Wednesday, September 12, 2012

BackupBuddy Plugin Coupon: The First 4 Critical Steps After Installing BackupBuddy

Having a solid backup strategy in place isn’t a choice, it’s absolutely vital for your WordPress site.

And BackupBuddy is that all-in-one holistic solution — because you can easily backup your site (everything – all your settings, themes, plugins, content etc) … and then restore it if you have a crash … OR move it to a new host or domain name.

BackupBuddy is currently running on well over 100,000 sites … but we don’t want you to just buy it … we want you to USE it so your site is safely and securely backed up.

We highly recommend these first four steps after first installing BackupBuddy:

1. Complete these key BackupBuddy settings.
The BackupBuddy Settings Page

From the WordPress Dashboard, navigate to the BackupBuddy menu and go to the Settings page:

  1. Make sure you set your ImportBuddy Password (so you can securely restore your site in the event of a crash).
  2. Put your email address in the “Error notification recipients” space (so you can be updated if backup errors occur).
  3. Setup your “Remote Destinations” (the best way to store your backups is off-site).

Our recommended remote destination for backups is an affordable and reliable service like Amazon S3. Amazon S3 is backed by the enormous infrastructure that powers a lot of your favorite sites.

Here’s an Amazon S3 calculator to estimate your charges. For example, we host our own backups with Amazon S3, and our bill is insanely cheap for what we store (everything). For 10GB of storage with 10GB of transfer (WAY more than the average WordPress site), the estimated bill is just 63 cents for the US region.

Signup for an Amazon S3 account (yes, different than regular

2. Perform a backup to test your Remote Destination.

The BackupBuddy Backups Page

After you’ve setup the key Settings above, you’ll want to do your first Database-Only Backup and Full Backup to ensure everything’s working properly.

  1. From the WordPress Dashboard, navigate to the BackupBuddy menu, then the Backup page.
  2. Select Database. BackupBuddy will start backing up only your database. Once the backup is complete, the blue lights will stop blinking and you’ll see a green light at the end of the progress bar.
  3. Go back to the Backup page and you should see your new backup file listed. Next to the file, you’ll see Statistics and Status of the file.
  4. If the backup is listed as “Good,” hover over the file name and click “Send file offsite”. A popup box will appear, select your Remote Destination, and click “Select this destination.”
  5. Once completed, a box will say that your file is in transfer. To verify the transfer and to see a list of backup files in your Remote Destinations, wait a few minutes (to allow the transfer to happen), then visit the Backup page and select the “Remote Destinations” tab.
  6. Click on the “Manage Remote Destinations & Archives” button and select your Remote Destination (in this case Amazon S3) and hover over it to click “Select this destination.“
  7. The page will refresh and show you a complete file list. If you see your backup, you are good to go and can even download it to verify by clicking on “Copy to local.”
  8. Repeat this process for the Complete (Full) Backup.
  9. We also suggest on this first run through that you download a copy of your Database Only and Full Backups to your computer. Hover over the backup and select “Download file.” Create a folder on your computer called “BackupBuddy” or “WP Backups” and save it in there. This just gives you one more place to store your first backups.

3. Setup Schedules.

Once you have verified that BackupBuddy has backed up both types of backups and stored them safely to your Remote Destinations, you’ll want to setup your backup Schedules.
The BackupBuddy Scheduling Page
In your WordPress dashboard, navigate to the BackupBuddy menu and click  ”Scheduling.”

For most WordPress sites, we suggest these backup schedules below but you should make your own judgment on how frequent you should do your backups:

1. Database Only Backup running Once a Week — name it “Weekly Database,” then select “Database Only” and “Weekly” as the frequency. We suggest setting the “Date/time of next run” for a low trafficked part of your day, like after midnight.

2. Full Database Backup running Twice Monthly– named it “Monthly Full Backup,” then select “Full Backup” and “Twice Monthly. Again, we suggest setting the “Date/time of next run” for a low trafficked part of your day, like after midnight.

4. Plan ahead to get the BEST SUPPORT from our team.

As always, our team is here for you if you have questions or get stumped along the way on our Support Forum… but please don’t wait until the last minute to migrate a site (especially if it is your first)!

Finding out you don’t know how to do something or running into a technical problem 15 minutes before showing a site demo to a client is not fun and although our support is fast, we can’t help you fix something you needed 2 hours ago.

So please plan ahead so we can offer you the best support.

We highly recommend if you’re backing up, restoring or moving a critical site (or even a large one), that you consider our support hours so our awesome support ninjas can help you.

Our support hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Central Standard Time, Monday-Friday (except on major U.S. holidays).

Simply logon to the BackupBuddy Support Forum with your iThemes username and password … search for a related subject, or post your issue giving as much details (with links) as you can in order to BEST serve you!

