UpdraftPlus Free vs Premium: Which is Right for You?

Last updated on November 21st, 2023 at 11:36 am

UpdraftPlus Free vs Premium: A comprehensive look at the features of UpdraftPlus Free and Premium.

UpdraftPlus Features

UpdraftPlus Free & Premium Features | Image Source: UpdraftPlus

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UpdraftPlus is one of the most popular WordPress backup and restoration plugins on the market today. It offers an easy and secure way to back up and restore your WordPress website in just a few clicks. Here at CGS Computers, we’re huge fans of UpdraftPlus and use it on every site we build & manage for our clients.

UpdraftPlus is available in both free and premium versions, and each version has its own unique features and benefits. In this article, we’ll be comparing the UpdraftPlus Free and Premium versions and helping you decide which one is right for you.

So let’s dig into UpdraftPlus Free vs Premium so you can decide which one you need for your website.

Overview of UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus is an easy-to-use, comprehensive WordPress backup and restoration plugin. It offers a range of features to help you keep your WordPress website safe and secure, such as automated backups, one-click restore points, and real-time backups of your site’s files and database. You can automatically send backups of your website to independent cloud storage away from your web server for the ultimate in backup protection.

One of the nice things that makes UpdraftPlus different from other WordPress backup plugins is they don’t store your backups in a proprietary format. This means if you have to restore to a location where you don’t have access to the UpdraftPlus plugin, you can still restore your files and database from the UpdraftPlus backup set.

UpdraftPlus Free and Premium both offer these features, along with some unique extras that we’ll look at in more detail below.

Features of UpdraftPlus Free

UpdraftPlus Free offers everything you need to securely back up and restore your WordPress website in a few clicks. It includes automated backups, one-click restore points, and real-time backups of your site’s files and database.

UpdraftPlus Free also includes remote storage options such as Google Drive and Dropbox, as well as a range of other features.

Backup Schedules

With UpdraftPlus Free, you can schedule backups to happen every 2, 4, 8, or 12 hours. You can also schedule them to run daily, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. You don’t get to pick the exact time though for your backups to run.

Backup Scope

UpdraftPlus Free allows you to backup on-demand as well. You also can choose to backup your files, database, plugins & themes, or any combination of them.

Restore a Backup Right from Your Admin Dashboard

Restoring a backup is easy – just a couple clicks and UpdraftPlus will download your backup files from your cloud storage and restore your site. It’s hard to beat the simplicity of UpdraftPlus when it comes to restores.

Features of UpdraftPlus Premium

UpdraftPlus Premium offers all the features of the free version, but with added functionality and features. Some of the limitations you might find in UpdraftPlus Free are eliminated in the premium version.

With UpdraftPlus Premium, you can back up your website to multiple remote storage locations, including FTP, SFTP, Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure. You can also set up incremental backups, which are handy if you want to back up particular files or databases and schedule your backups for specific times. Here’s a breakdown of the additional features.

Backup Schedules

With UpdraftPlus Premium, you can set your backups to go off at specific times. Personally, I like to run my backups when the client’s customers are less likely to be using the website – so that usually means overnight.

Backup Scope

UpdraftPlus Premium is capable of backing up your entire website, plus your WP Core files and non-WP files & databases. This is a killer feature because most hosts keep things like log files outside of the website directories and UpdraftPlus Premium can actually back those up. Retaining log files is critical if you need to research issues with your website, but they take up space on your hosting account.

Cloning and Migration

You can easily migrate your site and even change domain names using UpdraftPlus Premium. This is great for creating staging sites before big backups.

I use this tool to migrate my clients’ development sites to production and it works beautifully.

Incremental Backups

UpdraftPlus Premium is the only backup plugin I know of that actually allows you to create incremental backups. Incremental backups only back up the files which have changed since the last backup and as a result, they are much quicker and utilize fewer resources.

Database Encryption

Database encryption is an important part of WordPress website security, especially if you collect customer information. It’s critical for e-commerce sites and membership sites.


Getting detailed reports of how your backups are running is another great feature of UpdraftPlus Premium. You can get an email after every backup job that show you exactly what happened, and whether anything went wrong. The emails will also let you know if there were warnings during a successful backup which is important to fixing issues with your site before they become a real problem.

Other Premium Features

UpdraftPlus Premium allows you to import backups from several other backup plugins, including ones that are no longer in development. This is great if you need to revive an old site.

In addition, it’s got a full set of commands you can run via WP-CLI if that’s more your style.

Words in English Backup day. Copy space for text. HDD hard drive. hard disk on black dark background - UpdraftPlus Free vs Premium

Pros and Cons of UpdraftPlus Free

The main benefit of UpdraftPlus Free is that it’s free, so you don’t have to pay anything to use it. However, it does have some limitations. For example, it only allows you to back up to one remote storage location, and you can’t set up incremental backups. But if you’re looking for a basic backup and restoration plugin, UpdraftPlus Free is a good option.

Pros and Cons of UpdraftPlus Premium

UpdraftPlus Premium offers more features than the free version, such as multiple remote storage options and incremental backups. It also includes advanced features, such as the ability to set up scheduled backups and the option to automatically delete old backups. On the downside, UpdraftPlus Premium costs money, so it may not be an option if you’re on a tight budget.

UpdraftPlus Free vs Premium: Final Verdict

UpdraftPlus Free is a great option if you’re looking for a basic WordPress backup and restoration plugin that won’t cost you anything. However, if you’re looking for a more comprehensive solution, with advanced features such as multiple remote storage options, incremental backups and scheduled backups, then UpdraftPlus Premium is worth considering. Ultimately, it depends on your needs and budget.

When it comes to WordPress backup and restoration plugins, UpdraftPlus offers a great range of features and options for both the free and premium versions. The free version is great for basic backups and restoration, while the premium version includes advanced features such as multiple remote storage options, incremental backups and scheduled backups. Ultimately, it depends on your needs and budget as to which one is best for you.

Sharif Jameel is a business owner, IT professional, runner, & musician. His professional certifications include CASP, Sec+, Net+, MCSA, & ITIL and others. He’s also the guitar player for the Baltimore-based cover bands, Liquifaction and Minority Report.

4 thoughts on “UpdraftPlus Free vs Premium: Which is Right for You?”

  1. I’m trying to figure out how to restore my updraftplus (free) backups when my site crashes and I can’t get back to my site to restore them from there? I’m willing to pay for the premium version if I have that capability to restore them manually?

    1. Hey Dave, thanks for checking out my article. If you can’t get your website to load at all, then you need to do some troubleshooting. I have an article on troubleshooting that might be useful here. Check out FAQ item #3 to see how you can disable plugins when your site isn’t loading. You can disable all the plugins you have except for UpdraftPlus and then you should be able to get into your site to restore the backup. This should work regardless of whether you’re using the free or premium version.

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