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Duplicator free vs pro

Duplicator Free vs Pro: Which Version Has the Best Value? 

Written By: author image Joella Dunn
author image Joella Dunn
Joella is a writer with years of experience in WordPress. At Duplicator, she specializes in site maintenance — from basic backups to large-scale migrations. Her ultimate goal is to make sure your WordPress website is safe and ready for growth.
     Reviewed By: John Turner
reviewer image John Turner
John Turner is the President of Duplicator. He has over 20+ years of business and development experience and his plugins have been downloaded over 25 million times.

Are you torn between the free and premium versions of Duplicator?

If you’re managing a WordPress website, having a reliable backup and migration plugin is crucial. Duplicator is one of the most popular options, but you might not know whether the free or premium version best suits your needs.

In this post, we’ll compare the features of Duplicator Lite vs Duplicator Pro, so you can decide which one is right for you!

What Is the Difference Between Duplicator Lite and Duplicator Pro?

Duplicator is the best backup and migration plugin. It allows you to quickly package your entire site into a zip file, which you can save as a backup or move to another location.

Duplicator Pro plugin

If you’ve been considering using Duplicator, you’ve probably come across two versions: Duplicator Lite and Duplicator Pro.

Both offer ways to back up, migrate, and clone your website. But which one is best? We’ll explain the key differences in features and pricing to help you make an informed decision.

1. Custom Backups

Both versions of Duplicator allow you to back up your entire WordPress site. These backups are called packages.

With Duplicator Lite, you can quickly create full backups or database-only backups. If you run a basic blog or personal site, you may not need any extra customization.

Duplicator Lite custom backup

You can also specify which files and database tables you want to include in your backup. This is handy if you have a specific part of your site you want to duplicate, but don’t necessarily need to back up the entire thing. 

Duplicator Lite file filters

Duplicator Lite is great for basic backups, but Duplicator Pro offers much more control. Along with full backups and database-only backups, you can back up your media library.

Duplicator media backup

With Duplicator Pro, you can completely customize what data is included in a backup. With one click, you can exclude inactive themes, core WordPress files, or any other unnecessary data.

Duplicator custom package components

Like with the free plugin, you’ll be able to filter out certain database tables if needed. Plus, you can exclude any tables without the prefix wp_.

Duplicator Pro database prefix filters

If you’re worried about security, feel free to enable archive encryption. You can add password protection to either the installer, archive file, or both. This ensures no one overwrites your site without permission.

Duplicator Pro archive encryption

Both versions can handle custom backups, but Duplicator Pro gives you a lot more flexibility. If you want complete control over your backups, we’d recommend upgrading.  

2. Automatic Backups

If you manually back up your site every time, you could be wasting a lot of time. One way to make your maintenance task list smaller is by setting up automatic backups

Duplicator Lite allows you to back up your site at any time. But if you want to sit back and let Duplicator automate backups, you’ll need to upgrade to the Pro version. 

Instead of having to remember to back up your site constantly, you can set a schedule. Whether you want to create a backup every hour, day, week, or month, Duplicator Pro has got you covered. 

Google Cloud scheduled backup

You can even create different schedules for specific parts of your site. For example, you could back up your database more frequently than your files. This helps you save the right data at the right time.

Custom WordPress backup schedules

By having regular, automated backups, you can easily restore your site after unexpected hacks or errors. However, if you don’t mind creating on-demand backups, you might prefer the free version. 

3. Migrations

Along with backups, Duplicator supports full-site migrations. You can use it to move to a new web hosting provider, domain, or server. 

However, the process varies based on whether you’re using Duplicator Lite or Pro.

With the free version of Duplicator, start by downloading a full backup of your site. You’ll get two files: the archive and the installer file.

Download Duplicator Lite package

The archive is a copy of your site’s files and database. The installer is a PHP script that will unpack your backup in a new location.

Once you have these files, upload them to the new server with an FTP/SFTP client or cPanel. You’ll need to add them to your root directory.

Upload Duplicator Lite package to FTP

Then, visit this URL to launch the Duplicator migration wizard: https://your-domain/installer.php

Duplicator Lite offers a suitable approach if you have technical experience and don’t need to move sites frequently. Although it requires you to be a little more hands-on, it does the job. 

Duplicator Pro takes website migration to the next level. It offers drag and drop migrations which make the move seamless and automatic.

All you’ll need to do is install Duplicator Pro on the second site. Next, drag and drop the archive file into the Import page.

Import website archive

This functionality can save time and reduce potential errors. There’s no downtime, preserving your SEO ranking.

The Pro version also supports multisite migrations. If you’re managing a WordPress multisite network, you’ll appreciate this feature. Migrating sub-sites into or out of a network becomes much more streamlined. 

4. Cloud Storage

One area where Duplicator Pro clearly shines over the free version is its cloud storage integrations. With Duplicator Pro, you’re not limited to locally stored backups. 

Duplicator Pro allows you to save your website backups on many different third-party cloud storage services including:

Once you set up one of these new storage options, you can instantly save a backup to the cloud

Duplicator backup storage locations

This variety of cloud storage options can add a layer of safety to your site’s data. By securely storing your backups offsite, you’ll be better prepared for unexpected server crashes.

While the free version of Duplicator offers basic backup features, the cloud storage capabilities of Duplicator Pro are worth the upgrade.

