BackupBuddy Review: How to Get a Solid Backup Strategy

BackupBuddy Review
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 4.5 stars
$80 to $297
  • 80%

  • BackupBuddy Review
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  • Last modified: January 18, 2018

Your WordPress site isn’t safe unless you have a solid backup plan. This is where BackupBuddy can help you. I’ve been using this product for almost a year and I’m happy with it. In this BackupBuddy review you will discover its: benefits, features, how to use it, and pricing options.


What Is BackupBuddy?

BackupBuddy is a leading WordPress backup plugin. It is built by iThemes, a software vendor who also created several WordPress offerings (themes, security, e-commerce).

BackupBuddy backs up your entire WordPress site. You can later on restore your site to a previous state. BackupBuddy also helps you with site migration. If you need to stage your updates, BackupBuddy can create a clone website.


What Can Go Wrong?

A lot of things could go wrong with your website. For instance:

  • Hacks
  • Server crashes
  • Malware
  • User error
  • Deleted files
  • Bad commands


This is why you need to have a solid backup strategy in place.


What Makes BackupBuddy Different?

BackupBuddy is easy to use. It offers several options for off-site storage. It’s easy to restore a single file or a complete WordPress site.


What Are the Primary Benefits of BackupBuddy?

You get several benefits by using BackupBuddy on your website:

  • Full WordPress backup (database plus all files)
  • Scheduled backups (Set it and forget it)
  • Store Off-Site (in a safe, secure location)
  • Restore / Move your site


What Features Are Offered by BackupBuddy?

Here is a brief list BackupBuddy technical features:

  • Scheduled backups
  • Backups are stored off-site and local
    • Stash Space
    • Amazon S3
    • Google Drive
    • Dropbox
    • Email
    • FTP / sFTP
    • RackSpace Cloud Files
  • Run multiple types of backups (full, files only, etc.)
  • Restore your WordPress site
    • Individual file restore (image, .html, .php, etc)
    • Database rollback (for accidental delete of a post, page or comment)
    • Full site restore
  • Migrate your site to a new host
    • Change domains (you need a different domain name)
    • URL replacement (old domain URLs are replaced with the new one)
    • Staging and deployment (clone your WordPress site and test changes on that copy)
    • Clone WordPress (you may want a “Hot Site” ready)
  • Malware Scan
  • Exclude files and database tables
  • 1GB of free Stash Space (iThemes provided external storage)
  • Email notifications (start / stop / off-site storage)


Let’s see some of these features in action.


Using BackupBuddy

BackupBuddy is easy to use. The iThemes website has a whole section devoted to how to use BackupBuddy. You will find video tutorials and help. The product also comes with Ticketed Support. If you ever need help, their team of support experts are standing by.

Below, I summarize how to use BackupBuddy.


Installing BackupBuddy

BackupBuddy is a WordPress Plugin. It installs as any other plugin.

You must first retrieve the plugin from your iThemes Member Panel. Next, download it as a zip file to your computer.

Install the plugin from WordPress. Visit the Plugins > Add New > Upload page. Upload the BackupBuddy zip file you downloaded from the iThemes Member Panel. Once BackupBuddy finishes uploading, click the Activate link on the next page.


Scheduling a Backup

You can schedule one or more backups from your WordPress BackupBuddy Schedules tab. Please refer to the figure below for this discussion.

You must provide a schedule name.

Decide what you want to back up: complete backup or database only. I suggest you choose complete backup. A database only backup will take care of your blog posts, pages, and comments.

Next, configure the backup interval. For instance, every hour, day, week, month, year, etc. You can set the time interval from the pull down.

Pick a time to run your backup. Depending on the size of your WordPress installation, it may take time to run. The backup process takes processor usage. Your best bet is to run it outside of prime time.


BackupBuddy Review


The Remote Backup Destination is very important. You want to store your backups in a remote and safe place. By default, BackupBuddy stores your backups as a zipped file.

As you can see in the example below, I configured two remote backup locations:

  • BackupBuddy Stash
  • Google Drive


Your BackupBuddy subscription comes with a free 1GB Stash to store your backups. You can buy more space from iThemes if needed.

As an alternative, you can add Google Drive,  Dropbox (and many others) as backup destinations. My Google Drive account has 15GB space. Please refer to the above Features section for the complete list.

