A guide to the best WordPress Backup, restore and cloning plugins, plus a definition of all the terms.

The Best WordPress Backup, Restore & Cloning Plugins: The Essential Guide

Navigating the world of WordPress management can sometimes feel like walking on a tightrope. Imagine pouring countless hours into crafting the perfect website, only to see it crash and potentially lose everything. Unexpected issues might seem like daunting storms in the vast sea of WordPress development, but they’re more common than you think.

Potential WordPress Pitfalls:

  1. WordPress Core Upgrades: Although essential, these updates might not always play nice with your themes or plugins, resulting in unwanted hiccups.
  2. Plugin Dissonance: Not all plugins sing in harmony. A new plugin can sometimes throw the entire system off key.
  3. PHP Progression: Advancing to newer PHP versions might cause dissonance if they don’t gel with current themes or plugins.
  4. Code Snippets: They’re like double-edged swords. While they can enhance your site, a misstep can also bring it down.
  5. Security Vulnerabilities: Hacking attempts or exploiting system loopholes can wreak havoc.
  6. Memory Limit Breaches: Maxing out memory limits can send your site into a tailspin.
  7. Traffic Tsunamis: An unexpected deluge of visitors might overwhelm your servers, causing potential downtime.

However, fear not! WordPress offers a plethora of lifelines in the form of backup, recovery, and cloning tools.


UpdraftPlus Premium: A Guardian of Your Website Regarded for its reliability, UpdraftPlus ensures you always have a safety net.

  • Scheduled Checkpoints: Choose from intervals ranging from every 4 hours to monthly for automatic backups.
  • Cloud Haven: Save your data across diverse platforms like Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, and more.
  • Incremental Backups: Efficiently back up only the changes since the last save, optimizing storage and server performance.
  • Swift Restoration: A hiccup won’t keep you down for long. Revert to your saved state at the click of a button.
  • Networked Backup: Multi-site feature lets you safeguard all your network sites under one umbrella.
  • Continuous Support: Enjoy updates and expert assistance for a year.
  • Extra Tools: Dive deeper with cloning, migration, database encryption, and intricate backup controls.

Duplicator Pro:

Duplicator Pro: Your Site’s Body Double Esteemed for its versatility, Duplicator Pro simplifies the intricate dance of site backup and migration.

  • Drag & Drop Overwrite: Refresh your live site with ease.
  • Cloud Integration: Keep your data safe on platforms like Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, and FTP/SFTP.
  • Clone Creation: Perfect for staging or testing, replicate your site with precision.
  • Hassle-free Transitions: Move domains or shift hosts seamlessly, bypassing typical PHP serialization issues.
  • Support for The Majors: No website is too big; Duplicator breaks data down into digestible bites for easier handling.
  • Timed Safety Nets: Schedule backups by the hour, day, week, or month.
  • Stay in The Loop: Email notifications ensure you’re updated on your backup status.
  • Dedicated Assistance: Avail priority support and updates for an entire year.

Understanding Backups, Recovery, and Cloning: What's the Difference?

Let’s dive into an analogy. Think of your WordPress site as a beautifully decorated room. Now, what if you accidentally knock over a vase? Or what if you decide to change the decor but later regret it? This is where Backups, Recovery, and Cloning come into play.

  1. Backups and Recovery: Your Room’s Time Machine

Backups are like taking snapshots of your room at its best moments. Everything in its place: the decor, the furniture arrangement, and even the books on the shelf. In the digital world, this means your content, themes, plugins, and the entire database.

Now, Recovery is like a magic button. Made a decor mistake? Just press this button, and your room will revert back to the snapshot you saved. For your WordPress site, this means if things go south – maybe because of a hacker or a software hiccup – you can restore your site to a time when everything was perfect.

  1. Site Cloning: Your Room’s Duplicate

Imagine having an identical room, where you can try new wallpaper or move furniture around without any commitment. That’s Cloning. It’s about creating a twin room (or site) where you can experiment without worries.

  • Want to check how a new lamp looks? Try it in the cloned room first.
  • Looking to expand to a new room with the same decor? Why start from scratch when you can clone?

In the WordPress context, this means testing updates or new features without disturbing your main site. And if you’re setting up a new site that needs to look like an old one, cloning is your time-saver.

Cloning Specific Plugin:

I don’t think any list would be complete without mentioning the following plugin which was created specifically for Cloning Multi-Site Networks.

WP Cloner

WP Cloner has several things going for it that differentiate it from other plugins available:

 WP Cloner is a WordPress plugin designed to clone an existing WordPress site to a new site within the same network (multisite setup) or to a standalone site. It is often used for creating staging sites or replicating a site design to multiple sites on a network.

It is not designed to create backups of your site, including its database and content, nor does it have the ability to store such  backup files in remote locations such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or Amazon S3.

It was made for first and foremost for multisite. The previous mentioned plugins offer multisite support as an additional feature or add-on, the WP Cloner was built from the ground up with WP multisite as the primary target. It offers superior performance and smoothness while working with multisite network, as well as single site networks

Quick Overview:

  • Built for Multisite: Unlike other plugins that add multisite as an afterthought, WP Cloner was made for it, promising smooth operations.
  • Complete Cloning: Imagine moving every item from one room to another, except the walls. That’s WP Cloner for sites. It duplicates everything but the theme and plugin files.
  • Versatile Applications: Whether you’re cloning a subsite or moving an entire multisite network, WP Cloner has got you.

Features at a Glance:

  • Teleport Cloning: Transfer sites between networks, even if they’re on different servers.
  • Content Management: Decide what you clone – media, database tables, or post types.
  • User Cloning: Clone all users with their roles or create new users for the clone.
  • Search & Replace: Adjust content on-the-go while cloning.
  • Frontend Cloning: Template sites for users to pick when registering on your network.
  • Saved Presets: Save settings for frequently cloned sites.
  • Background Cloning: Ensures no timeout errors when cloning big sites.
  • WP CLI Support: Run the Cloner via command line, mirroring the admin GUI operations.

It’s crucial to understand that these challenges, while potentially daunting, are all part and parcel of managing a WordPress site. Being aware of these risks and proactively investing in backup and recovery solutions, you can mitigate these risks, ensuring the longevity and stability of your website. Remember, preparedness and foresight are key to effective WordPress site management.

After all, your site deserves to shine, come rain or shine!

Functionality Comparison Across Plugins