BackupBuddy Review

In my last article, I talked about how to change web hosts and the process involved. For simple sites, the process isn’t too hard, but if you are moving a WordPress blogs, the process is a bit more difficult because you have to transfer the database over as well. This can be quite challenging for people who haven’t gone through it before.

If you find yourself going through this process a lot, you might want to invest in an awesome WordPress plugin called Backup Buddy. I’ve been using Backup Buddy for awhile now, and it’s a great tool to have if you move sites around as often as I do. While there are other WordPress plugins that do partial backups (DB only), Backup Buddy is the only plugin I know that does one click full site backups. It’s very flexible in how it works, and very easy to use which is the most important. If backups aren’t easy, you won’t be doing them, right?

Creating A Backup With BackupBuddy

Backup Buddy installs like any other WordPress plugin. Once it’s up and running, you’ll see a BackupBuddy settings menu added in your WordPress Control Panel.

Backup Buddy Menu

To create a full backup of your site, click on Backups and then click on Full Backup. The process can take from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes depending on how large your site is.

Once the process is complete, you’ll see a link to your backup file which you can now click on to download it locally to your computer.

Backup Buddy WordPress Backup

There’s also a button at the bottom to download a file called importbuddy.php that you’ll want to download too. This is the script you’ll be using to import your backup file to your new host.

Restoring Your Backup

Here’s the process for restoring your blog:

  1. Upload your backup file and importbuddy.php to the root web directory of your server (usually public_html).
  2. Create a MySQL DB for your site in your cPanel.
  3. Navigate to the importbuddy.php file on your webserver. If your main domain is mydomain.com then you would access this file by going to http://mydomain.com/importbuddy.php in your web browser.

This will lead you through a simple wizard that will walk you through the process of restoring your backup. The defaults usually work fine, and you just need to enter in the DB info in Step 2. That’s it! Once you go through the wizard, your site will be live. It really is that simple.

Final Thoughts

Even if you’re not moving web hosts, BackupBuddy is excellent for plain WordPress backups as well. You can schedule monthly, weekly, daily and even hourly backups and have them sent to your email, FTP server, or even Amazon S3 if you have an account there. There’s nothing worse then having all your posts on your blog get wiped out you put all your hard work and sweat into. So BackupBuddy ensures that you always have a fallback in case something bad happens.

As you can see, BackupBuddy can be a huge timesaver if you want to migrate a site to your new best web host. There are many things that can go wrong when backing up and restoring your site manually. By using the BackupBuddy you minimize these problems and have perfect backups every time.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Elyse October 8, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Does Backup Buddy work for cloning Wordpress sites? I know it backs up, but I don’t know if it’s what I need to clone sites…. doing a little research before I buy. Thanks!

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Chris October 8, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Hi Elyse. Yup, Backup Buddy does cloning as well as backing up.

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Robert Rickover October 9, 2011 at 10:31 pm

I’m not clear on the options of where to store the backups. (the printed material mentions FTP and email – neither of which makes sense to me) Is there a simple way to store them on my computer HD which, in my case, is backed up by Time Machine and Carbonite?

And do the backups restore everything, and enable me to completely restore my site?

Thanks,

Robert

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Chris October 10, 2011 at 12:37 am

Yeah, after Backup Buddy completes its backup, you’ll see a link to it on the Backups page. Then just click on the link and you should be able to save it to your hard drive.

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Robert Rickover October 10, 2011 at 10:06 pm

If several WP sites I’ve created are being backed up, can Backup Buddy be set up so that individual site owners can access only their site’s backup, and then restore their site if need be? Would they need an FTP account for their site to do that?

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Chris October 11, 2011 at 5:15 am

Hi Robert. It just really depends how you want to set it up. If the backups are small enough, you could have it automatically email the backups to individual site owners. Or you might want to use the Dropbox option and create shares for each person and have the backups go to a specific shared folder for each person. FTP works too, but probably a little more complicated to setup.

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