When you check the box “Delete local backup file after remote send success”, your local backup is deleted. If you don’t check this box, all your backups are saved in your WordPress directory. This will increase the size of your backups. But you can limit the number of local backups in the BackupBuddy Settings area. In my case, I don’t check that box and my settings only keep the last two local backups.

Check the “Enable schedule to run” box.

Your backup is now ready to execute at the time you specified.


Adding Destinations

From the figure above, you can add more remote destinations. Click on the Add Remote Destination button. The figure below displays tabs for Stash and Google Drive. More choices are available, like Dropbox, Amazon S3, etc.


BackupBuddy Review


Running a Backup Manually

You can run a backup manually if need be. All you have to do is to hover on your scheduled backup name. Two blue links will display. Click on the “Run Now” link.


BackupBuddy Review


Here is what happens when you run your backup manually (GIF credit: iThemes):


BackupBuddy Review


Email Notifications

I like receiving notifications about BackupBuddy activity. Here is my four backup notifications:

  1. Started
  2. Completed
  3. Sent to Google Drive
  4. Sent to Stash


Here is a sample content of the emails I receive:


BackupBuddy Review



Let’s take a look at the backup destinations:


Backup in Google Drive

In Google Drive, I assigned a special folder for my backups.


BackupBuddy Review



Backup in Stash

In Stash, my backups now take about 417 MB.


BackupBuddy Review



Restoring a Backup

For a full restore, you need to follow the steps as outlined in the figure below.

In a nutshell, download a script (importbuddy.php) and your backup zipped file. Upload these to your site’s destination folder (e.g., public_html folder). Next, invoke the importbuddy.php script.


BackupBuddy Review


This will unzip the backup file and take you to the next figure.

Option 1. If you restore into an existing WordPress installation, click the top arrow. This will copy all the values from “Old Database” to “New Database”.

Option 2. If you restore into a brand new website, you will need to create your database first. You must click to the cPanel Database Wizard. Hosting companies like SiteGround offer a cPanel option that will help you create your WordPress database. Please refer to my SiteGround Review for more details.


BackupBuddy Review



Once you launch the restore operation, BackupBuddy copies all files and the database.


Note: I’ve repeated this process several times. Not because hacking or malware. I use BackupBuddy’s restore feature to get a fresh copy of my website on my MacBook Pro. It runs in a virtual machine on Parallels. This way, I can test new plugins and new features on the copy.


What about individual file restore?

That’s easy. From the Restore / Migrate tab, you will see a list of local backup files. Hover on a file and blue links will display. Click on the Browse & Restore Files link. A list of files and folders will display. Choose the ones you need to restore.


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BackupBuddy pricing comes as one year subscriptions. There are four different plans:

  • Blogger
  • Freelancer
  • Developer
  • Gold


BackupBuddy Review


If you only run one website, then pick the Blogger plan.

For up to 10 websites, choose the Freelancer plan.

When you have more than 10 sites, select the Developer plan.


Most bloggers fit into the Blogger or Freelancer plans.

All plans include these features for one year:

  • Plugin updates
  • Ticketed support
  • One GB of BackupBuddy Stash storage space
  • Ten iThemes Sync sites (offsite backup locations)


BackupBuddy Gold plan has lifetime plugin updates and Stash live access.


Overall Impressions

BackupBuddy is an affordable backup solution for your WordPress installation. It can get you out of trouble when problems arise on your website. Your backups are stored both locally and in safe remote locations.

Unhappy with your hosting vendor? Take your backup, upload it to your new host and restore it. You’ve got your website up and running in minutes.

You need a test site? No problem. Upload your backup zipped file to your test site and restore it. You can now use this test site for proof of concept. Or use it to try new WordPress themes, plugins, settings, etc.


Verdict: I recommend this product.



  • Easy to use
  • Supports several off-site backup options
  • Multiple backup schedules
  • Affordable pricing
  • Website migration through a simple PHP script

BackupBuddy Review

Summary: With BackupBuddy, you can deploy a solid backup strategy for your WordPress site.

$80 to $297
RatingRated 4.5 stars

2 thoughts on “BackupBuddy Review: How to Get a Solid Backup Strategy”

  1. Hey! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to
    make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when viewing from my
    apple iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to
    correct this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share.
    With thanks!

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