Backing up your WordPress blog with ease

I love the fact how the WordPress community is growing, and how people are starting to see the business models they can roll out around the product. And yes, all of this while still maintaining the GPL. We’ve of course seen Gravity Forms, which for me has replaced entirely my own WordPress contact form and is well worth the money I spent on it because they keep improving the product.

Today I want to introduce you to another cool new plugin I came across: Online Backup for WordPress. There’s quite a few plugins out there doing backups already, WP-DBManager by Lester Chan, for instance, but there’s a lot more. But… They all backup to your own server or to email. What you really want is safe and secure off-site backups. Automatically.

This plugin solves that, and, even better, it does so for free. Backup Technology built this because they had to scratch their own itch: Patrick Altoft and his team at Branded3 built their new site, they wanted it to automatically back up, and a plugin idea was born. Once they’d built it, they decided it would be pretty easy for them to offer this to other WordPress users, for free. You get 50 MB of data, which is about 10 backups of my blog, and those backups rotate around.

So what does it do? Well it backs up your blogs database, zips it if your server allows for that, and sends that backup to the Backup Technology server. You’ll need to create an account there, so that, in the unfortunate event that you loose your data, you can log in and retrieve your backup. It has a pretty nice backend showing you how many backups you’ve got:

Online Backup

Click to view a larger version

Of course it allows you to schedule those backups, and it allows for encryption too if your server supports it. So is it cool? Yes it is! There is another plugin out there like it, but this one comes with more free data storage, a better backend and more scheduling options.

So I love the idea, but it lacks one thing that would probably be to expensive to do for free: it doesn’t back up any files. I’d very much be willing to pay for a service that does that: my theme, my uploads, and possibly even my plugins.

But still: you should go try it, especially if you’re not backing up your blog already!

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52 Responses

  1. Marty MartinBy Marty Martin on 17 February, 2010

    I guess the biggest concern I would have with a service like this is security and privacy. Sharing all of my sites’ content with a third-party out of my control seems a bit unnerving to me. But then again, I use gmail so maybe I should shut up. :)

    Looks pretty cool otherwise.

    • Marty MartinBy Marty Martin on 17 February, 2010

      I see it has an encryption option, totally missed that the first time. I may give this a try soon.

    • Marty MartinBy Marty Martin on 18 February, 2010

      I signed up last night and it works like a charm, very cool indeed.

  2. Udo KempenBy Udo Kempen on 17 February, 2010

    Nice article, but what about this free plugin: http://www.blogperfume.com/plugin-automatic-wordpress-backup-to-amazon-s3/
    Automatic WordPress Backup automatically backup your entire site (WordPress database, themes, plugins, uploaded files and settings files) to the Amazon S3 servers. Amazon S3 is a enterprise-level storage system that allows people to store files at ultra cheap prices. You can also set it backup either daily, weekly or monthly depending on which you choose.

    • Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 17 February, 2010

      I love the Yoast community! Good find Udo, very good find indeed. Thanks!

    • Doug SmithBy Doug Smith on 22 February, 2010

      I was also going to mention Automatic WordPress Backup. The approach of this plugin is perfect with backup to my own Amazon S3 account and handling both the database and files. Unfortunately at least in my case, there are some bugs that stop the database from actually being backup up.

      The developer has been working on a new version with fixes but it doesn’t seem to be his front burner project. This is a plugin that I would be happy to pay for if it would speed up development and used a model similar to Gravity Forms.

      But for now I use it only to backup my files to S3 and also use WordPress Database Backup to e-mail a copy of my database. It’s not ideal yet, but at least everything is covered.

      The other possibility I’m looking into is a command line tool for linux servers called Backup Manager. It’s not as simple as a WordPress plugin but can back up files and databases to S3 and other storage options. It’s very flexible and would also have the advantage of backing up my non-WordPress files, such as my bbPress install. It probably can’t be installed by those on shared hosting, though.

  3. Andy SymondsBy Andy Symonds on 17 February, 2010

    Looks great Yoast. I will be testing this ASAP.

    I am sure I have seen a plugin that backs up your files too somewhere – if I find it in my browser history I will post it here.

