83 Comments


  1. @joelmoney – Hey Joel. For starters, WP-DB-Backup has not been updated since 2008, even though it might still work. Secondly, that plugin is only for the database tables. With BackupBuddy, you get the choice of just backing up the database or include the entire file structure as well. Third, you don’t have to use phpMyAdmin in order to restore or migrate the database making it very easy for end users to perform those functions.

    Really, WP DB Backup serves a specific function while Backup Buddy is so much more.

  2. Bruce Jackson

    The thing that caught my eye about BackupBuddy is it puts all the files from your site (themes, meda, etc.) as well as the database in one zip file, along with a php script to restore it. It also lets you change URL references during the restore operation, which makes it great for moving a site from development to production, or from one host to another. Either feature would make it worth the price of admission to me, but getting both is even better.


  3. @Bruce Jackson – Bingo. People have clamored for an easy way to mirror a local dev environment with a public/live site. Although this is not automatic and does not use Subversion techniques, it’s the next best thing.


  4. Thanks. That is an awesome feature. Thank you so much Jeffro and Bruce.


  5. Commenting to get a DEV license of Backup Buddy ..

  6. Scot

    Fine piece of work. Look forward to using it.


  7. I did think to build something like this like half a year ago! :)

    Kudos to iThemes for creating this.

  8. rgregory

    What a great idea, I’ve always wanted to build my sites locally and then just pop them on the net! I wish them luck.

  9. Gary MacKay

    Very nice. Anxious to get back to the office and check this out. Thanks!


  10. yeah the premium plugins that PluginBuddy offers are pretty good. I see they’re offering 10% off for today for the BackupBuddy.

    This is a necessary plugin that, really you hope you never have to use.

    I, like Jeff, highly recommend this plugin

  11. Kevin

    It looks like an awesome product, but I’m surprised they didn’t get the jump on 3.0 multisite mode. I would definitely pay for a solution to let users do a DB backup of just their site to then import into either a single or multi-site wordpress install.


  12. This does look like a very good system. The bit that’s really caught my eye though, is being able to build a website up, then migrate it. I’ve been wondering how best to do this for a project I’m overdue starting. I’ve been putting it off because I needed a decent block of time available so there isn’t a partially built site to replace what’s there now. With this backupbuddy, if I understand it correctly, I can build elsewhere, and then just upload when complete. Very useful.

  13. Eric

    Thanks for the review. I’ll most likely be making use of that 10% off coupon tonight.


  14. This is terrific, I’m already recommending this to some of my clients and plan on using this in my workflow.


  15. The scheduled backup is a great feature. I should make this plugin a client requirement so I can sleep well at night.


  16. It will be so nice to have a plugin to install for backing up sites, instead of relying on hosting permissions. I will DEFINITELY be looking into the dev license for client sites.

  17. Enrico

    Thanks for the review.
    Is there an option in ‘full backup’ that lets you choose what to backup? For example just backup widgets or installed plugin or even just posts from certain categories?
    I’m going to buy a personal license through your referral link. However I’ll cross fingers to get a dev license. :-P
    Thanks.


  18. Kudos to Corey and company for such an awesome plugin! Would love to have a Developer’s copy. :)


  19. @Enrico – During the live Q and A today, the PluginBuddy team stated that exclusion and inclusion of the backup routine would be a feature in a future version. You can’t do that currently though.

  20. Jeremy LeRay

    I know that this plug-in, like everything that iThemes produces, is going to be top notch. The iThemes team has definitely identified a need in the WordPress plug-in market with BackupBuddy. The ability to use BackupBuddy as a site migration tool is the biggest draw for me, but scheduled backups is another big selling point. I am going to buy the Personal version today to finish testing on my site, but will plan to get the Developer version soon to use on client sites. That would be a great prize to win tomorrow though!

    Thanks for the review Jeffro.


  21. @BlueLight – Hmm, looks like a decent free alternative but I can’t say for sure whether it’s better or not.


  22. Forget backup — it’s not too terribly difficult to back up content. It sounds like the real gem here is the ability to save and move entire sites: content, plugins, themes, and all. This is timely for me, as I’ve been considering ways to automate some of that on my own. Something like this will save me the trouble.


