The Best Alternative to Jetpack Backup and CodeGuard

DropMySite is hands down, the best alternative to Jetpack Backup and CodeGuard. It’s cheap and does what it says. I was looking for an automatic backup solution for my website for some time. I gave up on plugins like UpdraftPlus because they place a huge load on your site, and during that time your pages will be slow. I finally narrowed my choices down to these three alternatives:

  1. DropMySite
  2. Jetpack
  3. CodeGuard

Here’s why I ended up choosing DropMySite as the best alternative to Jetpack Backup.

Table of Contents

Why Jetpack Backup is Not Worth it

I’ve tried Jetpack backup multiple times, and it’s just not worth it. Here’s why.

Jetpack Backup Charges for Each Website

I was greatly tempted by Jetpack. The price is about right – $3/m and I subscribed to try it out a few times. You can choose from real-time backups and “once a day” backups as shown here:

Jetpack Backup Plans
Jetpack Backup Plans

But one thing to keep in mind is that if you have more than one site that you need to backup, you’ll have to purchase a separate plan for each. It’s not based on pure storage, the way DropMySite is. So if you have two sites, your cost doubles. I have three sites – yikes!

Also, I could never actually get it working. I tried to supply my SSH credentials to Jetpack after creating a key pair through cPanel, but it just wouldn’t connect. I don’t knock Jetpack for this – it was probably my fault in some way, but I just thought I’d mention it.

Jetpack Backup Doesn’t Let you Use a Public Key for SSH

It’s always risky letting a 3rd party access your backend, but we have no choice but to let backup tools into our installations. However, Jetpack Backup requires you to give them your SSH credentials, which just sits wrong with me. Ideally, they would let you download and install their public key so that you can manage without passwords. I’m sure it’s all above board, and they have great security systems in place to prevent abuse.

But I would just rather not let someone have access to my passwords, thank you!

You Need to Install a Plugin with Jetpack Backukp

Unlike other solutions, Jetpack Backup requires you to install a plugin. In principle, I want to keep my WordPress installation as lean as possible, and Jetpack is known for being a resource hog. The plugin tries to do too much. I’m opposed to putting too much functionality into a single codebase. If something goes wrong, it pulls the entire site down with it and I want to minimize that danger. Jetpack is a massive plugin that sinks its tendrils into every aspect of your site, including:

  1. Sharing
  2. Security
  3. Performance
  4. Analytics
  5. Enhanced UI and more…

So what happens if you ever decide to uninstall Jetpack for some reason? What happens to my backups? I don’t want to be shackled to Jetpack if I want to get rid of it for some other functional purpose. As a side note, some people have concerns with Jetpack’s privacy policies. I haven’t been able to verify anything out of the ordinary, so I don’t know how much to take into consideration. But it’s worth pointing out.

For these reasons, I didn’t go with Jetpack.

CodeGuard is WAY Too Expensive

CodeGuard is packed with features. It scans your site for malware, helps with staging, and even allows you to test the restore process without actually changing anything on your site. It’s great! Except for the price. The first usable plan starts at $39/m – over 10 times what Jetpack and DropMySite charge:

CodeGuard is 10 Times More Expensive
CodeGuard is 10 Times More Expensive

They also have something called a “Personal Plan” for $60 a year. Even that is around double what the others cost. It’s also really impractical because you only get 5 GB of storage for a single site! That’s way too low. And if you want to backup more than one site, you pay for each, just like with Jetpack.

DropMySite is Better than Jetpack Backup and CodeGuard

DropMySite does one thing and does it well. It doesn’t pretend to scan for malware or update your plugins. It has just one focus – backing up your site, and it charges based on storage. Nothing else. Here’s a screenshot of their pricing screen:

DropMySite Charges Only for Storage
DropMySite Charges Only for Storage

After around a week, here’s my usage so far:

DropMySite Dashboard Usage
DropMySite Dashboard Usage

As you can see, they’re concerned with only one thing – how much space you’re using. Within my 10 GB of space, I can have as many websites, databases, and backups as I want – they don’t care. So if I’m using too much, I have the following options:

  1. Reduce the number of sites I backup
  2. Reduce the backup retention period
  3. Buy more space

It’s this flexibility that makes DropMySite better than either CodeGuard or Jetpack. Cheap, no-nonsense, and completely transparent about its costs.

DropMySite Backups are Incremental

There’s a misconception I’ve read online that DropMySite doesn’t have differential backups. That’s flat-out wrong. Only the first backup is a “full” one that takes time. All successive backups only upload modified or new files.

As proof, here’s a screenshot of my DropMySite backup history:

DropMySite Modified Files Storage
DropMySite Modified Files Storage

As you can see in the “Storage” column, it tells you how much additional storage each backup creates. The first one is understandable since it’s essentially downloading my entire site. But as you can see, each successive backup only takes up a fraction of space. And when nothing changes, the additional storage is 0.

So regardless of how long your retention period is, the space used by your website files will barely change. What will change, is your database zip file. You can’t take incremental backups of a database, so the whole thing is downloaded each day and the storage will increase linearly based on the number of days you choose to retain them.

DropMySite Lets you Use Public Keys to Login to SSH

As mentioned above, Jetpack backup doesn’t let you use public keys for SSH validation, whereas DropMySite does. Here’s a screenshot of the option to use a public key instead of a password when connecting to your site over SFTP:

DropMySite Public Key for SSH - No Need for Passwords
DropMySite Public Key for SSH – No Need for Passwords

This puts my mind more at ease when letting them access my server directly. At any point, I can just delete their key from my system and they no longer have access. Otherwise, I would have to change all my passwords if I decide to stop using them.

NameHero: a Partner with DropMySite

Setting up any 3rd party backup service can be inconvenient – especially if you’ve never done it before. You have to deal with SSH keys or FTP (not recommended), and then configure your host to accept remote database connections – if they even allow it. That’s why it’s ideal if your web hosting provider has a tie-up with a backup service.

Out of all the web hosts I’ve reviewed, NameHero has the best backups. Not just that, you also get special pricing for 5 GB at $2/m – a deal that’s not available on the DropMySite homepage. Thanks to the tie-up, you can save $1/m if you’re not going to be using more than 5 GB.

Here’s a NameHero coupon for 70% off:

Here’s a full list of all NameHero coupons.

It’s also worth mentioning that NameHero has its own automatic backups stored offsite. It’s one of the few web hosts that take backups seriously. For example, the Hostgator backup service sucks. So a 3rd party service is pretty much mandatory.

Bottom Line

In my opinion, DropMySite is the best alternative to Jetpack Backup and CodeGuard – it’s not even close. The others like Jetpack and CodeGuard indeed have more value-add. And if that’s what you want, then they might be a better fit. But I’m a big fan of diversifying functionality. That way, damage to one area of your site might be contained. DropMySite has a laser-like focus on backup. You pay only for the storage, and nothing more. And for what it does, there’s no better service.

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!

Comments

  1. Hi! Can I install DropMySite as a plugin on my BlueHost website instead of using the recommended CodeGuard add-on?

    Reply

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