  4. Ritchie FiddesBy Ritchie Fiddes on 17 February, 2010

    Hi Joost,
    Many thanks for the positive review. This is only our first release so our developers will continue
    to add new features and functionality over the coming weeks, and we hope to add backups of
    themes and plugins soon.

    To answer Marty’s question, as you spotted we included encryption. Although the
    service is free your data is still completely safe, as you will see from our website we provide
    Enterprise Online Backup solutions for some of the biggest worldwide brands so your WordPress
    backups are stored in our datacentres.

    Let me know any other feedback or feature requests, Ritchie

    • Marty MartinBy Marty Martin on 18 February, 2010

      I’m going to give it a whirl (with encryption) Ritchie, looks really nice!

  5. TaekeBy Taeke on 17 February, 2010

    We currently use WP-DB-Backup by Il Filosofo.com. Backups are scheduled and emailed to a special Gmail address, wouldn’t you consider that to be offsite backups?

    • Patrick AltoftBy Patrick Altoft on 17 February, 2010

      Taeke if you backup to your email what happens if you lose the email? Backing up to gmail isn’t really a good enough solution in my opinion.

      • TaekeBy Taeke on 17 February, 2010

        What do you mean by losing the email? Why would I lose it? it’s on a Google server, I never log in to it, only when needed.

        • Mrs. MicahBy Mrs. Micah on 18 February, 2010

          I agree, you’re about as likely to lose an e-mail account as you are to lose this free hosting–probably less so, since Google runs the e-mail and is unlikely to terminate their accounts soon.

          HOWEVER, I’ll still be trying this out because my DB is too big to be sent by e-mail anymore and right now I’m backing it up to my server and manually fetching it via FTP. Not ideal.

      • WillBy Will on 26 February, 2010

        Yes, it is, because my email is backed up with backupify.com.

    • TonyBy Tony on 22 February, 2010

      I also use WP-DB-Backup, but have had some problems lately with it failing. As far as being secure however, the emails are left on the mail server for 14 days, as are all my emails, and also downloaded to Thunderbird my laptop, which is backed up twice a week to an external USB drive attached to another computer. Should anything happen, the hosting company that I use maintains it’s own daily backups of all my domains for 30 days, so I would be most unlucky to lose everything. This does however sound like a good alternative to WP-DB-Backup, I would like a backup that works reliably.

  6. ChrisBy Chris on 18 February, 2010

    This looks extremely interesting and useful. I will definatley be trying this out. Thank you for sharing.

    I’ve also looked at http://www.backupify.com which will backup WordPress, Gmail, Twitter etc etc. They are offering 1000Mb free accounts at the moment.

    • graukBy grauk on 18 February, 2010

      Yeah,this is very nice tips about backup the wordpress database.

      Oh, i think i’m gonna try that website.

  7. Tom HermansBy Tom Hermans on 18 February, 2010

    Nice article, and indeed a nice idea. Too bad that, like you mentioned, file-backup is not supported. I found myself in a pretty ugly situation yesterday when I tried to automatically upgrade of the wp-e-commerce plugin only to realise seconds later that I had put in a bunch of hacks and custom code to have a better shipping options solution… Luckily I posted it on the wpec-forums.

    So for those cases, when I move too quickly, that amazon-backup-plugin could do wonders.

    In any case, Automation ftw !

    grtz,
    Tom.
    ps: Joost, I’m thinking of heading to Wordcamp San Francisco, any chance I’ll see you speak there ?

  8. FernandoBy Fernando on 18 February, 2010

    This is a bit off topic, but do you know what WordPress plugin is used for this site http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Aekodok.com ?
    See that most of the indexed pages are actually cached pages of Google search result. That site has its Alexa rank jump from nothing in 2009 to 40k now, in less than 2 month, while having almost zero content.
    I have noticed quite a number of similar WordPress blogs recently;what do you think about the implication to search engine.

    Cheers,
    Fernando

  9. CorrindaBy Corrinda on 18 February, 2010

    Thanks for sharing this backup plugin, what do you think about this plugin for your files (themes, plugins, etc.)

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-backup/

    I will definitely test this backup.

