2. WPMU DEV Backups FAQs

Written by Patrick | Last updated: September 14, 2020

WPMU DEV supports multiple ways to backup sites, including hosting backups, managed backups, and backups created with either of two versions of our Snapshot plugin. The following FAQs may help members understand how these backups are different so they can choose an option that works best for their sites.

2.1 General FAQ

Link to chapter 1

How long are my backups stored?

Almost all backups stored on WPMU DEV servers, including hosting backups, managed backups and backups created by Snapshot v3, are stored for 30 days. In practical terms, this means that a backup created today can be accessed, downloaded or restored for the next 30 days. On day 31, the backup is removed and cannot be recovered. Members can download backups any time during that period and store them wherever they choose for as long as they need, or use Snapshot to create and upload copies to a third-party storage provider automatically.

Backups created with Snapshot v4 have a longer lifespan than other backup types and are stored for 50 days, after which time they are removed and cannot be recovered.

Am I paying to store backups?

Yes. All backups stored on WPMU DEV servers use the storage provided by the member’s hosting plan, or the storage quota in their Snapshot backup storage plan.

Can backups consume enough of my storage space to create problems for my site?

In theory, this is possible, but practically speaking this only happens when

  • 1) admins create an unusually large number of unnecessary backups (usually automatically), or
  • 2) admins try to squeeze a large site into a hosting plan designed for something much smaller.

WPMU DEV tries to minimize the storage impact of backups by removing them after 30 days, or 50 days for Snapshot v4 backups. If you are using Snapshot to create additional backups, you can configure the plugin to store a specific number of backups and when that number is reached, the newest backup will begin replacing the oldest in a rotation that limits the amount of storage space consumed to a reasonably predictable amount.

What happens to my backups if I disconnect my site from the Hub?

Your WPMU DEV hosted site backups, and those made with the Snapshot4.0 plugin, will reappear in your Hub for the site once you reconnect it, as long as they have not yet expired (30 days for WPMU DEV hosting, or 50 days for Snapshot4.0 backups).

You can also access all your Snapshot backups (until they expire) in the Addons section of your Account page, under All Backups.

If, for any reason, a WPMU DEV hosted site gets deleted from your account, you can also access any existing backups for it by recreating the same site. See Restoring a Deleted Site for more info on that.

2.2 Hosting backups FAQ

Link to chapter 2

What are hosting backups?

Hosting backups are incremental backups created every night, automatically, for all sites hosted by WPMU DEV.

Can I create hosting backups whenever I want?

Yes. Manual hosting backups can be triggered from the Hub or configured to run automatically using our Automate feature. There is no limit to the number of hosting backups that can be stored, and backups triggered manually are stored in precisely the same manner as the daily automatic backups.

How long are hosting backups stored?

Hosting backups, both those made automatically and those triggered by users, remain in storage for 30 days. In practical terms, a hosting backup created today will be available for 30 days, and on day 31, it will be removed. If a site was backed up four times in one day, all four of those backups will expire on the same day, 30 days later. Hosting backups cannot be recovered after being removed. However, members can download hosting backups any time during those 30 days and store them elsewhere for as long as they choose.

Can I delete a specific hosting backup or disable them altogether?

No. Hosting backups can be downloaded and restored, but they cannot be disabled or deleted. The backup system we’ve built is state of the art in both reliability and efficiency, in large part, because it is built into our hosting framework. No matter what else occurs, if mistakes are made or catastrophic failures befall a site or a third-party storage provider, members whose sites we host can rely on us to provide a backup.

Where are hosting backups stored?

A copy of the most recent hosting backup is stored on the same server as the site to speed up subsequent backups. All other hosting backups are encrypted and stored in a remote datacenter in the same general region as your site (USA, EU, Canada, etc) and are redundantly stored on multiple devices across multiple facilities.

Am I paying for hosting backup storage space?

Yes. Hosting backups use the storage space provided by your hosting plan.

Can I store copies of hosting backups someplace other than my site server?

