Creating free WordPress backups

As most of us know, backups are critical.  One day you’ll wind up having a hardware failure, or power outage that causes hardware problems, or a corrupt installation, or you’ll wind up breaking your deployment and you’ll need to restore your installation.  For a myriad of reasons, backups — and of course the restoration of that backup — are critical.

This article will continue to grow with each backup utility that I try.  I’ll go forward with testing “another” when there is something flawed with the PlugIn I’m testing.  Now, off to the races!


A few criteria for the chosen plugin.  These criteria are apt to grow while I better understand the options that are out there.

    1. Free.  Must be free, completely free, to both backup and restore. 
    2. Must be recent.  Continuous updates are desired.  The plugin must have been updated within the last 90 days.
    3. Unattended backups.  Must be completely autonomous once configured.
    4. Backups stored on free drives, such as Google Drive.
    5. Bonus points for the ability to restore to a different domain. 

PlugIn candidates

Let’s get right into the plugin candidates.


JetPack is a comprehensive plugin that provides a lot of free services…. except for free backups.  The paid version provides the following: “Security essentials
Daily backups, one-click restores, spam filtering, and 30-day archive.”  However, one of our top priorities is Free for unattended backups.  JetPack does not meet the criteria we are looking for.


“Duplicator gives WordPress users the ability to migrate, copy, move or clone a site from one location to another and also serves as a simple backup utility. Duplicator handles both serialized and base64 serialized string replacement. Standard WordPress migration and WordPress backups are easily handled by this plugin as are zero downtime migrations.”


  • Move, migrate or clone a WordPress site between domains or hosts with zero downtime
  • Manually backup a WordPress site or parts of a site
  • Perform a full WordPress migration without struggling with messy import/export sql scripts


Duplicator Pro takes Duplicator to the next level with features you’ll really appreciate, such as:

  • Scheduled backups
  • Cloud Storage to Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 and FTP

Duplicator performs perfectly for manually migrating web sites from one host to another, and from one domain to another.  However, the automated backups are not free.  

Duplicator does not offer free unattended backups.


 Was not able to discover a plugin available in the Plugins download area.


“BlogVault is the most reliable backup and restore plugin. Trusted by 220,000 sites and counting, it ensures a stress free WordPress backup and security solution in a single dashboard.”

Backup and Restore

Automatic Daily and Real Time Backups


One-click Site Restoration


Efficient, Incremental backup

365-day Backup history

Backup to Cloud & Dropbox


One-click Migrations

Copy or clone sites

“You do not need to provide your card details to sign up for the free trial.” Lots of promise, but BlogVault does not meet our Free requirement.

UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin

“UpdraftPlus simplifies backups and restoration. It is the world’s highest ranking and most popular scheduled backup plugin, with over a million currently-active installs. Backup your files and database backups into the cloud and restore with a single click!”

Great!  Free, and scheduled backups available

“Backup into the cloud directly to Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 (or compatible), Rackspace Cloud, DreamObjects, FTP, Openstack Swift, Updraft Vault and email. The paid version also backs up to Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, Backblaze B2, SFTP, SCP, and WebDAV.”

Great!  UpdraftPlus Free will backu to Google Drive, FTP, and email.  Perfect.

Let’s try it out.