Watch the Video Tutorial: The First 4 Critical Steps After Installing BackupBuddy

Thursday, September 6, 2012

BackupBuddy Plugin review

After being hacked a few months back and having my site being down for a few days I realized something I should have realized long before. The free WordPress Backup Plugins won’t help you when the time comes. Backing up only the database is only a small part of your entire WordPress installation and what good is a backup if you can easily restore it? I guess I should be thankful that I was hacked when I was as that caused me to open my eyes and get a better WordPress Backup solution that will actually be there for me when and if the time comes. So, as I always do before I go about purchasing something, I did my research and it came down to one of two WordPress Backup solutions: BackupBuddy or VaultPress. And the clear winner for me was BackupBuddy.
BackupBuddy Overview 

Creator: iThemes Media LLC
 Focus:WordPress Backup Plugin
Price:$75 for 2 Sites Official
Why BackupBuddy Won?
 Before I will show you how to install and use BackupBuddy Plugin I figure you might want to know why I decided to go with BackupBuddy over VaultPress. Well, since it seems that these two are the top leading WordPress Backup solutions the guys behind BackupBuddy created a comparison chart that shows the main differences between the two. This chart had a big impact on me and on my final decision so I figure it would be very useful for you to see. The bottom line is for me was that VaultPress is way more expensive and doesn’t really provide any added value over what BackupBuddy gives me. Another reason that helped me chose BackupBuddy was the migrate feature it has which I intended to use in order to move my blog to a new and improved VPS hosting but that wasn’t necessary as the guys over at KnownHost did all the migrating for me.

  Installing BackupBuddy
 Installing Backup Buddy is just like installing any other WordPress plugin. After you complete your purchase and get the file, simply upload it and activate the plugin. The next step would be to activate your license so you will be able to update the plugin and trust me, it seems that every week or so there is a new update. Activating Your BackupBuddy License When you are inside your installed plugins screen you will see a yellow key icon and Licenses written (as seen in the screenshot below). Simply click on it.
The next screen you will see is this:
All you need to do is to login using your member information which you should have received after completing your purchase and add a license key to the current site. This will allow you to update BackupBuddy whenever a new update will be released.
  BackupBuddy Video Overview
BackupBuddy Options
 After installing the plugin it will be added to the bottom of your Admin Panel and will have the following options:
Getting Started
 All the information you need about how to use BackupBuddy is located here. Even though BackupBuddy is very easy to use and setup, you still get all the support and information you need in order to fully understand how to use the plugin.
  Backup & Restore
If you want to do manual backups, restore a previous backup or migrate your blog than this is where you need to go. As you can see from the screenshot above, you can choose between a database only backup, a full backup or to restore/migrate. Once you click on either of the backup options (database or full) you will see a screen showing you the backup progress. Here is a video that will show you exactly how it would look when you will create a manual backup with BackupBuddy:
Malware Scan
 This is an added feature  than will allow you to scan your site for malware and see if your site is blacklisted. Pretty cool little tool that will help you make sure everything is OK with your site and if not, it will tell you what exactly is wrong.
  Server Info
 The Server Info. section of BackupBuddy shows detailed information about the server that your site is currently being hosted on and it will also indicate onYou will be able to see:
  • Server Configuration
  • File Permissions
  • Site/File size maps
  • Database/Table size
  • WordPress scheduled actions
With this information it is much easier to diagnose issues that may cause problems for your WordPress installation or for using BackupBuddy.
  BackupBuddy allows you to create schedules for when backups should be performed and where they should be sent to. Using this feature you can create as many scheduled backups as you want (I only have 2, a daily one for my database and a weekly full backup) and decide where to send them to (amazon S3, Dropbox, FTP, etc.). By creating schedules and enabling the email notifications I really don’t need to touch BackupBuddy again. It is set and forget and if there is any problem I will be notified by email so I can take care of it.
Inside the BackupBuddy setting screen you will be able to adjust various settings, such as:
  • Email Notifications
  • General Options
  • Archive Storage Limits
  • Remote Offsite Storage / Destinations
  • Backup Exclusions
BackupBuddy Support
 This is point I wanted to emphasize as I feel it is very important and I also think that BackupBuddy support is unlike any other plugin I encountered. The support is built with box hovers and video tutorials that you can access within the plugin itself by simply hovering over questions marks shown by every option you see in the various plugin screens. Here is an image showing what I mean:
The icon shown shown with the green arrow will open a video in a hover box which mean you don’t need to leave your WordPress admin panel to watch it. The question mark icons shown with the blue arrows will show a hover box with a written explanation of what that specific option does. If by any chance you have a problem that you can find a solution for with the all the explanation and video tutorials you get inside the plugin itself than you can use the support forum and your problem will be fixed in under 24 hours. I had an issue I couldn’t figure out how to fix so I simply gave the moderators the access information to my blog and they fixed it for me.
The way I see it, there are some things you really can’t afford to be cheap about and you can’t afford to save money on and your WordPress Backup is defiantly one of them. If you have a site or sites that are important to you and making you money than I strongly recommend you start backing them up with a tool such as BackupBuddy. Don’t rely on the free WordPress Backup plugins you can find because I assure you that when the day will come that you will need to use those backups to get your site back online, you will find out that you are in trouble and it won’t be as easy as you might have thought. I really think BackupBuddy is great and I have been using it for several months now without any problems. The knowledge that my site is safe and that no matter what happens I can get it back online in a short period of time is great.