WordPress records millions of active users and the number keeps increasing every day. If you intend to launch a WordPress site or you have one already, you should know that site backup is very important.
The damages caused by site crashes, hacks, plugin conflicts, database corruption, etc. can be minimized if there’s a site backup, as all contents can be easily recovered.
There are some free backup plugins for WordPress sites, but if you want to get the best, you should go for premium backup plugins like BackupBuddy or Duplicator. Moreover, both plugins are dependable in their unique ways
Therefore, in this post, we’ll do a BackupBuddy vs Duplicator comparison so that we can find out the best among them in the end.
- What Is BackupBuddy?
- What Is Duplicator?
- How To Install
- Backup Features
- Restoration Features
- External Backup Destinations
- Migration Features
- Site Cloning Features
- Security Features
- Developer Features
- Third-Party Integrations
- Customer Support & Resources
- Similarities & Differences
- Pros & Cons
- Duplicator vs BackupBuddy – Which Is Best?
What Is BackupBuddy?
BackupBuddy is a WordPress backup plugin developed by iThemes. It was launched in 2010 and currently used by more than 500,000 WordPress websites.
This backup solution was made to protect sites against malware, deletes, bad SQL commands, user errors, hacks, and server crashes.
With BackupBuddy, you can backup every data used by your WordPress website. This includes media files, themes, other plugins, settings, and more. All of this data is compressed into a zip file which you can download at any time.
You can either manually backup at any time or schedule automatic backups at specific time intervals. In addition to data backup, BackupBuddy can also be used for site migration, URL replacement, domain change, etc.
What Is Duplicator?
Developed by Snap Creek, Duplicator is a plugin for WordPress site backup and migration; it can also be used for website cloning. The plugin is designed to protect websites from any form of failure and make all site data portable.
Additionally, Duplicator works with the Snap Creek technology which is currently used by more than 700,000 WordPress websites.
Furthermore, the backup tool was designed such that it requires no technical knowledge. That way, instant backups can be carried out, plus automatic backups by scheduling.
Some major unique features of Duplicator include support for WordPress multisite networks, auto database creation, and large database support.
How To Install
To install BackupBuddy, you have to download the software from your iThemes member panel. The download link will be made available after you have made your payment. The plugin is packaged in a zip file.
Navigate to your WordPress site dashboard and go to Plugins from the menu. Select Add New Plugin and upload the BackupBuddy file from where it is stored on your PC. Click on install and after installation is complete, you can activate it.
The plugin adds its menu option once activated and you can find it right after the Settings option. When you click on it, you’ll find all the other options under it.
Before you can purchase Duplicator, you have to register with Snap Creek. You’ll find the plugin download link from your account dashboard; it’s also included in the purchase receipt.
After download, upload the Duplicator WordPress plugin manually, just like BackupBuddy.
To do this, log in to your WordPress site dashboard and click on Plugins from the menu. Select Add New Plugin and upload the Duplicator file from where you saved it on your PC. Click on install and after installation is complete, you activate it.
Upon activation, Duplicator also creates its menu option in the WordPress right-aligned menu. It comes after the settings option too.
The method of installation is the same for BackupBuddy and Duplicator. You simply download and upload and it’s easy.
With BackupBuddy, you can run manual backups or schedule automatic backups. Automatic options available include hourly, daily, twice daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.
By default, it backs up everything that your WordPress site works with. However, if you don’t want certain elements backed up, you can customize the settings to backup only specific contents of your site. This is ideal if you wish to save costs on any plan.
The plugin features a stash location where you can remotely store backup files. BackupBuddy sends instant notifications by email once each backup is completed. As mentioned earlier, the backups are made available in zip files.
Duplicator comes with a host of backup features. To start with, it supports scheduled automatic backups and manual backups.
If you’re trying to save backup space on any plan, you can make use of the Backup Limits option. With this option, you can set a specific data size as the maximum that can be retained.
To back up specific data contents of your site rather than everything, Duplicator features a Filter Data option.
All backup data are compressed into a single archive package. If there’s any problem with the backup, like time out or interruption, you get alerted by email immediately.
In terms of backup features, BackupBuddy and Duplicator are about equal. They both support automatic & manual backup, email notifications, and custom backup.
BackupBuddy works hand-in-hand with the ImportBuddy tool, so you can easily restore your site backup. Three major restoration processes can be carried out.
The first is restoring individual WordPress files. With this, you can restore specific PHP, HTML, HTACCESS, and other files to their previous location or status.
Next is the database rollback that takes your site back to a previous version. You can select an ideal date or period that you want your site to roll back to and what you’ll get is exact.
Finally, BackupBuddy enables you to carry out a complete WordPress website restore. This will replace all existing files with what’s contained in the most recent backup file.
Duplicator is more versatile as a tool for data backup and migration, so it doesn’t have many restoration options. The only option for restoration features in the Duplicator plugin is the Overwrite Live Sites option.