  23. @Brian – When they discussed the migration aspects of this plugin during the live Q and A today, I knew it would be the killer feature since many people have been clamoring for a way to do this quickly and easily without dragging the files and database between Point A and Point B manually.


  24. I really liked the Q & A they’ve had today. I’ve gotten all the answers I need and this is definately a plugin I want. Will you decide a comment-licence-winner before their discount-offer runs out? ;)


  25. Great review – you’ve got me excited about this plugin :-) And I would love a developer’s license!!

    Thanks


  26. This sounds like something I could get a lot of use out of. One question: does it save and restore the settings (from the “settings” part of the dashboard) and does it back up and restore the settings/configuration of other plugins? And those plugins themselves?
    Thanks.
    Sherry


  27. @Brian -exactly! Although we think the backup part hits ALL of WordPress … the migration part is a HIUGE need. As a developer myself I frequently would build clients sites on my sandbox and then try to migrate them over … tedious. Moving one job pays for this plugin.


  28. This plugin looks like exactly what I need! I installed WordPress locally using XAMPP and was reading about how to move the site from there to a real web server. It looked pretty complicated and involved. With BackupBuddy it looks like it will be much, much easier!


  29. I’m anxious to see how they’re going to handle network backups come 3.0. If they can get that working, I’d be super delighted.


  30. This plugin sounds awesome! I really would love to have a dev copy. I agree with Brian…the ability to migrate the site easily is the major selling point to me. I develop client WP sites on my server and then have to transfer everything over which makes for a long and tedious process.


  31. Well now, isn’t this quite the long comment thread, Jeff? :)

    I’ll add myself to the list, too. I love to get free stuff – especially free stuff that I would use, anyway!


  32. Definitely interested in the migration part. That’s just a huge pain right now and would really speed up development. It’s just too cumbersome to have your development and production server in sync.


  33. I went ahead and bought a licence, so let someone else win! ;)

    And yes, Jeff… I used your link. ;)


  34. As a WordPress plugin developer I am massively impressed by their setup and the way they conduct their business and I can only see PluginBuddy being a great success!

    Oh and I wouldn’t mind winning that copy either ;)

  35. Andrew

    My current backup solution copies all of my databases and files to an s3 bucket. A little redundncy never hurt though.


  36. Howdy, thanks for the great post. I have been looking for something like this. I use wordpress to build sites for for people as a way to relax and release some stress. I enjoy taking an idea and making it into something. Before I would use create a sub dir in my install and build up a site and then try to recreate it on the live site. I am sure that is not the right way, but it worked so far. something like this would be a awesome tool. If you like my post and I win that is cool, if not I am sure i will buy it anyway. Thanks for bringing this to your site. Keep up the good work.

    Jessie


  37. Well yeah, some plugin BackupBuddy is, and will be for some time to come with all the new features that’ll be heading it’s way soon and in the future! – Before I get into much detail Jeff, keep my comment out of the running for a possible freebie, thanks! :)

    If I had to pick just 1 feature that I’m excited about, I just couldn’t, I’d take advantage of every single last bit of BackupBuddy, and more! The developers are really going to love the backup and migration you can do, and a new WordPress install isn’t even required for that, what more could the developer ask for?

    Joel mentioned the WP-DB-Backup right up the top, yes I have used that plugin too, and I know that it’s downloadable for free. It does about 1/4 of what BackupBuddy does, maybe even less, those aren’t exact figures, just a rough guess!

    You could say I was fortunate enough to beta-test BackupBuddy in the early stages, and thanks do go to Cory and the PluginBuddy.com Team for allowing me to have an input, even if the backup-over-email feature was going to be added anyway? :D

    And in answer to Andrew just a couple of comments further up, I’d keep your eyes peeled, there is talk about integrating with Amazon S3 which I think you’ll be glad to hear!

    I’d grab BackupBuddy with both hands, if you can, and get it setup today … unless you can look into the future, you never know when your host could take a turn for the worse!

  38. kaambiz

    One thing I like to know is its functionality in restoring huge backups, ie. what happens if a full back up is something like 10 GB ( 1GB db at least)?


