File Backup

Are there plans for this plugin to do full backups? I understand the value of a database backup, but many people need a complete backup solution. Sure, they can do things via FTP or other means, but if we're offering them a backup solution, it would make sense to have a "complete" backup option as well.

Just my .02.

  • aecnu

    Greetings wpcdn,

    I see your point to some degree, but the fact of the matter is that most of a WordPress installation can be rebuilt quick and efficiently with a copy of the database - with just the need of reinstalling the file of which is simple compared to trying to reconstruct a database.

    However, for full file backups the hosting control panel is most of the time by far the best option.

    CPanel for example offers virtually effortless bulletproof backup and restores right from the control panel itself too. It does not get much simpler then that.

    With that said having a good host that makes complete backups at least once a month is the icing on the cake.

    Though this is my personal opinion and experience driven opinion above, I will still make sure this makes it to the Feature Requests section.

    Cheers, Joe

  • wpcdn


    I also agree with some of your points. However, many users are not experts, so they don't want to worry about two kinds of backups. They just want to backup or restore their site.

    most of a WordPress installation can be rebuilt quick and efficiently with a copy of the database

    Indeed "most of" it can, but some of the reasons for restoring a site might include a new version of a theme or plugin that hosed things. A true Time Machine concept would allow the user to click and restore the site to the way it was...which would include the old database snapshot, and the old version of the plugin(s) and/or theme(s). So, with this approach, people have to go through multiple steps...restoring the database, then restoring the appropriate files.

    The simplicity of the Time Machine concept is offset by the complexity of also having to undo changes done to the file system.

    Just my .08 worth. Glad to hear a full backup solution is planned.


  • Paul

    CreationsByRichie, Welcome to WPMUDev

    The upload limit on Dropbox is actually 150Mb. This is per the Dropbox REST API documentation for the PUT comment (see the NOTES section).

    As for the Snapshot plugin and its future of using Dropbox that is still planned. Though we will be offering other alternates like remote FTP as well as Amazon S3.

    As for a network wide backup solution I'm still struggling with getting this logic nailed down. In the current form the Snapshot plugin is managed via the Network Admin section within Multisite. From there you can selectively create a backup of any sub-site. This works fine but does not scale when you have more than a few sub-sites. I've chatted with many users who have literally hundreds of sub-sites.

    So now I'm asking for your opinion on how the Snapshot plugin should be developed. Let us assume you have a Multisite install with 500 sub-site. How would you prefer these are backup up? In my opinion there are two basic answers.

    1. On single backup of all database tables in one single archive file.
    2. Each sub-site is backed up into it's own archive file.

    Both options have pluses and minuses. On the one hand the first options makes it easier to manage the entire site. But on the other hand if you need to restore a single sub-site this now becomes very difficult. For options number 2 you would have to manage many different files. But if you ever need to migrate or restore a specific sub-site this can in theory be easily done.


  • wpcdn


    Sorry, I lost track of the thread.

    I still believe that a backup solution is incomplete if it doesn't include the file structure. I understand that there are sometimes benefits of just taking a database backup. However, a full backup includes files and database. So, if this solution only does database backup, people will need to find another means to back up files. So, for example, if I'm just using cPanel backups, I'll just use their file and database backup options.

    My focus is still on giving the end user easy backup options, and many people don't understand the difference between file and database backups. They just want to backup their WordPress site.

    I think individual sub-site backups would be helpful too, in case a single user hoses their site. No need to restore an entire multisite installation in that case.

    Just my .08 again. Hope it helps.


  • Paul

    wpcdn, thanks for the reply. I agree we need to include files are part of the Snapshot plugin abilities. I've actually been working on this over the past week. Testing with backup/restore logic for just the sub-site media folder. Where I get stuck and where I'm looking for possible suggestions from you and others is in the handling of a Multisite system vs a single WordPress system.

    In a single WordPress system the default files would be /wp-content/uploads (or whatever the media folder is set), /wp-content/plugins/ and /wp-content/themes. I don't see a point to run a full backup of the entire WordPress directory each time BUT I do think it should be an option if the admin selects that. So if the admin wants to run a full backup ever hour and has plenty of disk space. It should be their option.

    In Multisite there is some grey area. Currently, when a sub-site backup is made via Snapshot the database tables included are only the ones specific to that site. In other words the global tables for users and usermeta are not included. This is on purpose since a restore of a sub-site would effect other sub-sites. So to extend the Snapshot logic I planned to only backup a sub-site media section. The option to backup the plugins, themes and/or will WordPress system would only be made from the Primary site within Multisite.

    Thoughts? Also, not sure if you read my comments to Richie about handling network wide backups. One single file vs multiple.

  • wpcdn

    A few followup thoughts:

    I do realize that there are times when only a database backup might be needed...for example a knowledgeable system administrator who wants hourly backups without a huge server load...and that admin knows that nothing has been changed in the file system. But, for novice users, a complete backup option is probably best (although a choice might help those who know they just need database).

    I agree with your logic about backing up sub-sites.

    I guess that the overall administrator would probably want one master backup (in case the whole install is hosed). But, in general, I think individual sub-site backups would help (with the assumption being that one single site would probably need to be restored unless it's a global catastrophe).

    Hope this helps.


  • Richie

    Thank you for the follow-ups. We are at the planning stages of creating a multi-site network and the first question that came to mind was the issue of doing backups of each clients content. Most likely we will work with the multi-DB plugin as it seems to make more sense to keep databases separated from each other.
    Since we will be doing a multi-site service - the main thing that is vital for the client is that we backup their content and comments. (Since they can not take with them our plugins/themes/etc) Just like has an export function so a member could export all their content and comments and import them into their own fresh install of Wordpress on their own server.
    I have seen many networks that charge large fees for their clients to blog on their network and yet that network does not offer export functions so their clients can export or backup their articles, content, and comments - SO we want to be sure that option of exporting and backup is live and well when we put our network up. :slight_smile:

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