By using the Overwrite Live Sites option, the existing contents of the website are replaced with the most recent backup just as with the BackupBuddy complete WordPress website restore option.
However, Duplicator also features some advanced options to customize the ‘backed up’ data to install and overwrite.
An interesting feature on Duplicator is the option to build new databases where data backup can be kept. This makes it easier to identify ideal backups to restore.
BackupBuddy is a better backup plugin for site restoration than Duplicator. It has various restoration options while Duplicator supports just one-click complete restore. Each plan comes with at least 1GB of free stash storage space.
External Backup Destinations
The BackupBuddy plugin features a couple of external backup destinations. The first is the stash location which was earlier mentioned.
Other external backup destinations that BackupBuddy supports include Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and Amazon S3. You can also send BackupBuddy backups to store remotely on emails or custom servers like sFTP and FTP.
From the BackupBuddy dashboard in your WordPress account, you can access these external backup destinations by clicking on Destinations.
By default, you won’t find any locations so you have to click on Add New and select the location you want to backup to. Likewise, you will be redirected to log in to your account on the external backup websites.
You can connect and backup your data on external backup destinations with Duplicator. This includes the likes of Dropbox, Amazon Web Services, Google Drive, and OneDrive.
There are two ways of connecting Duplicator with these external backup destinations. First, you can link the site to send a backup to the destinations. Second, you can create an instant package to automatically upload specific package files.
For the first, visit the Duplicator dashboard and click on Storage, then select the external destination from the Enter Storage Name option and connect by logging in to your account. Finally, authorize it.
The second option can be accessed from the Packages option in the Duplicator dashboard.
Both BackupBuddy and Duplicator support external cloud storage destinations. However, for this round, BackupBuddy winds due to its featured stash location and support for custom FTP servers.
BackupBuddy can be used to move WordPress sites. There are four major migrations options supported by this plugin which include; changing of hosts/servers, changing domain URL, replacing specific URLs, and complete site migration.
To carry out a complete site migration, you’ll need to make use of the ImportBuddy tool. After downloading the BackupBuddy backup from the previous site, you should install the ImportBuddy tool via the webroot of the new site. Then, upload the backup while the tool will handle the rest.
Site migration is one of the major functions of Duplicator. The plugin features an installer tool that is used for this purpose. Duplicator allows you to move complete sites or just a database.
To migrate, you need the backup archive file and the installer tool. Upload both to the hosting provider of the new website and run the installer tool.
For moving only databases, the steps are a bit the same only that you first need to create a new database package and download the archive file. Once downloaded, upload the database archive and the installer and run the installer.
Migration with Duplicator is simpler and there are various options to go with. Nevertheless, BackupBuddy’s migration is also reliable.
Site Cloning Features
Cloning a WordPress website with BackupBuddy is the same as migrating a website. You download the site backup and upload it along with the ImportBuddy in the new site location.
However, you can decide to clone only specific parts such as posts, themes, plugins, pages, comments, widgets, etc. You cannot use the tool to clone websites of others, at least not without the owner’s permission.
BackupBuddy can be used for WordPress site staging. This allows you to build your website at separate locations such that the live site won’t be affected by changes until when done.
Cloning is another major Duplicator feature. To clone a WordPress site with this plugin is quite easy, as it involves downloading the WordPress site backup. You can upload the backup for cloning to the new site location using an FTP client like FileZilla.
Once the files are uploaded, you can complete the process by using the Duplicator installer. A standout cloning feature for Duplicator is that the plugin supports the cloning of sites in a multisite network.
By creating a subpath or subdomain of your main domain, you can use Duplicator to stage your website while making changes.
Being able to clone sites in a multisite network gives Duplicator an edge over BackupBuddy. BackupBuddy can clone in a multisite network but it is still experimental.
BackupBuddy uses the iThemes WordPress security tool, so the plugin is efficient when it comes to website security. The iThemes security tool comes as default plugin after you install BackupBuddy.
You can use the BackupBuddy plugin to run a malware scan of your website to eliminate vulnerabilities. With the server scanning tool, you can check your server for possible hosting problems and fix them before they cause damages.
Another major security feature in BackupBuddy is the Database Scan & Repair. It works similarly to the server tool. However, it scans for problems in your WordPress database, like MySQL.
The Duplicator backup and migration plugin is less optimized for security. Recently, there were reports of a vulnerability in the plugin which allowed arbitrary downloads. However, this has been fixed with the release of the latest plugin version.
While using Duplicator, you can protect your website by using other WordPress security tools. Ideally, a WordPress security plugin like WordFence is ideal. Also, you should ensure automatic updates for Duplicator is turned on, so you can always use the latest version on your website.
In terms of security, you can rely more on BackupBuddy than Duplicator.
BackupBuddy has three major developer features. This includes a search/replace feature i.e. Database Mass Text Replacement, Serialized Data, and the WordPress Cron Manager.
With the Serialized Data feature, you can backup, migrate, and manage serialized data no matter how complicated.