  39. Backup Buddy sounds like a great plugin. Up til this point, I’ve only been “kinda” good at backing up the WP databases for all of my sites, while I’ve been fairly terrible at backing up the rest of the website files. Backup Buddy might be a real time saver for me, as well as a chance to finally stop stressing about the fact that I’m bad at administrative tasks :)

  40. cotton

    @Jeffro – do you know of any projects working on a subversion approach to this? As you stated, it’s indeed a long awaited solution especially with migration in mind, but I think subversion really has a lot more to offer. I tried to figure out a decent subversion way to do this a few months ago but I quickly ran into some bottleneck – my limited knowledge of the technique being one of them :-)

    Thank you for this review. And, yes, I would like to win a copy…


  41. Very, very cool! Nice work iThemes crew, you’re building quite a great business with great tools!

    I’ve recently finished a very large implementation of a WPMU network of sites for a client and have been thinking about the easiest way to “hand off” the regular backup process to them. The developer version of this plugin is exactly what I need to streamline my work, but also to provide my clients with a fool proof backup system they can manage on their own!

    Consider my hat thrown in for the giveaway:)

  42. Chris Dornan

    Yes, a comprehensive backup and site migration option makes it truly useful. This kind of thing should be being done properly.

    I do wonder whether this kind of thing ought to be bundled with the storage itself though.


  43. I realize some folks may have not purchased the plugin yesterday due to the chance of getting it for free via this giveaway. One last time, I’ll try and pull some strings with Cory to see what I can muster.

  44. Ryan

    The plugin sounds great but the activation key is a bit confusing. From the site:

    Membership length for support and updates: 1 year from time of purchase

    Does this mean the plugin will still be active after one year if I don’t pay for another year? (I realize upgrading may be necessary for WP compatibility).

    I just want to know if I’m getting myself into a subscription-based situation or not.

    Btw, I searched their forums will no success.

    Thanks for all you hard work in keeping this site fresh Jeffro. It is a great service you’re providing.


  45. @Ryan – Yes, the plugin will be active but you’ll no longer be able to get upgrades or support. So you definitely end up in a subscription situation.

  46. Ryan

    Thanks Jeffro. We’ll that’s better than the plugin simply being deactivated :)


  47. @Ryan – Yes. As far as I understand it, as long as a new version of WordPress didn’t break the plugin or any of its functionality, it should continue to function as its configured with no support or upgrades.


  48. Another good BackupBuddy use: Migrating a default settings/plugins/content WordPress build for hassle-free new site creation.

  49. Parvin Panahi

    Does anyone know how to get around this error when running the importbuddy.php? I get it after step 2…

    FastCGI Error
    The FastCGI Handler was unable to process the request.

    Error Details:

    * The FastCGI process exceeded configured activity timeout
    * Error Number: 258 (0x80070102).
    * Error Description: The wait operation timed out.

    HTTP Error 500 - Server Error.
    Internet Information Services (IIS)


  50. I purchased the plugin after reading this article the other night – and had backup buddy working in no time at all. I also like the fact that you can upgrade to another level – should the need arise – with only the price difference to pay.
    Thanks for the write up!


  51. @Parvin Panahi – Have you tried starting a thread on the Plugin Buddy support forums? That would give you the best chance at getting an answer.

    @Chris Hill – I don’t know if you bought the plugin through me but if you did, thank you very much.


  52. 1x affiliate link used :)

    Plugin looks good so far. It’s kinda pooping itself when I do the manual backup though, maybe coz it’s got too much stuff to zip up.

  53. Jace

    I’m just wondering if the plugin is GPL, where does one go to obtain the source code?


  54. @Jace -

    I’m just wondering if the plugin is GPL, where does one go to obtain the source code?

    It’s PHP. The code is the source. So, do what everyone else does: buy a copy, and voila: you have the source!


  55. @Jace – The GPL kicks in during distribution and in order for distribution to occur for Backup Buddy, you must purchase the plugin.


  56. If it’s GPL, the source code is supposed to be free and openly available. I’m not sure if it’s GPL or not, but I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be if it uses WordPress or PHP at all. PHP is open source as is WordPress.


  57. @Sherry -

    If it’s GPL, the source code is supposed to be free and openly available. I’m not sure if it’s GPL or not, but I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be if it uses WordPress or PHP at all. PHP is open source as is WordPress.

