5 Free Alternatives to BackupBuddy

5 Free Alternatives to BackupBuddy

What is BackupBuddy

BackupBuddy is an immensely popular wordpress backup plugin.  Since its launch in 2005 , it has been installed on over 100,000 wordpress sites. There are thousands of customers and IThemes (parent company behind BackupBuddy) has been constantly churning out new features and improvements.  It supports features like Remote and Local Backup Storage, Backup Scheduling, Site Restoration, Email Notifications etc.

The only slightly negative thing is that it is a premium plugin and costs 75 USD for use on 2 websites (1 year of support and updates).  Dont get me  wrong, I am all for paying for quality products , but choice is always a good thing. In this post I will list down 5 free plugin for creating backups of your wordpress blog.


If BackupBuddy is good, Why Look for alternatives?

As I already said, Backupbuddy is a premium plugin and it costs 75USD for use on two websites. Many a times users do not want to spend money on backing up less critical / low trafficked websites. Thats where the need for free backup plugin comes in.

Now selecting a free backup plugin is not an easy task.  Searching the wordpress plugin repository with tag “backup” throws up over 85 results. If you are a wordpress beginner, then good luck in choosing the right plugin.

In this post we have made an attempt to list some  of the best free backup plugins. During the research, a lot of  parameters like Number of downloads, Frequency of Updates, Support Forum Activity etc were taken into account. It has  taken us over 20 hours to test and compile this list. I hope our readers will find it useful.


5 Free Alternatives to BackupBuddy


1) UpDraftPlus (Recommended)

Updraft Plugin- BackupBuddy Alternative

Updraft Plugin- BackupBuddy Alternative

Updraft Plugin- BackupBuddy Alternative

In my opinion, this is the best alternative to BackupBuddy. 

With over 1 million active installs and a 5 star rating, this plugin has stood the test of times. A lot of plugins are started and are quickly abandoned, but updraft plus is different. When I first published this post (in Jan 2013) Updraft’s free version was at 100,00 downloads, it has now grown to over 1 million active installs. It is obvious that these guys are doing something right.

A quick look at the support forum shows that developers are quick in responding to queries and are willing to help the users.  In my opinion support is as crucial as the product quality. These guys seem to be doing fine on the customer support part.

Updraft now has a premium version . Check it out here

Updraft-free is a feature packed plugin. It supports local backups as well as remote backups.  In remote destinations, it supports Amazon S3, DropBox, Google Drive, FTP and Email.  It also has a restore feature, which allows you to restore the whole WordPress site from a backup. This can be a really must-have feature for some users.

The premium version provides additional features like choosing multiple remote locations, cloning & migration, automatic backups etc. Do check it out.


2) WordPress To DropBox:

 Wordpress to DropBox- BAckupBuddy Alternative

WordPress to DropBox- BAckupBuddy Alternative

This is an extremely popular plugin for backing up your WordPress site to DropBox.    It is a simple plugin designed to do one and only one thing: Backup your WordPress site to DropBox.  To use this plugin, simple connect it with your DropBox account. Once connected, you can start creating backups.  Every time a backup file is created , it is sent to the DropBox account.

It supports Backup Scheduling, Partial Backups and  Email notification (available in Pro version – $19 USD)


3) Backup WordPress

BackUp WordPress- BackupBuddy Alternative

BackUp WordPress- BackupBuddy Alternative

This is another plugin which is quite popular with wordpress users. It has over 400,000 downloads (as on 11 Jan 2013) and a look at support forums show that users have been happy with this plugin. It is a simple plugin and allows for complete site backups as well as database only backups.  It also has a neat email notifications feature, so once a backup is created, the plugin automatically sends you a notification mail.

One problem with this plugin is that the backup is stored on your server. So in case  server crashes, you will  lose your backups  along with the original website.  I personally believe that storing backup on same server is as good as not taking backups at all. One way to overcome this limitation is by attaching the backup file to the notification email. This is not a fool proof workaround as the attachment will fail is backup file size is over 10 MB.



