Plugin Review: BackWPup

Plugin Review: BackWPup

I want to take you through a review of a plugin I highly recommend called backwpup.  This is a plugin which takes regular scheduled backups of your site.

I used to go on about the benefits of backupbuddy but I’ve gone off that plugin because I’ve seen it failing to take backups 0n a number of sites due to size, timeouts and other php issues.  This is not something you can have working some of the time an not others when you are talking about backups so I went looking for an alternative.

Backwpup also has the added bonus that it is free, the other quality backup plugins and services are usually premium.

You Are Taking Backups Aren’t You?

It still amazes me to see the number of sites that are not taking backups in the mistaken understanding that their hosting company is doing it for them.  This is not always the case you should always take a backup.

Install a backup plugin now and starting taking your own backups on a regular basis.

File And Database Backups

It is very important to remember that WordPress is made up of two components  the database which contains all your data and variable settings and the file base which contains your WordPress scripts, themes, plugins and any uploaded media such as images, videos, pdf etc.

Many plugins backup the database, but only a few do both, backwpup is one of those.

Scheduled Jobs

The plugin allows you to schedule backup jobs which run automatically, if you are anything like me, you will forget to run backups and right when you need an archive you wont have one.

I recommend have a backup routine of daily database backups and weekly full backups of database and file base.  BackWPup allows you to do this.

Offsite backups

Another great facility is the ability to push your archive files off your site.  This means you have an offsite copy of your data in case anything catastrophic happens to your hosting account.

With an offsite backup you can always rebuild your site.

BackWPup allows you to push your archive to an ftp site, amazon s3, your drop box account and a number of other services.


The system has email alerts if anything goes wrong, please please check your backups, during my days in corporate IT I can remember three or four times when I came to do restores only to find the archives had failed and we were not aware of that.

The alerting email systems tells you about completed backups but also reports on an issues found during the backup.


Backwpup comes with a restoration script, fingers crossed I’ve not had to restore a backup yet, and I haven’t use this script so I cannot comment on how good it is.

The documentation suggests it will take the database files and restore them automatically for you.  It’s very important to know how to recover in the event of a failure.

Wrap Up

If you don’t have a backup schedule in place or you only have a partial backup I recommend you download and install BackWPup.   I’m using it on all my sites now, and with my clients too.

Photo Credit: Daniel Leininger via Compfight cc

  1. Joe Williams
    February 6, 2013

    Hi Neil,

    I will have to give that one a whirl. I use backupbuddy but found it fiddly and it didn’t work properly with Dropbox.

    Cheers 🙂


  2. Shari Smith
    February 6, 2013

    Thanks Neil! I had tried this a long while back, I’ll have to give it another go. One thing I’d add to your review, is that with ANY backup system testing your backups is as important as doing them. I’ve had to go back over 6 months because what broke a site was broke in all the backups, and wouldn’t allow a straight restore.

    Not sure if you’d need it with this or not but to transfer to a local test environment I use WordPress (and others) Search and Replace Tool found at I’ve not had any trouble with it, and it’s also great for any search and replace needs. Just remember to delete it off a live server when finished 🙂

    • Neil Matthews
      February 6, 2013

      Hi Shari

      I cannot agree more, testing and knowing how to do an actual restore are incredibly important or all you have is a zip file … or you could hire some wordpresss technical support to do it for you 🙂

  3. Mike
    February 6, 2013

    I can backup all of the info above in Neil’s review as I have been using backwpup for over a year now & love it. I have had very few issues with it except for one hosting company who it cannot run on. In which case I used backupbuddy instead. So I am familiar with both. The only other issue I have seen with backwpup is that in some cases the backup files were too large & it will not complete the process. Other than that it has been great! Highly recommended.

  4. Dana Bialashewski
    February 6, 2013

    Hi Neil,
    Unfortunately I have clients that are hosting with Go Daddy. Backup Buddy does not work very well with Go Daddy. If you site is larger than a certain size it will endless ping. You can do a database backup only, but not a complete backup. The Backup Buddy team has tried to work with Go Daddy, but they are not very helpful. Go Daddy seems to be the anti-christ of hosting at present. I just tried the BackWPup plugin on a client site that is about 9gb. It did not work. Just an fyi.

    • Neil Matthews
      February 7, 2013

      Hi Dana

      Thanks for the insight about godaddy I’ve not used it on their hosting.

      I don’t want to go into godaddy-bashing mode but they supply a low level commodity service and this type if throttling is what allows them to do this

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