Free Online Backup for WordPress Plugin: How “Free” is “Free”?

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When someone offers something for free these days, you almost always expect to see strings attached to the offer. Is that the case for the free Online Backup for WordPress, too?

Blog sites that generate large amount of revenue for their owners need to have a system in place wherein the data from those sites are secured and backed up. This is important in case something unexpected (or expected, depending on how one sees it) happens to the site, like a disk failure from the web host or a hacker attack.

In the case of WordPress-powered websites, the system is an online backup plugin.

There are many free and premium WordPress backup plugins around, and one of the free ones worth checking out is Backup Technology’s Online Backup for WordPress.

Online Backup for WordPress: The Pros

  • Solid, quality companyBackup Technology, the company behind this plugin, specializes in online data backup and disaster recovery. Founded in 2005, they are one of the pioneers in “Online Backup, Disaster Recovery, and Business Continuity” solutions. The company is in partnership with Asigra, a world-renowned provider of online backup and disaster recovery software, and all of Backup Technology’s employees are trained by Asigra in Toronto.
  • Plugin reliability and ease of use– The version 2 of this WordPress backup plugin backs up the entire WordPress blog (i.e., the database and files, which includes the settings, posts, pages, media, attachments, plugins, themes, and comments) in the company’s remote and secure servers, or have it sent to your email account of choice, or as a downloadable ZIP file. This plugin is easy to install, set-up, and use. It installs like any WordPress plugins. You just need to register and create an account HERE to avail of the 100MB free storage space. Once you have an account, you can continue the plugin configuration. You can set the backup schedule of your WordPress blog. Backups are done automatically, or on demand. A support forum is also available, actively monitored by company staff. For a free plugin, this is quite a service, right?
  • Data security – The backup files are encrypted using AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption “in flight”, which means the files are already protected while being saved in Backup Technology’s data centers, or while being emailed to you. This is the same process used in online banking.
  • FreeOnline Backup for WordPress is free to download in WordPress’ Plugin Directory HERE. What’s more, you can backup multiple WordPress blogs under one account. However, what we need to find out is how free is “free”? Find out below.

Online Backup for WordPress: The Cons

Actually, I can only name one and that is the 100MB space limit. Because it is limited, you may run out of space, and not be able to keep a history of backups in case your site needs to be restored from further back than is on file.

Yes, the files are compressed up to 90% reduction, and you can “lock” old backups, preventing them from being overwritten by new ones, but there will always be the possibility of using up all the free space, especially if you backup multiple WordPress sites.

Online Backup for WordPress: Where are the strings?

Apparently, there are none. When Backup Technology offered this online backup plugin for free, they really meant it. The free offer is not even a lead-in for the company’s paid services or products, which is usually the case for most free offers.

Why?

Backup Technology’s other enterprise solutions are significantly out of most bloggers’ scope, as these solutions are intended for businesses with large amounts of corporate data needing the highest level of protection possible, and for businesses wishing for a complete disaster recovery solution for their entire infrastructure.

So, why did that company create the plugin?

The idea for the plugin came about as two of Backup Technology’s larger resellers were using WordPress themselves, which they hosted on a shared host with limited access. Backup Technology decided to create a basic database backup plugin for them, in order to at least keep their posts, pages and other database-related content backed up, as some other plugins were too manual or unreliable.

They then figured that such a plugin might be useful to the WordPress community as a whole, and published it on the plugin directory, providing some free space in their data center. They can offer the free space for use because Backup Technology had a few NAS systems that were not going to fill anytime soon. They simply recycled this “slack space” for the plugin’s backup servers. The actual backup servers were themselves recycled from old kit that would otherwise be scrapped or recycled, which means it has had very little environmental impact, too.

“…Backup Technology’s way of giving back to the WordPress community”

The Online Backup for WordPress plugin turned out to be quite popular over time. Because of this, some members of their staff decided to continue working on the plugin a bit at a time, and offer a fair level of support to the users. This, then, led to the version 2 release that made the plugin a complete backup solution. Today, they are continually working on the plugin to improve it further, and iron out any issues that remain.

The free online backup plugin is basically an internal project that has grown over time, and acts as Backup Technology’s way of giving back to the WordPress community.

Impressive, right?

If you need a backup plugin to protect your WordPress database and files, which you certainly need if you’re not backing up your website yet, give this plugin a try. You can download Online Backup for WordPress here.

Check out my previous post on other WordPress backup plugins here.

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