Assessing Speed and Efficiency: A Comparative Analysis of WP Staging and UpdraftPlus Backup Plugins

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The significance of efficient and reliable backup solutions cannot be overstated in the digital realm, where data is the cornerstone of our online presence. This is particularly true for websites powered by WordPress. WP Staging and UpdraftPlus have emerged as frontrunners among the many WordPress backup plugins available, offering robust solutions to safeguard your website data. But regarding backups, speed is not just a convenience; it’s a necessity.

Why does speed matter in backups, especially on a hosted webserver? Firstly, time is a crucial factor in maintaining the smooth operation of a website. Slow backup processes can hog server resources, adversely impacting website performance and user experience. This can translate to lost traffic and diminished user engagement in the fast-paced digital landscape.

Furthermore, the frequency of website updates and changes necessitates a backup solution that can keep pace. Fast and efficient backups ensure that the latest version of your site is always secured, minimizing the risk of data loss in the event of unexpected failures or cyber-attacks.

In this article, we dive deep into a comparative analysis of WP Staging and Updraft, two leading backup plugins for WordPress. Our focus will be on measuring and evaluating their performance, particularly in speed, to determine how well they cater to the needs of a hosted web server environment. By understanding the strengths and limitations of these plugins, website owners and developers can make informed decisions about the best backup solutions for their specific requirements.

We established a detailed test setup to effectively compare the performance of WP Staging and Updraft backup plugins. This setup is categorized into several groups for clarity:

Test Setup

  1. Basic System Configuration:
    • OS: Linux Ubuntu 22.04
    • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H 4GHz mobile CPU
    • Memory: 64 GB RAM
  2. Web Server and Database:
    • Webserver: nginx/1.10.3
    • MySQL Version: 10.4.30-MariaDB-1:10.4.30+maria~ubu2004
  3. WordPress and Plugin Versions:
    • WordPress: 6.4.2
    • WP Staging: 5.2.0
    • UpdraftPlus: 1.23.16
    • Docker Engine: 24.0.2
  4. PHP Configuration:
    • PHP Version: 8.0.10
    • PHP memory_limit: 256M
    • PHP max_execution_time: 30
  5. Backup Size Metrics:
    • Total Backup Size: 2GB
    • Database Size: 1GB
    • Total Files Size 1GB
    • 3,529,484 Database Rows

This structured setup provides a comprehensive environment for testing and evaluating the performance of the WP Staging and Updraft plugins, focusing on their ability to handle backups efficiently on a WordPress site with the specified configuration.

To add the additional information and analyze the performance of WP Staging and UpdraftPlus based on the provided metrics, let’s break down the analysis into several parts:

Updated Test Environment Information:

  • Total Database Rows: 3,529,484

Performance Metrics Analysis:

WP Staging:

  • Backup Creation Time: 2 minutes 20 seconds
  • Backup Restore Time (on the same site): 6 minutes 40 seconds
  • Backup Restore Time (migration): 9 minutes 32 seconds


  • Backup Creation Time: 3 minutes 52 seconds
  • Backup Restore Time (on the same site): 3 minutes 49 seconds
  • Backup Restore Time (migration): Test pending

Speed Comparison:

  • WP Staging is approximately 39.58% faster in backup creation.
  • UpdraftPlus is approximately 42.86% faster in backup restoration on the same website.

Analysis of Backup Speed vs Restore Speed:

Backup creation is generally faster than restoration due to the nature of the processes involved. Backup involves reading and compressing data, which is often a more straightforward and less resource-intensive task compared to restoration. Restoration involves decompressing the data, placing it in the correct location, and ensuring data integrity and consistency, which can be more time-consuming and complex.

Extrapolating Results for a 10GB Backup:

The current backup size is 2GB. To estimate the time for a 10GB backup, we can assume a linear increase in time. However, it’s important to note that this is a simplification and real-world performance may vary due to factors like increased complexity, memory management, and I/O throughput at larger scales.

Assuming linear scaling with the size of the backup:

  • WP Staging:
    • Creation: (10GB / 2GB) * 2 minutes and 20 seconds = approximately 11 minutes and 40 seconds.
    • Restoration (Same Site): (10GB / 2GB) * 6 minutes and 40 seconds = approximately 33 minutes and 20 seconds.
  • UpdraftPlus:
    • Creation: (10GB / 2GB) * 3 minutes and 52 seconds = approximately 19 minutes and 20 seconds.
    • Restoration (Same Site): (10GB / 2GB) * 3 minutes and 49 seconds = approximately 19 minutes and 5 seconds.

Winner and Conclusion:

  • For backup creation, WP Staging is faster both in the actual test and the extrapolated results for a larger backup size.
  • For backup restoration on the same site, UpdraftPlus shows a speed advantage.
  • The migration test for UpdraftPlus is pending, so a complete comparison is not yet possible.

When choosing between these plugins, the decision would depend on your specific needs. If backup creation speed is a priority, WP Staging would be the better choice. However, if restoration speed is more critical, especially for the same site, UpdraftPlus appears to be more efficient.

Do keep in mind that these results are based on extrapolation and the actual times may vary, especially for larger backups due to factors like server load, network speed, and other environmental variables.