4) BackwpUp

Backwpup - BackupBuddy Alternative

Backwpup – BackupBuddy Alternative

Another feature packed plugin with support for local and remote backups . In addition to supporting standard destinations like FTP, Dropbox and Amazon, this plugin also supports Rackspace, Google Drive, MS Azure and Sugar Sync. Now this is some array of choices you have.

I found this plugin a  bit confusing though. The way it works is that a user needs to create “Jobs” before backups can be created. A “Job” is effectively a Backup schedule and supports configuration parameters like destination, backup file format, frequency, email notifications etc. Once a Job is created it can then be executed to create a backup.

Its not an easy plugin for a beginner, here is a detailed tutorial which  provides a configuration guide for  Backwpup Plugin.


5) Backup Scheduler

Backup Scheduler - BackupBuddy Alternative

Backup Scheduler – BackupBuddy Alternative

Another new comer which has found good adoption among the users. As of writing of this article, this plugin has over 35,000 downloads (as of 11th January 2013). It is a simple plugin with a nice and easy interface. It supports local backups as well sending backups to a remote destination via FTP.  It supports backup scheduling , email notifications and deletion of old backups. It is a perfect plugin for beginners as there are no advance settings and interface is easy to understand.


All the above plugins while free are of high quality and are good enough for many website owners.  Many a times users do not need all the bells and whistles which come with the premium plugins.

So If you are a wordpress website owner and have been putting off taking regular backups due to the price, you now no longer have a good excuse.


Author Bio


Founder of Appointzilla and TheWPhosting. I regularly share Wordpress tips and Tutorials on TheWPHosting


  1. Wh you should always backup your Wordpress Site? | Bakaristan - January 18, 2013

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  2. David Anderson - February 2, 2013


    Thanks for mentioning UpdraftPlus… hopefully the support will be sustainable, because I am working on the premium version… 🙂


  3. umair - March 22, 2013

    great article thanks for sharing

  4. Nosa - April 22, 2013

    Great stuff you have here..

  5. Pepper - May 9, 2013

    I have purchased UpdraftPlus Premium. And this decision was wasting my money – I am totally pissed off.

    First: David gives tipps in his FAQ, how to get UpdraftPlus (Premium) work on websites with .htaccess protection. But if you try this, it fails. In my support request he told me, that he has no knowledge about .htaccess (protection), that he does not work with .htaccess. And he pointed to the feature list of UD Premium, where .htaccess is not listed.

    Second: A lot of backups failed. E.g. with “no backup has been completed”. Backup schedule stopps, no info email was sent etc.

    Third: There where a backup seemed to work… Today I tried a restore with it, with the result, that I got the message: “You don’t have access to this content” in backend. My website was crashed. Fortunately I had a backup from provider, so I could restore this website.

    Fourth: Tried a “clone (migrate) Website”. This seemed to work, but the migrated website was very very slow and all three or four clicks it ended up in an error 302 “temporarly moved”, after refresh, website was loaded again. I did the following: Uninstall UpdraftPlus premium and its addons, cleaned database of old UpdraftPlus datas (<- that also have been migrated from old site) and after this, website ran normal.

    Fifth: You'll get a listing of Backups, logs & restoring: every backup is listed. Did I mention, that this is sold as a professional tool? What will do a client with a list of hundreds of "available sets"? You have no chance to delete them on normal an userfriendly way. You only can delete them in database (phpMyadmin or something else).

    Sixth: If you have set a file chmod to 444 or 640, so it can't be downloaded via FTP, UD fails again. It loops endless. If you fix this file permission chown, Ud will backup this totally wrong. It builds a new folder with the absolute path. A professional tool would at least give an info to user "file xxx could not be backuped", but would work proper for the rest of schedule. Not so Updraftplus Premium.

    Seventh: If a backup fails and stays on schedule, and a new backup is started (via cron) and at any time UpdraftPlus starts backup it creates huge and unrealistic files.

    So, and if you will ask – after endless hours of testing and frustration – David Anderson to get a refund – forget it!

    David Anderson would have the option, to deactivate your licence, so you will not be able to use it furthermore and could give you your money back, but he doesn't. It makes no difference to him, if you can use UpdraftPlus Premium without errors or not or at all.

