BackupBuddy Plugin Review - WPHub

How often do you find yourself in a position where you have to move a WordPress site from one server to another? Even more likely, you have surely seen a need to have a backup or test copy of your site for development purposes, but had no easy way to do it. If either of these scenarios describe you, BackupBuddy may be the solution you have been seeking.

BackupBuddy Download & Installation

You can obtain the most recent version of BackupBuddy at PluginBuddy.com. As with all WordPress plug-ins, installation is as simple as uploading the main BackupBuddy folder to your wp-content/plugins directory and activating it from your WordPress dashboard. Once activated, you will notice a new menu item on your WordPress dashboard that says “BackupBuddy” as in the image below:

BackupBuddy

Once you have installed the BackupBuddy plug-in, the first thing you should do is click on “settings“ in the BackupBuddy submenu show above. Then you need to set passwords for ImportBuddy and RepairBuddy. We circled the area where you enter the passwords above. If you don’t do this now, you won’t be able to access all the features.

Making a Backup

Making a backup with BackupBuddy is straight forward and simple enough. Simply click on “Backup and Restore” under the BackupBuddy tab in the main admin menu. When you do this, if you are on a Windows machine that doesn’t support command line ZIP, you will see an error message with a red border at the top of the page like we have captured in the image below:

Backupbuddy-Error

If you see the error as in the above image, don’t be too concerned unless you have an extra large site to backup. If you have an average size site, you won’t be bothered by the little bit of extra time it takes in compatibility mode. We did a backup of a basic WordPress installation in compatibility mode without taking action regarding the error message and the backup still took only a minute or two. However, if you want peak performance and more stable backups without backing up previous backups(compatibility mode backs up previous backups as well), then click on the red link in the error message to find out how to solve this issue.

Backups are stored on your local machine. If you click on the “Getting Started” submenu below the main BackupBuddy menu item, you can get the download directory for backups. Look under the “Backup” heading. The last bullet point should look something like this:

Local backup storage directory: C:/xampp/htdocs/wordpress_test/wp-content/uploads/backupbuddy_backups/

That’s your backup directory.

Restoring Backups

Restoring a backup to another server is not too difficult either, although slightly more so than creating a backup. Here are the steps to create your first restoration:

Click on the Import Buddy icon from the back up and restore menu as you can see in the image above.

1.Click on Save, not Run! The computer will save the file to the directory you set your browser to download to. To find the file right click on the file named “importbuddy.php” in the downloads window that pops up when it is done downloading and click on “open containing folder“.

2. Create an empty database named after your current WordPress database on the server you wish to create a duplicate site on.
3. Obtain a copy of the backup and move it to your new server’s web root directory.
4. Also upload the backupbuddy.php script to the server’s web root.
5. Navigate to the backupbuddy.php script. If you are making a copy of the site on your local machine as a test environment, you will be going to localhost/backupbuddy.php or wherever you are putting your new site.

Now you have to go through the six step process in the backupbuddy.php script. Just click “Next Step” in step one because you have already uploaded the backup zip file to the server.

Step two of the BackupBuddy script will say that your files are extracting. When it’s done, click to go to the next step.
Step Three will be where you fill in the info for the new database you created earlier.
Step four is where it begins to initialize the installation. If you happen to get a message saying “Error #9020”, don’t because it is easy to fix by adding a basic .htaccess file to the server’s root directory. If you are not familiar with .htaccess files, simply upload a blank file named .htaccess to make it work for now. Once you get the “Initial database import complete!” message, click “next step” to continue.
Step five performs the final steps to complete the installation and ran smoothly for us. You have the option to delete the backup and installation files or not. If you want to keep the backup zip file for safe keeping, uncheck that box and click “clean up and remove select files” to continue to the last step.
Step six should tell you that your back up is complete as it did when we did it. Then, barring any errors, you should have a complete clone of your WordPress installation on your new server!

**When doing a backup with BackupBuddy, there is no need to install WordPress on the new server because the Import Buddy script does it all for you!

BackupBuddy Usability

BackupBuddy is fairly easy to operate. We would say that the difficulty level is medium. There are a few set up steps that need done before you can use all of the features, but the plug-in is well documented and has question marks you can hover over to get help on most of the confusing parts. If you do run into problems creating a backup, there are clear error messages and support links provided for any error you may encounter. You will find that after your first use, backup and restoring sessions become quite easy to do in almost no time at all. BackupBuddy is sure to be a huge time saver for cloning sites and creating development environments & test sites. Using cloned development and test sites allows you to keep an untouched and unharmed copy of your site as a back up in case something goes wrong during development and/or testing processes. With BackupBuddy, you can simply revert back to a copy of your site in its original state before you started development or testing on it when something goes wrong.

Costs

The BackupBuddy WordPress plug-in from PluginBuddy.com has the following charges associated with using the plug-in:
Use on up to two sites for $75
Use on up to ten sites for $100
Use on unlimited sites for $150

In our opinion these costs are a little on the high side. You have to figure that you will likely use it on ten or more sites if you are a developer, so you will have to pay the $150. If you are honest enough to pay for each use that is. If you are a site owner and just want to keep good backups of your WordPress site, then $75 isn’t too bad, but you have to think about whether it is worth the trouble of getting past the first backup and restore process which is the most difficult. If you are not going to use it very often, it may not be worth the cost and effort. It really isn’t much more difficult to backup and migrate a site by hand than it is to do it the first time with BackupBuddy. The benefit with this plug-in comes later when you do your second and third future backups and others after that.

Pros

Provides users with a quick and easy way to backup and restore WordPress sites after initial installation and first backup and restoration has been completed.

Runs fairly quick even when ran in compatibility mode for windows systems without command line ZIP.

Has an intuitive restore script called importbuddy.php that does most of the work of setting up a new site clone for you.

The first backup and subsequent backups seem to go smoothly(imports not so much).

Cons

Costs $75 for use with two sites which seems a little expensive considering that it costs twice that much to use it on unlimited sites which is its intended purpose.

It has at least one or two features that are not automated. For example, you still have to go to the server you are moving to and set up a database by hand.

Summary

When all is said and done, this plug-in gets our thumbs up. We give it a thumbs up because it does have more pros than cons and it has a place as a useful tool for developers, but for users with one or two WordPress we think it may not be worth the cost and to use it if you will not be creating regular backups of your site. Of course if you do regular developing on your WordPress site, it might still be well worth it to you. It is especially useful for developers who like to outsource work to web designers because they can easily provide them with a development environment to work with. Web developers are sure to find it useful because it is a huge time saver once you have it set up. Plus, once you are used to it, you can fly through the steps to do backups, restore sites to their original state and migrate sites to other servers. It is quite handy for creating development and testing environments identical to your live site. Imagine giving your only copy of a large website over to a designer for improvements and they corrupt your files somehow! That could be disastrous and costly. If you give them a clone of your site so that they cannot damage the original files, it gives you an extra layer of insurance that your site will be safe from damage or corruption.