You can save time when making database-wide changes with the Database Mass Text Replacement feature. It works like a Find/Replace because it allows you to update text in URLs, strings, and other locations in your database.
If you want to edit CRON jobs, especially on low-traffic sites, the WordPress CRON manager will come in handy.
There are not many developer features on Duplicator. As mentioned earlier, the plugin is primarily targeted at WordPress backup and migration.
Thankfully, Duplicator features some ‘Power Tools’ that can increase users’ productivity. This includes installer salt & key replacement and installer branding.
If you want to contribute to Duplicator as a developer, you can do so by visiting the plugin page on Github. Also, you can get a professional version of the plugin to add your contributions.
Once again, BackupBuddy beats Duplicator, as it has more developer features.
The third-party integrations you can access on BackupBuddy are the external backup destinations. As previously discussed, BackupBuddy supports integrations with Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, Amazon S3, email services, and custom servers like sFTP and FTP.
As an iThemes plugin, BackupBuddy works seamlessly with other iThemes plugins and tools. This includes already mentioned ones like ImportBuddy, iThemes Security, and others like iThemes Sync, Content Upgrades, Builder, and the Landing Pages plugin.
Just like BackupBuddy, Duplicator integrates with different third-party backup destinations. This includes the likes of Dropbox, Amazon Web Services, Google Drive, and OneDrive. Aside from these platforms, Duplicator also supports custom integration via API.
BackupBuddy and Duplicator have relatively the same third-party integrations. However, BackupBuddy can connect with other iThemes plugins, which gives it the upper hand.
Customer Support & Resources
You can get premium support on BackupBuddy from your iThemes member panel. A dedicated BackupBuddy help page is also featured in the iThemes Help Center.
On this help page, there are articles on using BackupBuddy. This includes getting started with the plugin, backing up data, scheduling, adjusting settings, troubleshooting, and more.
There is also an FAQ page and several resources like tutorial videos, server configurations, a blog, and free WordPress eBooks.
Users of the BackupBuddy plugin have access to the iThemes support forum. They can find answers from other users.
There are multiple support channels on Duplicator. First off, you can reach the customer support team by submitting a support ticket. The support is reliable and the ticket will be replied to as soon as possible.
Also, there are two FAQ pages where common questions are answered. The first is the General FAQ page while the other is the Technical FAQ page.
There is a documentation page where you can access user guides and quick start guides. The guides cover multiple areas from plugin management to storage.
Finally, Duplicator features a blog page with several helpful WordPress guides and articles. Updates about the plugin are released on the blog too.
Support on BackupBuddy and Duplicator are top-notch and reliable. However, none offer phone support.
There are three pricing plans featured on BackupBuddy, which include:
- Blogger Plan: $80 per year – 1 site backup
- Freelancer Plan: $127 per year – 10 sites backup
- Gold Plan: $199 per year – Unlimited sites backup
Duplicator has four pricing plans, including:
- Personal Plan: $59 per year – 3 sites backup
- Freelancer Plan: $79 per year – 15 sites backup
- Business Plan: $129 per year – Unlimited sites backup
- Gold Plan; $358 per year – Unlimited sites backup
Note: Duplicator pricing plans are relatively cheaper than that of BackupBuddy considering the number of sites you can backup. Nevertheless, their costs differ from time to time.
Similarities & Differences
- Both are backup plugins
- Both can be used for site migration
- Both send email notifications
- Both support custom backups
- Both can be used for site staging
- Both have reliable support
- BackupBuddy has more restoration options than Duplicator
- Duplicator can create new databases
- BackupBuddy features an external stash storage location
- Duplicator can handle WordPress multisite cloning
- BackupBuddy is more optimized for security than Duplicator
Pros & Cons
- Easy to set up
- Email notifications
- Automatic & manual backups
- Custom backups
- External backup locations
- Site migration
- Developer features
- Multiple restoration options
- Website staging
- Security features
- Reliable support
- Multisite support still experimental
- Easy to set up
- Email notifications
- Automatic & manual backups
- Custom backups
- External backup locations
- Site migration
- Website staging
- Multisite cloning
- Reliable support
- Fewer restoration options
- Fewer developer features
- Less secure
Duplicator vs BackupBuddy – Which Is Best?
So we are done comparing Duplicator vs BackupBuddy.
As BackupBuddy and Duplicator are both WordPress backup plugins, there’s sure to be lots of similarities between them.
However, their differences set them apart and between the two, BackupBuddy is the best.
While Duplicator is focused on WordPress site backup, clone, and migration, BackupBuddy offers more features.
Additionally, BackupBuddy can be used to backup, clone, and migrate sites like Duplicator. Not to mention, BackupBuddy beats Duplicator in terms of developer features, more restoration options, and website security.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing.
Tom has been a full-time internet marketer for two decades now, earning millions of dollars while living life on his own terms. Along the way, he’s also coached thousands of other people to success.