Backup Buddy – How Much is Peace of Mind Worth?
During a recent web server migration for a client, one tool played a prominent role in the backup and testing process – BackupBuddy.
I initially came across Backup Buddy as a means to quickly transfer websites to avoid having to manually migrate databases and copying the WordPress installations via FTP. It was painful dealing with inconsistent file transfers and having to rename URLs led to mistakes.
BackupBuddy is as much a process as it is a tool. Install the plugin as you would any other and a BackupBuddy option appears in the WordPress dashboard. I spend most of my time on the Backup screen where I can choose to a database only backup, complete backup (my recommendation), themes only, media only.
It lets me create a database and WordPress site back up in a single zip file (don’t forget to keep the installbuddy.php file found on the Restore screen) and transfers that file to another location such as Dropbox.
With weekly backups of my sites sent to my Dropbox account, I know in case of a catastrophic failure, all of my content including blog posts, images, etc. are intact. My site is safe in the cloud.
Installing a site with BackupBuddy is a simple process of copying the install file and zip to the desired destination – it could be on a new server or a new folder. Page URLs are rewritten to match the intended domain name, so all the experience remains the same for your users.
BackupBuddy has evolved over the years to include a robust set of server tools to ensure compatibility across web hosts. A recent addition has been basic malware scanning, it won’t match Sucuri or Wordfence but it’s better than the baseline protection found in WordPress, which is none.
Although I focused on Backup Buddy in this write-up, the same principles apply to similar tools such as Updraft Plus. Backup Buddy is not free, but the development team has been around for years and continues to actively develop the plug-in which is a problem with a lot of free software.