    The GPL only requires providing source to those to whom code is distributed. Since every party to whom BackupBuddy has been distributed does, in fact, have the source, then the requirements of the GPL are satisfied.

    By the way: the GPL does not require anything to be provided free of charge. The GPL explicitly allows for charging a fee for GPL code, and further, allows for nominal charges to allay the cost of the medium on which source code is conveyed upon request.

    But, if you’re not a party to the distribution of the code in the first place, nothing in the GPL applies to you.


  58. @Chip Bennett -
    I don’t believe that is true, actually, or Chris Pearson would have won his battle with Matt Mullenweg over the Thesis theme….


  59. @Sherry -

    I don’t believe that is true, actually, or Chris Pearson would have won his battle with Matt Mullenweg over the Thesis theme….

    Uh… what does Thesis have anything to do with whether or not the GPL requires BackupBuddy to be given away for free? Complete non sequitur.


  60. Because everything is the same except the product. It’s a product built specifically for WordPress, built with WordPress and PHP code. And was put up for sale to the general public. I don’t understand your confusion. Chris Pearson was of the same mind – that he didn’t have to provide the source code to people who didn’t purchase it. Until his very public debate with Matt Mullenweg over it and then eventually conceded.


  61. @Sherry – Even with Thesis being split licensed, there is still a price tag attached. Even now that Thesis is split licensed where the PHP code is GPL does not mean you can demand access to that source code. That source code is distributed to you (GPL kicks in) after you make the purchase which is totally acceptable under the GPL license agreement.

    Those who charge for GPL licensed code are doing no wrong.

  62. Jace

    @Chip Bennett -

    Ok… but under the terms of the GPL, if I buy a copy and obtain your source I am then able to redistribute that source code to the public for free without charging a fee. That is to say, if I want to buy a license, I can then post the plugin to my Web site and allow the masses to download it for free… without every paying pluginbuddy or myself a dime, if i so choose.

    This brings about two points… if not ok with that (and I don’t know why anyone who demands payment for binary code to obtain the source code would be ok with it… otherwise, they would just distribute it freely themselves), why choose a GPL license? Furthermore, how do you actually license the software to be used on 2 sites, 10 sites, etc. If I purchase a license and then have the ability to redistribute the software freely, if I so choose, doesn’t 1 license in fact equal unlimited licenses as I can redistribute the software to each and every client I build a Web site for?


  63. @Sherry -

    Because everything is the same except the product.

    Er, no: BackupBuddy has always been licensed under GPL. Thesis wasn’t.

    It’s a product built specifically for WordPress, built with WordPress and PHP code. And was put up for sale to the general public. I don’t understand your confusion.

    And I don’t understand how you can even attempt to compare the two:

    1) Again: they’re PHP code, so everyone to whom that code is distributed has the source code.
    2) Chris Pearson potentially violated WordPress’ license by incorporating core WordPress code into Thesis, and then distributing that code under a restrictive license. BackupBuddy does not incorporate core WordPress code – and in any case, is already licensed as GPL.
    3) Neither Thesis nor BackupBuddy has to provide anything to anyone to whom the code itself has not been distributed.

    Chris Pearson was of the same mind – that he didn’t have to provide the source code to people who didn’t purchase it. Until his very public debate with Matt Mullenweg over it and then eventually conceded.

    Chris Pearson’s contention (and one in which he was, legally speaking, correct) was that WordPress’ GPL does not in any way compel him to license Thesis under GPL, unless actual WordPress code were incorporated into Thesis. (Of course, once it was discovered that core WordPress code had, in fact, been incorporated into Thesis, the argument was essentially moot.)

    Still: you’ve not demonstrated how the Thesis situation in any way applies here.


  64. Well, I believe it does. But I don’t have a vested interest in the outcome of the argument. I was just expressing my opinion, which I still hold.


  65. @Jace -

    Ok… but under the terms of the GPL, if I buy a copy and obtain your source I am then able to redistribute that source code to the public for free without charging a fee. That is to say, if I want to buy a license, I can then post the plugin to my Web site and allow the masses to download it for free… without every paying pluginbuddy or myself a dime, if i so choose.

    Entirely correct.

