People of the Internet, you are mad! So far this year I’ve worked on dozens of existing WordPress sites that have no form of data or file backup AT ALL. None, not even automatic hosting backups.
Now, if you’ve ever lost a Word document (who hasn’t?), think about how devastating it would be to lose your entire Website. Weeks of work gone in an instant, taking your primary lead/sales generation system with it. Gone, history, D.E.A.D.
With this in mind, I’ve prepared a little walkthrough of Backupbuddy, my backup plugin of choice. So sit back and allow me to educate you (and make money off the blatantly obvious affiliate links below).
Automatic WordPress backups (and more)
Backupbuddy is a premium (you have to pay for it) plugin designed to help WordPress users make and keep backup copies of their site, anywhere and at any time. The idea is you set it up and forget about it, safe in the knowledge that IF something does go wrong with your site, you’re protected.
Basic features of Backupbuddy include:
- You can run a manual backup of your WordPress database or files and database
- You can schedule automatic backups of your database or files and database
- You can export backup files to Amazon S3, Dropbox, Rackspace Cloud, FTP or Email (set, and forget)
- You can check your WordPress installation for Malware
- For developers, you can migrate your WordPress site to another hosting server
What it costs
Backupbuddy licenses are valid for 1 year. This allows the plugin developers to focus on product development rather than new customer acquisition, a strategy most premium WordPress plugin developers seem to like. Depending on your business, there are 3 packages to choose from:
- 2 Sites - Ideal for personal bloggers or single website owners – $75
- 10 Sites – Ideal for people with multiple business sites – $100
- Unlimited – Ideal for WordPress developers and designers – $150
Find out more about Backupbuddy’s pricing & features.
Backupbuddy Features explained
Manually backup your WordPress site
Backing up your site manually is a simple two-click operation and you can choose either to backup just your database, or both your files and your database.
- In the WordPress Admin panel, click on Backupbuddy > Backup & Restore
- Select either Database Backup or Full Backup
- Wait for the Status light to turn green, then click Download Backup Zip archive
- Once you’ve downloaded your backup you can either store it online or on your computer. Personally I use Dropbox, my Amazon S3 account, (edit: or now you can use iThemes’ Stash feature) and automatic backups (see below) because I’m forgetful.
Schedule WordPress backups to your Dropbox
You’re running a business and the last thing you’re going to do is remember to manually backup your site. Backupbuddy makes it easy to set up backup locations for your files & database info, or just your database. They’ve configured Amazon S3, Dropbox, Rackspace Cloud, FTP and email, so there’s no shortage of places to store your backups.
As I mentioned, I use Dropbox as a storage location (because I have a premium Dropbox account with loads of space), but sending the database to email once a week/month would work just as well.
Use Backupbuddy to migrate WordPress to a new server
For developers, or website owners who have a habit of changing web hosts regularly, the migration tool is invaluable. I use it on every site I build to quickly move files & databases from my development server to ny clients’ live hosting environment. If you’re moving to a decent host, migration is a 5 minute job (if you’re moving to Godaddy you’re probably used to things taking a lot longer, so don’t be surprised if this becomes a 3-hour operation).
The migration process is simple:
- Backup your site (on the old server).
- Download importbuddy.php (the installation script)
- Upload both the backup zip and importbuddy to the new site using FTP.
- Follow the on-screen prompts, adding your new database details, file locations, etc.
- Pat yourself on the back for saving an hour of pain.
Use Backupbuddy to scan for Malware
As WordPress becomes more popular, and more teenagers realise there’s nothing to watch on TV, the number of ways to break WordPress is growing. With this in mind, iThemes teamed up with online security experts Sucuri to include a free Malware scanner in Backupbuddy. I don’t pretend to understand how Malware gets into a Website in the first place, or how Backupbuddy detects it, but I know that I get a warm fuzzy feeling when I see Malware: none after a scan.
Scanning your site for malware is a manual process (i.e. you can’t automate it the way you can with backups), but it only takes a minute and is a one-click operation. At the end of the scan Backupbuddy spits out a report detailing what was checked and the results.
If your site was infected, this information would help you find and plug the leak. Not bad for a free add-on.
5 reasons to buy Backupbuddy for your WordPress site
To recap, here’s why Backupbuddy is one of my 4 favourite WordPress plugins:
- Automatic daily, weekly or monthly backups of your WordPress files and database
- Migrate WordPress from one server to another in a matter of minutes
- One-click checking for Malware and other baddies
- Simple restore process in the event of your site being hacked
- Backup WordPress to Dropbox, Amazon S3 or FTP with ease
You’ve put a lot of work into building a website, so I assume you’re serious about preserving that work. If you are, this is hands down the best backup tool I’ve used. There are other plugins that backup WordPress, but I haven’t been as impressed.
Buy Backupbuddy. Sleep well.