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Backing up your website data just isn’t as complicated as it used to be. All websites need a backup plan in place, and there’s really no excuse not to have one — it’s really easy to handle with the tools available today, especially when running a WordPress site. Large or small, highly trafficked or those without many visitors – all websites have work put into them that you don’t want to have to redo if that site is lost or damaged in some way.
In WordPress, there are many plugins and services that can be used to fill that need for backing up data. The reason that migration tools for WordPress often go hand-in-hand is because often, similar tools can be used for both purposes, as a migration can, in some cases, be similar to backing up the site and then restoring it (albeit in another location).
Without further ado, here are five of the better WordPress backup and migration tools out there:
1. All in One WP Migration
All in One WP Migration is an excellent migration tool for WordPress sites. This plugin is my personal favorite for migrating WordPress websites, as thus far it’s worked every time without a hitch for me. I tend to use migration tools when moving a site from a development environment to production for the first time, or from a private to a public development environment, regardless of whether the long term solution requires more complicated deployment procedures.
All in One WP Migration works flawlessly with a variety of kinds of WordPress sites — the hosting platforms, plugins, and themes don’t seem to matter at all. Uploads to new platforms are done using chunks of data, so as to bypass the upload limits in place on some servers.
The process is incredibly easy. Once the plugin is installed and activated, you just choose All-inOne WP Migration from the sidebar, and “Export”. Then choose an “Export To” – export to file (download a file), or export via one of the following services that can be connected:
- Google Drive
- Amazon S3
In addition, you can specify find-replace fields. This is useful when transferring a site from one domain to another (transferring a WordPress site from dev.example.com to www.example.com, perhaps). This will allow the plugin to replace the old text with the new text as it exports, preparing the data for seamless import into the new environment.
Importing is a similar process. In the new environment, install WordPress, add and activate the same plugin, and choose Import. Follow the prompts to import your exported data from the old environment, and in no time you’ll be looking at a migrated mirror copy of the site!
UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup is an easy-to-use backup solution for WordPress websites. UpdraftPlus can be used to manually back up your site, or it can be set on a specific schedule to allow for automatic backups. In addition to the ability to back up onto the hosting platform that the WordPress site already resides on, the plugin supports the following services as backup destinations:
- Amazon S3
- Google Drive
- FTP + SFTP
- … and more
In addition, the paid version of UpdraftPlus includes even more choices. UpdraftPlus is one of the highest rated and most used WordPress backip solutions out there, and it’s hard to go wrong with it.
Backups of site files, plugins, themes, and the WordPress database are supported, at varied schedules or all together. Additionally, UpdraftPlus can also be used as a migration tool, although some of the more dedicated migration tools might be a bit simpler or smoother if migration is the requirement, rather than backup.
Restoring from backups just requires one to set the plugin up and import a backup dataset. Testing backups is always good, so it’s worth it to occasionally spin up a test WordPress site and import one of your backups, to make sure all is working — and with Updraft Plus, it should be!
Duplicator advertises itself as a bit of a player in both the migration and backup arenas. Duplicator backs up WordPress sites into a single zip file, including plugins, themes, and the database. This can be done manually, in the free version.
As a migration tool, or when restoring from a backup, Duplicator is somewhat unique from some of the other plugins, as it does not require an existing WordPress installation. Instead, you upload the backup files to the server in question, run the installer file, and the site files are created for you.
Another interesting feature of Duplicator is the ability to use Duplicator packages as pre-configured sites. If you often build new WordPress sites for clients, and typically start with the same sets of plugins, settings, and themes, you could set up the development version of a client project, without specific information for that project, then save the backup package.
Now, when you go to start a new project, you simply have to fire up the installer and install that new project template, alter a few items such as the website URL, and off you go, a quick start. When you have another new project – you can repeat that process again, saving tons of time in the process.
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