As backups are so important for anyone running a WordPress site, it is important that you make the right choice when it comes to choosing the right plugin. There are several available that can carry out a standard backup of your site, but which has the most features and offers the easiest, quickest and most user friendly option? In this blog, we are going to compare two of the most popular WordPress backup plugins: UpdraftPlus and VaultPress.
Before you pick any plugin, be it a backup plugin or an optimization plugin, It is important to check how highly rated they are within WordPress.org. By checking the reviews, rankings and active installs, it can give you a general representation of how well each plugin is perceived by the WordPress community.
Currently, UpdraftPlus has over 3 million active installs, has a 5 star rating from 5,520 reviews and is constantly being updated. The Jetpack plugin (which includes the Jetpack backup feature being reviewed here) has over 5 million active installs and a 4 star rating from 1,665 reviews. While the Jetpack plugin has more installs, these are from a combined list of features and services it includes, such as malware scanning and site search. UpdraftPlus is a dedicated backup plugin (with many additional backup related features in it’s premium version – such as migration) and has a higher rating from over 3 times as many reviews.
In this comparison, we will be looking at the premium versions of UpdraftPlus and Jetpack, as there is no free version of Jetpack backup available. There is a free version of UpdraftPlus however, which will backup your WordPress site and do pretty much everything you need your backup plugin to do.
While Jetpack appears to be the more cost effective option for a basic package, users should remember that they are paying for the basic backup option – and nothing else. Buying a premium version of Jetpack can turn out to be a lot more expensive in the long term, due to higher recurring costs. With UpdraftPlus, you can backup 2, 10, 35 or unlimited sites, depending on which premium package you buy. However with Jetpack, you have to buy a new version of the premium plugin for each individual site, making UpdraftPlus the far more cost effective option for users that have more than one site.
Backup file analysis
Keeping your backup file safe and secure is arguably the most important factor of any backup plugin. Without your backup file to restore from, there is little point in having a backup plugin on your site. One of the biggest issues found in this review is that Jetpack will only store your website backup file for 30 days on the basic plan, on their personal servers – giving users no option to automatically save the file to a personal remote storage location.
As such, if you forget to carry out a backup of your site after 31 days and then attempt to restore your site from your Jetpack backup – you will find that your backup file has been deleted from the Jetpack servers. As you are unable to restore, you would be left with no other option other than having to rebuild your entire site again from scratch.
UpdraftPlus gives users the option of saving their backups to their personal remote storage location such as Google Drive or DropBox, as well as to the dedicated UpdraftPlus remote storage UpdraftVault. Many users prefer to keep their backups in their personal remote storage location, as it removes any potential issues that could be faced down the line, such as Jetpack’s servers being hacked or your data accidentally removed or deleted. Jetpack does not offer any kind of remote storage location option, even with the most expensive premium option; forcing users to backup their site on unknown servers. This makes it harder for users to really feel like their backups are their property or that they have full control and ownership over them. You can download your backup file from Jetpack and manually upload it to your remote storage location yourself, but remembering to do that every time there is an automatic backup is something not many people will do.
While Jetpack Premium backup offers just the basic backup option, UpdraftPlus Premium not only offers a backup option, but also the incredible useful following features:
- Incremental backups
- Multiple storage destinations
- Automatic backup before updates
- WP-CLI integration
- Enhanced reporting
- No adverts
- Fix backup time
- More files
- More database options
- Microsoft OneDrive, SFTP/FTPS/SCP, enhanced support for Dropbox (sub-folders), Rackspace, Cloud Files, Amazon S3 (Standard and Standard – Infrequent Access Storage classes) and Google Drive (sub-folders)
- Free storage a year’s 1GB subscription to UpdraftVault, our own remote storage product
- Free tokens for UpdraftClone. Allows you to create a cloned test site instantly and directly
When running a test backup using Jetpack, the process removed you from the home page and took you to Jetpack’s dedicated external dashboard. This requires you to navigate back to your own site, causing delays in the time needed to complete a simple task. The dashboard for UpdraftPlus however is located within your WordPress site, so you don’t have to risk getting logged out and having to re-access the WordPress backend.
Restoring your site with Jetpack is a drawn out, complicated and confusing process. Users are required to provide their website’s SSH, SFTP or FTP server credentials in order to restore. For the vast majority of WordPress users, these requests will be difficult to follow. If a user is upset and stressed about their site getting hacked or crash due to a bad plugin or theme, the last thing they need is to fill out a complicated form requesting credentials that the majority of users will have no knowledge of.
Should the worst happen, you will of course want to restore your site as quickly as possible and in a press of a button. With UpdraftPlus, you can do just that. Just select which backup file you want to restore, press the restore button and you’re done. There is no need for you to enter any complicated questions regarding your site’s credentials. Just log in to your UpdraftPlus account and your backups will be ready to restore.
While Jetpack backup does offer a safe and secure backup plugin option, it can only really be recommended if you need the full Jetpack package and are making use of other features such as social media promotion, Elastic search and CRM Entrepreneur. Most users however will want a quick, easy to use and reliable backup plugin that allows you to store your backup file in the location of your choice for extra security. Additional features such as scheduled backup can make all the difference, as users can just set it to back up every 12 hours or every week and forget about it.
One of the most important factors to remember is how easy it is to restore your site, should you need to. With UpdraftPlus, you can do this with just a press of a button. With Jetpack, you will be forced to go through a complicated setup process and will require specialist knowledge that most users will not have.
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