Backup Buddy Is A Home Run

It’s exciting times for the guys over at iThemes as they have finally launched their commercial plugin store, PluginBuddy. PluginBuddy is a seperate entity of iThemes whereas iThemes concentrates on themes while PluginBuddy is strictly commercial plugins. Just like iThemes, the plugins on will be licensed under the GPL. The launch comprises of a few different plugins but the one I’m going to be focusing on is Backup Buddy.

Installation And Usage

Installation is the same process for every other plugin. However, in order to activate it, you need to have an active license key from No problem, as BackupBuddy provides an easy way to generate and apply a new license from within the plugin itself. Once the plugin is activated, you’ll want to browse to the Getting Started with BackupBuddy page which explains what the plugin does and the steps needed to configure how it works. Here is how BackupBuddy Explains itself.

BackupBuddy is an all-in-one solution for backups, restoration, and migration. The single backup ZIP file created by the plugin can be used with the importer PHP script to quickly and easily restore your site on the same server or even migrate to a new host with different settings. Whether you’re an end user or a developer, this plugin is sure to bring you peace of mind and added safety in the event of data loss. Our goal is to keep the backup, restoration, and migration processes easy, fast, and reliable.

A full backup is required to restore your site or migrate. However, a Database Only backup may be created as a faster, more regular backup solution. When restoring your site or migrating, simply include the latest database backup ZIP in addition to the full backup. BackupBuddy will automatically check the full backup and database only backup to restore the latest database version.

Instead of diving deep into a review, I’ll cover things in a bullet point process.

In order for scheduled backups to occur, you’ll need to configure a password. This password is used for migration and restoration. When asked in the live chat today whether they plan on adding encryption support, they said it was one of the things that could possibly be added at some point down the road as another security precaution.

What does BackupBuddy backup? Unlike backup solutions that are part of cPanel, BackupBuddy is only concerned with WordPress and the things associated with it. So that means it backs up the database WordPress is installed in, plugins, themes, uploads, everything related to the WordPress install. This is for the full backup. Alternatively, you can tell BackupBuddy to only backup the database.

Where do the backups go? If no options are selected, the backups will be stored in a sub-folder within the uploads directory called backupbuddy_backups. Alternatively, you can send the backup file to a remote FTP server or have the backup emailed to you as an attachment. When asked about backing up to Amazon S3, the PluginBuddy team stated they will be working on that for an upcoming version of the plugin.

Scheduling of backups. BackupBuddy provides an easy way to configure when a backup should occur. This can be monthly, twice monthly, weekly, daily, or hourly. You can also specify the exact date and time for the first instance of the backup to occur which will then reoccur at the same time on the same day. You can not group multiple days into one scheduled backup. For example, if you wanted to create a weekly backup on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, you would need to setup three different backups and schedule them for weekly, on those days. Asides from not being able to group multiple backups into one schedule, you can not edit a scheduled backup. Instead, you need to delete the backup and reschedule it with the corresponding edits. I’ve been told though that in a future version, you’ll be able to edit scheduled backups.

Something that I think many will consider a killer feature of BackupBuddy is its ability to easily be used to migrate WordPress installations from a local development server to a live public server. This is how it works.

  1. Upload the resulting backup zip file and importbuddy.php to the root web directory of the destination server. You do not need to install WordPress or any other files on the destination server. The backup will handle this.
  2. Also upload the latest database backup ZIP file if one exists.
  3. Navigate to importbuddy.php in your webbrowser on the destination server.
  4. Follow the importing instructions on screen. You will be given the option to change settings on import.
  5. After completing the restore / migration, repeat the process, selecting the database backup zip on import.

As you can see, you don’t need to actually install WordPress on the live site. Instead, all you have to do is upload the extracted backup file and run the importbuddy.php script which will handle everything. One of the biggest pains is having to manually go into phpMyAdmin to change the SiteURL and Blog URL from localhost to the live site. The importbuddy.php script provides options to configure these settings before the migration is set in stone. A real time save if you ask me.

If you decide to keep a set of backup files within a sub-folder in your WordPress installation, BackupBuddy gives you easy access to those files, including a way to send that backup via FTP or through email. Alternatively, you can download the zip file from within this interface so you don’t have to muck around with your FTP client.

BackupBuddy Is Awesome

The first public version of BackupBuddy is impressive. The problems I mentioned earlier with schedule editing and the likes are definitely not showstoppers from using the plugin. Considering those will be addressed in a future version, BackupBuddy can only improve from their initial offering.

Now here is something I found to be really impressive. Their pricing. For the personal package which covers support for two websites, includes automatic upgrades for two sites and is good for one year, at $25.00, that is exceptional value for the price. I was expecting this plugin to be around $50.00 or more so was thoroughly pleased at the personal site price point. Their business membership plan is $75.00 while the developer version is ONLY $150.00. Prices have since changed so that the personal license is $45.00, Business $75.00 and Developer $150.00.

I purchased my personal site membership during the live Q and A today and had it performing a back-up in no time. Highly recommended by me as this is truly a great backup solution that is WordPress centric, no third party services involved.

If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of BackupBuddy, please use the following link as I’ll receive a cutback from your purchase. Also, today is a great day to purchase your membership package with the coupon code BACKUP10 which will be good until midnight tonight. This coupon will save you 10% on the already cheap prices.

Update Cory has given me the go ahead to give away one single membership package and one development membership package of BackupBuddy. All you have to do is leave a comment. Pretty simple right? I’ll choose the winners tomorrow.

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