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.

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