    He is lucky, that he lives not in Germany, here he would have not the right to keep money for sold crap.

    So, atm I only can warn everyone to think about a purchase of Updraft Plus twice or longer. Don't say, you did not know this. Did I mention, that I bought the developer license, to get a professional tool, and wasted 125$?

    • Brandon Wilcox - May 29, 2013

      Thanks Pepper, after reading Ankit’s excellent reviews I was about to get UpDraft but very glad I took the time to read the comments.

      • Ankit - May 30, 2013

        Hey Guys,

        I will ask David to chip in with his side of the story… its always better to get both sides of a story..


        • David Anderson - May 30, 2013

          We don’t really discuss individual customer’s problems on public forums. However, since it’s apparently costing sales, I’ll just mention that this customer a) was banned from updraftplus.com for sending abusive messages, and remains to this day the only ever such customer to experience that (we have over 24,000 users), b) had her forum posts deleted from wordpress.org by the forum mods for failing to keep the wordpress.org forum rules and c) had her request for a refund rejected by PayPal when they examined the evidence of the case. She threatened to try to spoil our reputation wherever on the web she could, and that above post is her attempt to do so.

          UpdraftPlus has a free version which anyone can verify the false claims of the above post against, the highest rating of any backup plugin at wordpress.org and a free support forum where you can view our track record for providing support (http://wordpress.org/support/plugin/updraftplus). All potential customers can see for themselves what kind of record we have.

          • David Anderson - May 30, 2013

            P.S. I forgot to mention, UpdraftPlus is also in (or arounds, depending on the day of the week) the top 100 of 25,000 plugins for quality at rankwp.com – that’s the top 0.25% of plugins.

          • Brandon Wilcox - June 1, 2013

            Hi David, it’s always good to hear the other side of the story.

            It does sound as though Pepper is on a massive vendetta. However, it also sounds like Pepper is frustrated at spending money on something that didn’t work for him/her and not being satisfied with the response they got.

            The lesson here is that it’s just about always cheaper in the long run to practice great customer service and to give refunds to the small number of people like Pepper who are dissatisfied, and thereby preserve your good reputation.

            Treating people badly (in their eyes) just pisses them off and some embark on a vendetta.

            Anyway, your good reply prompted me to review my decision. The plugin I had decided to go with is “Backup Scheduler”. http://wordpress.org/plugins/backup-scheduler/ It has 46,974 downloads and a rating of 4.1.

            Updraft has 11,706 downloads and a rating of 3.9. WP have also placed a big yellow warning at the top of the Updraft page saying…

            “This plugin hasn’t been updated in over 2 years. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.”

            On balance, I’ve decided my original decision was the best one and I’ll go with Backup Scheduler.

          • David Anderson - June 7, 2013

            Hi Brandon,

            You’re looking at the wrong plugin there.

            UpdraftPlus has 150,000 downloads and a rating of 4.7.

            Updraft is a plugin by a different author that was abandonned 2 years ago. We forked it.

            P.S. Please be assured that we spent many hours on trying to help Angelika.


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  8. Chris - July 10, 2013

    Thanks for the share. My frustrations with BackupBuddy are growing and I am going to checkout UpdraftPlus. Thanks again!

  9. Zarif - July 22, 2013

    Hi Chris

    my to share your experience with backupbuddy? what kind of frustation that you’re facing?


  10. Michelle - August 19, 2013

    Thanks for the info! I’ve always backed up my files on my host’s server and this line definitely got me thinking: “I personally believe that storing backup on same server is as good as not taking backups at all” which is absolutely right! Thanks for the recommendations and for that important tip!

  11. neha arora - September 9, 2013

    i have .sql backup 1 month old, right now my website not opening, can i upload that same backup to my sub domain?

  12. neha arora - September 9, 2013

    i have .sql backup 1 month old, right now my website not opening, can i upload that same backup to my sub domain

    http://www.mywebsite.abc i have backup
    blog.mywebsite.abc i want to restore that backup

    which one is best process

    • Ankit - September 9, 2013

      I see that you are trying to restore the website from an old SQL Backup.

      I would suggest you to first try out by resoting on a local server and only then try the restore on a live server.

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