    This brings about two points… if not ok with that (and I don’t know why anyone who demands payment for binary code to obtain the source code would be ok with it… otherwise, they would just distribute it freely themselves),

    …enter the spirit of the GPL plea. There are some WordPress Theme/Plugin developers who license their work under GPL, and then attempt, through persuasion/peer pressure/etc., to prevent you from exercising your rights due to that exercise being unethical. (To which I say: hogwash.)

    …why choose a GPL license?

    Bottom line? Because it is the community more/expectation/standard. The vast majority (if not the entirety) of commercial WordPress developers who release their work under GPL do so because they want to be on good terms with the WordPress community.

    Furthermore, how do you actually license the software to be used on 2 sites, 10 sites, etc. If I purchase a license and then have the ability to redistribute the software freely, if I so choose, doesn’t 1 license in fact equal unlimited licenses as I can redistribute the software to each and every client I build a Web site for?

    IIRC, the per-site license is for support and updates, not for mere use.

  66. Jace

    @Chip Bennett -

    Ok… as I view the membership plans (which I’ve looked at numerous times before you provided the link), I am unable to “get” it. If I pay for a 2 site license… I am technically paying for support and updates for 2 sites for 1 year, but… am I free to use the code on as many domains/sites/blogs as I wish? I ask, because that information isn’t clearly defined, and actually looks like a “no.”

    I believe I saw a screenshot that showed BackUpBuddy requiring a user to enter the domain that the software was being used on. I would assume that is to “phone home” and check that the license covers operation for said domain in order to function. Does the software do this? If yes, doesn’t that prevent me from redistributing the plugin as I see fit, as required by the GPL?


  67. @Sherry -

    Well, I believe it does. But I don’t have a vested interest in the outcome of the argument. I was just expressing my opinion, which I still hold.

    Expressing your opinion is all well and good, but you’re not really explaining why you believe Thesis and BackupBuddy are related in this circumstance.

    Similarities:

    1) They’re both PHP code
    2) They’re both WordPress extensions
    3) Both must be purchased for use

    Differences:

    1) BackupBuddy is and was always GPL. Thesis was formerly all-rights-reserved, but recently became split-GPL.

    Why none of it matters:

    1) PHP is run-time compiled code. Thus, having possession of a PHP application or code is equivalent to having the source for that code. The code is the source.

    2) The issue regarding purchase cost is completely irrelevant. The GPL explicitly allows it. The Thesis debate never had anything to do with purchase cost, and the question of availability of BackupBuddy plugin source code likewise has absolutely nothing to do with its purchase cost.


  68. @Jace -

    I believe I saw a screenshot that showed BackUpBuddy requiring a user to enter the domain that the software was being used on. I would assume that is to “phone home” and check that the license covers operation for said domain in order to function. Does the software do this? If yes, doesn’t that prevent me from redistributing the plugin as I see fit, as required by the GPL?

    Fair questions. I’ve never tried installing my copy of BackupBuddy on more than two sites, so I honestly can’t answer your question. I don’t know what would happen if it were attempted to be used on a third site.

    If it fails to function as intended, then yes: I’d say that their implementation violates the GPL. I’ll give it a try on a separate web site, and let you know.

  69. Carl Hancock

    @Sherry – Your opinion is 100% incorrect. So you may want to start listening to some of the other commenters on this post… they know what they are talking about.


  70. I wish people would spend 10 minutes reading the GPL v2 license before entering into debate about it. It’s not a difficult read.

  71. Philip

    For my 2c worth.

    I read these ongoing discussions about whether a person should be able to charge for work they did under GPL.

    As far as I’m concerned it’s karma! Why should anyone who has done a sh-tload of work on something, and who would like to paid something for it, NOT be paid, because of some interpretation?

    Let’s say I develop a humungous application using Excel. it’s free for anyone to do the same, but it was ME who did it. if someone else doesn’t like it, then go make your own application, or, in this case a plugin.

    Karma – what goes around comes around.

    Like I say, just my 2c worth!

    Cheers

    Philip

  72. Jace

    @Chip Bennett -

    Any word on whether or not Backup Buddy works on domains beyond the number of SUPPORT licenses purchased yet, Chip?


  73. I was excited when I saw $25 price point BUT looks like the developers took your advice and raised the price. =/

Comments are closed.