Yes. Members can download copies of hosting backups and store them anywhere they choose. WPMU DEV cannot upload hosting backups to a third-party automatically, however. Members who wish to store additional backups elsewhere can move them manually (download/upload/FTP) or use Snapshot, which can be configured to create and upload backups to a number of popular storage providers automatically.

For more information on Hosting Backups, see the Hosting Backups documentation.

2.3 Managed Backups FAQ

Link to chapter 3

What are managed backups?

The term “Managed backups” refers to backups created with our Snapshot v3 plugin that are stored on WPMU DEV cloud servers. They are backups that you create, or schedule to be created automatically, and which WPMU DEV manages for you. To be clear, backups created with Snapshot that are uploaded to a third-party storage provider are not managed backups, because WPMU DEV does not manage them.

If your site is hosted with WPMU DEV, using Snapshot v3 to create managed backups on your server is unnecessary, because we create backups for you every night, automatically, and you can trigger additional backups any time you want. If your site is hosted elsewhere, managed backups may be a solution, and you should read the Snapshot FAQs below or see our Snapshot product page for more information.

Where are managed backups stored?

Managed backups are stored on WPMU DEV cloud servers and use the storage quota in the member’s Snapshot backup storage plan. Each member gets 10Gb of Snapshot managed backup storage included with membership. If additional space is needed, upgrades are available in the Snapshot section of a member’s Account page. Backups stored in any other manner, such as uploaded to a third-party destination, are not considered managed backups.

How long are managed backups stored?

Managed backups are stored for a maximum of 30 days. In practical terms, a managed backup created today can be restored any time in the next 30 days. On day 31, it will be removed and cannot be recovered.

Users can configure Snapshot to create and store as many or as few managed backups as they wish, but all managed backups are removed after 30 days. Users who wish to keep backups longer than 30 days can download any backup and store it wherever they choose or configure Snapshot to create and upload backups to a third-party storage provider automatically.

For more information on Managed Backups, see the Snapshot v3 documentation.

2.4 Snapshot Backups FAQ

Link to chapter 4

What are Snapshot backups?

Snapshot is WPMU DEV’s premier backup solution for members whose sites we don’t host or members who want to upload backups to a third-party storage provider. Currently, there are two versions of Snapshot being supported: Snapshot v3 and the new and much-improved Snapshot v4.

Why are there two Snapshot versions available?

Snapshot Pro v4 is not simply an update to Snapshot v3 but is an entirely new plugin that manages backups very differently. Backups created with one version are not recoverable by the other, and we are still adding features to Snapshot v4, so both versions are being supported for the time being.

What’s so special about Snapshot v4 backups?

Snapshot v4 essentially makes our highly-reliable and efficient hosting backup system available to our non-hosted members. Snapshot v4 creates incremental backups identical to hosting backups, and the efficiency of these Snapshot backups allows us to store more backups for a longer period of time than we’ve been able to offer with previous Snapshot versions. Snapshots created with Snapshot v4 are retained for 50 days, and we keep a maximum of 30 manual backups and 30 scheduled backups before rotating older backups with newer ones.

Which Snapshot is right for me?

Snapshot v4 is the backup solution of the future for our non-hosted members, but its ability to offload backups to a third-party provider is currently limited. We are working to integrate as many third-party options as we can as fast as we can. At the moment, members can download Snapshot v4 backups and upload them to any provider they choose, but the plugin cannot yet perform this task automatically. Therefore, members who rely on Snapshot v3 to automatically create and upload backups to a third party may wish to continue doing so until that provider is integrated into Snapshot v4.

Where are my Snapshot backups stored?

Snapshots created with Snapshot v3 are stored on the same server as your site and use the storage space provided by your hosting plan. Snapshots created with Snapshot v4 are stored on WPMU DEV cloud servers, like Managed Backups from Snapshot v3, and use the storage space available in the member’s Snapshot backup storage plan. Snapshot v3 can be configured to upload backups to a third party provider automatically, and then remove the local copy, minimizing the impact on your hosting storage usage. Snapshot v4 backups currently must be transferred to third parties manually, although the automatic option is coming soon.

For more information on snapshot backups created with either version of Snapshot, see the Snapshot v3 or Snapshot v4 documentation.