.

    I like VaultPress as well, but it is costly. Once you get up to about 25 websites, VaultPress would be at least $1500/year whereas a developer license for iThemes (incl. BackupBuddy, Security, etc.) is $150/year. That makes VaultPress 10x more – or am I missing something? Granted, most of the sites I maintain are smaller sites.

    I do have trouble with BackupBuddy on GoDaddy hosted sites, but Updraftplus seems to work well there.

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    1. Darryl, the problem with BackupBuddy is that it fails on larger sites and not particularly gracefully (i.e. you might think that you have a working backup and you don’t). In general, iThemes software has not been at all reliable for us (we were clients there for over three years and desperately wanted BackupBuddy and Sync to work for example). iThemes pricing is very competitive but iThemes software is much less reliable than dedicated development studios (with one or two products).

      You’re right about the numbers on VaultPress for a web development studio, paying for the backups itself. In this case, you probably want to be using a cross-host WordPress management suite like ManageWP (service), MainWP or InfiniteWP (self-hosted). All of these offer great backup, cloning and migration tools for $1/month per site or less.

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      1. Thanks Alec, I appreciate your experience. I guess I have been fortunate with iThemes and smaller sites. I’ve been considering InfiniteWP as well.

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