5. Restore Options

If anything goes wrong on your site, you’ll want to restore a backup. The best backup plugin will make it easy to get your site back online and error-free. 

With Duplicator Lite, you’ll need to have a backup downloaded. After re-uploading this backup to your server, launch the recovery wizard.

The Pro version, on the other hand, provides multiple restore options. These save time and the headache of manual restoration.

On the Packages page, you’ll see a Restore button next to every backup. Simply find a backup before the error and restore it.

Duplicator restore button

If you’re ever locked out of your dashboard by a catastrophic error, you might think your website is lost. Fortunately, Duplicator Pro gives you a way to recover your data.

Before a disaster, set a backup as the disaster recovery point. It’ll need to be a full backup that’s stored locally.

Duplicator disaster recovery

Then, copy the recovery link and save it in a safe place.

Disaster recovery link

To quickly restore your site, paste this link into a new browser window. Follow the simple steps to regain access to your site.

Disaster recovery

With both Duplicator Lite and Pro, you can restore your website in an emergency. However, Duplicator Pro offers easier and faster methods. 

6. Extra Support for Large Sites and Multisite

If you have a large website or a WordPress multisite, you’ll need a backup and migration plugin with extra support. Not every tool can handle complex migrations or huge backup files. 

Unlike other backup and migration plugins, Duplicator allows you to change the backup file format. It supports Shell Zip, ZipArchive, and DupArchive.

Select DupArchive engine

The DupArchive is a custom file format built to support larger sites. Both Duplicator Lite and Duplicator Pro have DupArchives, but the free version will limit archives to 500MB.

Duplicator Pro is built to handle large backups and migrations. In fact, it’s migrated sites as big as 100GB!

If you manage multiple websites, a multisite network can help you streamline management tasks. Duplicator Pro can help you back up the entire network.

Duplicator Multisite backup

With the premium version, you can also migrate sub-sites into and out of your multisite. If you’re moving a client’s site onto its own server, back up the one sub-site.

Back up single subsite

When you import this backup into a new WordPress installation, you can set it up as a standalone site.

Convert subsite to standalone site

Duplicator can clone a sub-site within the same network or transfer a sub-site to a different network. This feature broadens your control over website management and restructuring, making it useful for agencies and freelancers. 

7. Pricing

Duplicator Lite is completely free. You can download it on WordPress.org.

Duplicator Lite

Despite being free, it provides a decent range of features. This makes it an excellent option for those on a tight budget. It could also be useful if you don’t need extensive backup and migration features.

Duplicator Pro is a premium plugin that starts at $49.50 per year. But it comes with tons of extra features like automatic backup schedules, cloud storage, and drag-and-drop migrations. 

Duplicator pricing

No matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced website owner, Duplicator Pro is worth the investment. It makes complex tasks easy, leaving you more time to grow your website and reach your goals. 

Is Duplicator Pro Worth It?

If your website is small or medium-sized and you’re comfortable performing on-demand backups, Duplicator Lite might be sufficient. But if you’re overseeing a larger site or want to streamline your workflow, Duplicator Pro is the better choice. 

Here are some key features that you’ll get by upgrading:

  • Automatic backups
  • Cloud storage
  • One-click restores
  • Disaster recovery
  • Drag-and-drop migrations
  • Large site support
  • Multisite support
  • Advanced permissions
  • Installer branding
  • Support for managed hosts like WordPress.com and WPEngine
  • And much more!

Duplicator Lite is a basic backup and migration tool, so you won’t get these advanced features. So, we’d recommend upgrading to save time, improve your security, and avoid any manual tasks. 

FAQs About Duplicator Free vs Pro

What does Duplicator Pro do?

Duplicator Pro is a backup and migration plugin. It packages your entire website into a single file, which you can save as a backup. Duplicator also makes it easy to migrate to a new hosting provider or domain name

How do I back up my WordPress site with Duplicator?

To back up your WordPress site with Duplicator, go to Duplicator Pro » Packages » Create New. In the Archive section, decide what data you want to include in the backup. After the backup is generated, download it. 

How do I upgrade to Duplicator Pro?

If you want to upgrade to Duplicator Pro, visit the pricing page and choose the version that best meets your needs. After your purchase, download Duplicator Pro and install it in your WordPress dashboard.

How do I move a website using Duplicator Pro?

To move a website with Duplicator Pro, start by backing it up. Then, download the backup archive file. Install Duplicator Pro in the new location and upload the archive to the Import page. The step-by-step migration wizard will walk you through the rest of the migration.

How do I activate Duplicator Pro?

Before you activate Duplicator Pro, make sure to install the plugin. Then, hit the Activate Plugin button.

What is the best WordPress backup plugin?

Duplicator Pro is the best WordPress backup plugin. It offers scheduled backups, cloud service integrations, easy migrations, and more.

Alternatives: UpdraftPlus, Solid Backups (formerly BackupBuddy), and All-in-One WP Migration are other popular plugins with backup and migration features. 

Conclusion

We hope this guide helped you decide between Duplicator Lite and Pro!

While you’re here, you may like these extra WordPress tutorials:

Ready to start scheduling backups or seamlessly transfer to a new host? Upgrade to Duplicator Pro today!

author avatar
Joella Dunn Content Writer
Joella is a writer with years of experience in WordPress. At Duplicator, she specializes in site maintenance — from basic backups to large-scale migrations. Her ultimate goal is to make sure your WordPress website is safe and ready for growth.

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