The best we’ve found for secure backup in 2012 – BackupBuddy

As an online business owner and WordPress developers, our online real estate is without a doubt our biggest asset. Way over half of all the blogs and websites online today use WordPress as their CMS platform. However there is a flip side to this in that as it rises in popularity, our WordPress sites are now more attractive to  malware and malicious users and those nasty little hackers.

So, here is the simple question us Monkeys are asked all the time, “what is our contingency plan if any of our websites was to be hacked tomorrow? Do we know how we are going to get our sites back up if we were to loose it?”

For many organisations losing a site or blog can mean months and years of wasted hard writing and design work. If any of you rely on a website for your income, then this could mean actually losing your livelihood instantly, overnight !

And so now what to do… Here is how we suggest you safe guard against it immediately right now. You must repeat this mantra over and over dialy…

We have to backup the website….

and again

We have to backup the website….

Again? (ok yes I think uyou get the idea)

As our own websites and number of clients has grown over the years, it was time at the end of 2011 for The Army to sit down and look for a really solid and professional backup solution to protect all our websites, and indeed our clients.

First, when we look at any backup strategy there are a few criteria that is just HAS to meet:

  1. Work consistently and without failure, we’re striving for that 99.9% reliability here. Of course we know that nothing is truly perfect but we want to set it and forget it without worrying about it.
  2. Perform a seriously full and complete backup of the whole WordPress system.
  3. Able to store backup files and archives somewhere offsite other than the server where my website lives, preferably a low cost/free solution like DropBox.
  4. Affordable (high on our agenda!)
  5. Simply, easily and quickly be able restore the entire WordPress site from the backup archives.

So what we really wanted a one click solution which would not only allow us to run regular backups manually whenever we wanted 9such as before doing any updates). But we also wanted something to run regular malware scans and restore the websites simply and easily in the unlikely event that something was to go HUMUNGOUSLY wrong.

Now we have been using EZPZ One Click Backup for years now. It answered all the WordPress 2.0 problems and covered all the bases. however this plugin is no longer supported, and indeed is now dated, and we were very unsure about its stability and robustness going forward.

So after a few weeks of the whole Army looking about for alternatives, and then testing 3 or 4 of them on our websites we discovered our solution to answer our need for insurance against hackers and a potential catastrophic disaster.

Backup Buddy

This one was completely new to us in 2012, but after reviewing and testing all the incredible features this security plug-in has to offer, we decided to dedicate an entire article to highlight why this is our preferred, nay ONLY, option for any Wordpress website owner.

Back up your entire WordPress installation. Widgets, themes, plugins, files and SQL database – the entire package! Just like your laptop or desktop, you really should be doing regular backups of your website. With BackupBuddy you can schedule backups and automatically have them sent off-site to Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud, an FTP server, or just to your email. Or indeed simply download them right to your desktop for storage at home!

Getting Started with BackupBuddyGetting Started with BackupBuddy

This pdf beginner’s resource compiles easy-to-follow screenshots and instructions for getting started with BackupBuddy, the 3-in-1 backup solution for WordPress.

Get a step-by-step guide to installing, activating, and configuring BackupBuddy on individual sites and multisites.

Install Backup Buddy

Installiation is as simple as installing any other wordpress plug-in. Upload the plug-in and activate. Once activated a dedicated settings tab is available on your sidebar panel.

The getting started section of the plug-in contains all the necessary help information to get you up and running fast. It contains the easy instructions on how backup and restore your WordPress site step by step.

Creating a Backup

Access to all the options for creating your first backup is inside the “Backup & Restore” section of the plug-in panel. Here you have two options to create your backups, just a database backup or a full website backup.

With the database backup, only the content and associated settings are backed up. With a complete backup, the entire instance of wordpress alongwith the content are backed up, yes the whole shebang!

Something to be a bit careful of is that if you have several subdomains inside your main hosting account the full backup will also backup the individual sub directories as well, which will lead to slower performance during the backup process due to multiple Wordpress installs and sheer size of data packects.

The ImportBuddy option will very easily restore the database (content) backup of your site to a fresh wordpress install. Additionally, the new BackupBuddy 3.0 also allows an option to Repair any WordPress instance with a click of a button.

Phishing & Malware Protection

One of the other (side) great features of BackupBuddy 3.0 is the automatic malware scan which checks all the WordPress scripts for any malware or phishing vulnerabilities. Malware are malicious scripts injected to access personal and sensitive information, and are becoming more common in Wordpress installs.

A potential malware infection can have your site blacklisted or even deindexed completely by the search engines so it is important to keep your wordpress installs up to date to ensure that you have access to all the latest security fixes.

When you click on the Malware Scan button under the settings tab on your sidebar panel, BackupBuddy will immediately begin to scan your site for any malware. leave it going and when the scan is complete, you will see the results. If you get any bad results or receive warnings, contact us Flying Monkeys immediately, or at least contact your hosting company or visit the BackupBuddy Support Forum for guidance.

In addition to these warnings, you will also receive a Blacklisting Status assessment from the major search engines. Being aware of the results of this assessment is cool – you certainly don’t want your site to be blacklisted anywhere!

BackupBuddyScheduled Automatic Backups With BackupBuddy 3.0

The scheduling feature is another indispensable option to run automatic backups of your website at any predestined time,s at recurring intervals including monthly, twice monthly, weekly, daily or even hourly (if you are actively working on the site for instance…).

This settings tab also allows you to control a number of options including user email notification upon things like successful backup completion. It lets you set passwords for import buddy to prevent unauthorised access to the database files and also an option to send backup reminders to webmasters.

Backup Buddy also fulfils the need for us to directly upload any and all backups and archives onto the cloud for added security.

If you have multiple sub-domains within your master wordpress install, Backup Buddy gives you the option to exclude these subdomain wordpress directories from the backup file. We recommend this if you have several sub domain folders nested within the root domain.

Final Word?

BackupBuddy 3.0  offers much more ability and more features than wanted or needed for most blog and website owners; the ability to create a complete backup with a single click of a button with all the added bells and whistles.

After using Backup Buddy for several months on a number of professional websites and blogs , we now have complete peace of mind that all our clients’ valuable real estate is fully backed up and protected in case of any malicious attack. Not sure how much money is that worth to you but we  can tell you that it’s worth way more than Backup Buddy’s small price tag to this Army of Flying Monkeys!

We consider this security plug-in nearly indispensable for all serious website owners who wish to protect their valuable real estate.

And YES it IS running on this website!


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