BackupBuddy & VaultPress: The Blogger’s Comparison

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As a blogger myself, what I choose for my own backups is an important business decision. A great place to start is with the most popular premium WordPress backup options – BackupBuddy & Vaultpress.

About BackupBuddy…

BackupBuddy is created by PluginBuddy, a division of iThemes Media LLC.

iThemes is a well-known company for WordPress plugins, themes, and web design training, but fortunately BackupBuddy is a particular focus for them. Backups are not something you want done by a company who is not serious about it.

… and About VaultPress

VaultPress, on the other hand, is made by AutoMattic, the same group that creates WordPress itself. You have to guess they know a thing or two about looking after their own blogging plaform.

Comparing BackupBuddy and VaultPress

Basically they are both going to give you a complete backup of your WordPress blog, and they both have a solid reputation.

So now to the nitty-gritty.

[NOTE: PluginBuddy has a “BackupBuddy v VaultPress” comparison chart that is a little misleading IMO, and I’ll point it out why I say that as I go through this.]

Here are the differences, and when they are important…

  • How Often Are Backups Done?
    Subscribers to BackupBuddy can choose to back up their sites every hour, daily, weekly, monthly, or twice monthly. VaultPress doesn’t offer this option because it automatically backs up your data as soon as changes are made ie real-time [the PluginBuddy comparison chart says VaultPress is, “Automated, non-configurable – data auto, media daily”. Hmm.] Automatic backups will always be preferable, but the downside is it puts tremendous strain on your host’s bandwidth, especially if you have a large website. The solution apparently to this is you need to add your MySQL SSH and SFTP information in order for VaultPress to back up your site directly, using less of your webhost’s bandwidth.
  • What is Backed Up?
    Seems a simple question but this is a key difference. VaultPress will only backup the WordPress part of the website, and often there may be other parts of your site it will not include. As a WordPress company that is fine for them to do, but the reality is that many other things often get added to a site through FTP or other techie tweaks. Certainly my sites almost always do, and I’m sure the ability to backup non-WP data and files will appeal to a large number of people.
  • Where is the Backup Stored?
    VaultPress backs up your data in at least two separate cloud services, plus the AutoMattic grid. The result is that every one of your file has 11 copies each. Too many? In this case, having too many of something isn’t a bad thing. With BackupBuddy, your saved data are transferred to your choice of Amazon S3, Rackspace, Dropbox, a FTP/FTPS account, and/or, if it is small enough, to your email.
  • Moving Your Site
    BackupBuddy has a comparison chart that puts a cross against this with VaultPress and comments, “Only with premium or enterprise monthly plan. ” Actually both services offer the ability to migrate your site to a new host and domain, although VaultPress only provides concierge support for this to their Premium and Enterprise subscribers. It can be done.
  • The ALL IMPORTANT Restore!
    As one of the other backup services says, “A Backup is only as good as it’s Restore”, so how do they compare? Well both of them will require a bit of techie stuff, but not much. It just is unavoidable. But one thing to note is that when VaultPress talks about it’s One-Click Restore it is ONLY a restore of the DATABASE ie only a partial restoration. A full restore takes more than one click on both of them.
  • Technical Support
    This is probably the main reason for the difference in prices. BackupBuddy does their support through their forum staff and community members, while VaultPress has their ‘concierge’ support staff available via email in standard US business hours.
  • Malware & Viruses
    BackupBuddy also offers malware and security scanning, provided by one of the web’s best known security services, Sucuri. VaultPress, on the other hand, offers full protection from potential security threats, but only to Premium and Enterprise users.

Okay, so now let’s get down to price.

The Basic plan of VaultPress costs $15 a month ie $180 a year per site, but cancel anytime – as if you would want to when you have your backups there, so you really are just as locked in. The Premium plan costs $40/mth ie $480 per year per site, and services like core file integrity scanning and security notifications, aside from the services included in the Basic plan. The Enterprise plan is for large-scale WordPress installations and costs $350/mth ie $4,200 annually per site.

BackupBuddy’s Basic plan, on the other hand, costs only $75 per year and is for two WordPress sites. The Business plan for 10 sites is pegged at $100 a year, while the Developer plan is $150 annually for an unlimited number of sites.

What to Choose?

For me the answer is simple – BackupBuddy for most online situations.

For handling multiple sites it’s a no-brainer.

However, even for a single site it still outperforms.

Vaultpress Basic has it’s place if you need up to up-to-the minute backups, or you want email support rather than a forum, even if it is non-priority support. Just make sure you, and any tech people who help you out on your site, ONLY use WordPress or else what they do will not be backed up.

VaultPress Premium and Enterprises editions are suitable for a pure WordPress site that needs:

  1. Up-to-the second backups, or
  2. High-level computing support for your business, or
  3. The VaultPress official brand name to convince someone eg boss/investors, you have made the right choice.

But in the end, it’s not my choice of what to buy, it’s yours…

BackupBuddy – or – Vaultpress

Still not sure either of them are for you? Then check out my complete backup review here.

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