    Corrinda

  10. Brad UlrichBy Brad Ulrich on 20 February, 2010

    iThemes is about to release a new plugin that does scheduled backups and migration (of themes, plugins, the whole site) all-in-one. It’s called PluginBuddy and is in beta right now. More info and a video of it in action here. We’re looking for testers! http://ithemes.com/preview-video-of-our-new-wordpress-backup-and-restore-plugin/

  11. Dodi RahmaninoffBy Dodi Rahmaninoff on 20 February, 2010

    Thank you very much, this is an exciting news for me, new blogger, thanks for the share.

  12. Rob LambertBy Rob Lambert on 20 February, 2010

    I can vouch for the plugin that backs up your WP assets to S3 mentioned by Udo above. Works great. (Just doesn’t work if you are hosting on Windows, which I don’t know why you’d do that anyway :) )

    Automatic WordPress Backup

  13. midbachBy midbach on 21 February, 2010

    Nice article but I’m not sure why WordPress Database Backup isn’t good enough.

    Certainly it is for me. I have tons of archives in gmail and that’s a high availability offsite solution.

  14. DonovanBy Donovan on 22 February, 2010

    @midbach I believe the biggest reason would be server failure, for instance say you have a dedicated server and all your raids fail and you lose all your data, if you have a back up of your wp database then you’ve essentially lost all customized files which can take a very long time to customize depending on the sites size. If you had all of your files backed up + your database you simple recreate the database, import the backup and upload all the files and your in business again.

  15. jBy j on 22 February, 2010

    Hey There,

    I backup to my computer and I believe adding this plugin and hosting another backup in
    another server will be enough secure.
    BTW, I don’t think S3 is so secure to host delicate info.

  16. LeslieBy Leslie on 22 February, 2010

    Hi,

    Thanks for the info, but as said already I don’t see the value. I have emails of the db and my web host is backing up everyday, so I think fine.

    Now as you said if it would backup all files and the theme, that is aa different matter.

    By the way, I am looking forward to hearing you and maybe talking at Wordcamp in Killkenny.

    Cheers

    • Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 22 February, 2010

      Hi Leslie,

      it’s not a must, of course, if you’re glad with what you’ve got, use that, by all means ;)

      btw looking fwd to WordCamp Ireland too ;)

  17. Daniel HaimBy Daniel Haim on 22 February, 2010

    Thanks for sharing, I’ve been having some DB concerns since we moved to a dedicated host I think this one pretty much covers it all.

  18. RamoonusBy Ramoonus on 22 February, 2010

    After switching to this plugin, from WP-DBManager my backups are now over 50% smaller!

  19. MosheBy Moshe on 22 February, 2010

    I actually use a combination of backing up to my server, email and Amazon S3. All of this is scheduled and basically hassle free.

    Here are the plugins I use to make this happen:

    * http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-db-backup/
    * http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/bei-fen/
    * http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-s3-backups/

    Be well,

    Moshe

  20. Jeff PersonsBy Jeff Persons on 22 February, 2010

    I use a company who backs up my entire computer every night. Its a company called Mozy.com. Mozy will back up up to 2MB for free but since I have 12 gigs they charge me $4.95 per month. I lost my hard drive once and I did a successful restore with Mozy. What do you think of that? Would I be able to restore my WP database with that? The user can controll what is backed up so I just make sure that the folder that has my WP is included in the list of files to back up.

  21. CraigBy Craig on 22 February, 2010

    I use wp-database backup http://ilfilosofo.com/blog/wp-db-backup/ that can be set to email the backup hourly, twice daily, daily or weekly. I have all my sites going to the same gmail account. Daily. Makes rolling back easy. If you’re worried about security you could use a domain based email.

    I echo the thought that would be nice to also include files. (already mentioned) I guess the Amazon s3 solution would be work too and be almost free, since you only pay when you retrieve from A3 and uploading is free. (thinking) Could do both…that could be a great way to be doubly sure the site is backed up…just in case my email version goes down for some reason.

    • Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 22 February, 2010

      I think you pay for storage at Amazon, not for the traffic, or possibly both. It’s not much though ;)

      • CraigBy Craig on 22 February, 2010

        Hey Yoast, My understanding when I set up video streaming from my s3 account was that I only paid for the download. I just checked and upload is still free until June 30th this year. So yes, in July, it looks like they may start charging for uploads too. http://aws.amazon.com/s3/ And you are correct that it costs little. My video testimonials streaming on a site costs about £0.05 (5 pence) per month. I know others who have higher traffic video lead capture pages that spend around £20 per month on streaming. So a daily backup..even when they start charging backing up a wordpress site is still going to cost next to nothing.

  22. Jeff PersonsBy Jeff Persons on 22 February, 2010

    I use a company who backs up my entire computer every night. Its a company called Mozy.com. Mozy will back up up to 2MB for free but since I have 12 gigs they charge me $4.95 per month. I lost my hard drive once and I did a successful restore with Mozy. What do you think of that? Would I be able to restore my WP database with that? The user can control what is backed up so I just make sure that the folder that has my WP is included in the list of files to back up. Is this doing it right???

  23. Terry SaciaBy Terry Sacia on 22 February, 2010

    Joost, I use a free plugin (I think it’s WP-backup or something easy like that) and have the backups emailed to a FREE gmail account (7000MB and counting, right?) each day or week or month depending on how often the blog is updated.

    Terry

  24. Jeff PersonsBy Jeff Persons on 23 February, 2010

    How come I didn’t get an answer to my question? Do I have to register or something?

    • Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 23 February, 2010

      No, a bit of patience would help though ;) If you had a Mozy plugin that would allow you to backup your database to your Mozy account, that’d rock, of course. I use a similar service for my desktop called Carbonite.

  25. ChrisBy Chris on 23 February, 2010

    It’s a pity there is no WordPress equivalent of JoomlaPack which backs up your entire Joomla site – all files and database – to wherever you want. Backing up the db is great but when you’re adding a lot of images and files and frequently modding your site then a full backup of everything is a really useful option.

    I use a desktop app from Incansoft called EZ Backup Manager which does scheduled DB backups of both my Joomla and WordPress sites when I don’t need to do full site backups. As these backups are automatically stored on my PC it’s the cheapest kind of remote storage!

  26. Jeff PersonsBy Jeff Persons on 23 February, 2010

    So in other words I need to use a plug-in instead of Mozy?

  27. VayuBy Vayu on 24 February, 2010

    Hi Joost.

    This is very good post and thanks for sharing. :-)

    I have a question along the lines of this subject. Now that I have an automatic backup plugin, do you know if there is a strong automatic wordpress and plugin upgrade plugin? I had a quick look at this: WordPress Automatic upgrade, but am afraid it’ll mess stuff up. Is there a plugin that can upgrade wordpress automatically without any risks?

    What do you do to upgrade your clients wordpress? Do you offer something like a monthly service fee or do you install a plugin that does it automatically.

    Thanks
    Vayu

  28. The Longest Way HomeBy The Longest Way Home on 27 February, 2010

    Off topic: Anyone having problems getting feed updates to yoast.com? Judging by the comments coming in I’d say no.

    For me: Using FF bookmark feeds I’m only getting Yoast.com feed updates in batches every other week. Even with “reload”. Just me, or FF, or anyone else?

    Would also love an article by Yoast on how he directs his feeds to two different sites yoast.com & http://www2.webmasterradio.fm/ :)

    Dave

  29. DeniseBy Denise on 27 February, 2010

    Thanks for the information! I’m going to make sure to take advancage of this ASAP!

  30. jadahBy jadah on 1 March, 2010

    Hi Yoast, thanks for the article!, Sad story: My hosting provider suspended my account and when they restore it all my websites where a month old ( they lost all my data and made an old backup, the only one they had ), so I lost every article, tweak, and improvement that I have made to my websites. ( So dumb of me for not making a backup). So I research and found this new plugin for WordPress that not only backups your database but your wordpress full installation ( plugins, code, images, etc.) It is amazing , I tried it out , and made a full backup in a couple of minutes in my VPS server, and gives you the option to download it within the plugin admin, or you can do it through ftp, It works great. here is the link http://myeasywp.com/ its called MyEasyBackup ( and it is )and you can download it from wordpress here http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/myeasybackup/ … check it out, and it would be great if you can give us your expert opinion..

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