MultiSite Backup Options?

I'm looking for a fully developed plugin or option that will fully backup, restore, and migrate my WordPress MultiSite without much hassle or know how. Plugins like Snapshot and Backupbuddy do not fully support this, or are in beta. VaultPress seems like a good option, but is expensive ($55 for Network dashboard + $55 per site, per year, at a minumum).

I would really like to see Snapshot be as robust and comprehensive to backup EVERYTHING, with simple restore and migrate options. Can people here list other, fully functional and complete backup options for us MultiSite users?

  • Dharmendra

    Hello Len,

    Hope you are well today and thanks for posting on the forums! :slight_smile:

    Could you please refer this article for the WordPress MultiSite backup.

    Snapshot is 100% compatible with WordPress multisite. Please let me know if you are facing any with this regards so that we can assist.

    I hope that helps :slight_smile:

    Have a great day :slight_smile:

  • Len


    Thanks for the quick reply and confirmation that Snapshot is all I need when it comes to Multisite.

    I have it now set up to run on the network dashboard to backup everything. However, Paul says here ( ) that each childsite individually must be backed up.

    So, how is this done? Do I need to create multiple snapshots to run on each of the childsites, or is everything backed up from the main network dashboard?

  • Tyler Postle

    Hi @Len,

    Hope you and @Dharmendra don't mind if I chime in while he is offline.

    Snapshot is compatible with multisite; however, you do have to back up each site individually. Which is great if one of your sites in the network has a problem and needs to be restored. On the other hand, it is not ideal if the whole network needs to be restored.

    This is when a server side back up comes in handy. Often hosts will provide a full backup solution. This is something you should look into. Do you use cPanel? You should be able to backup your entire site from cPanel as needed.

    Hope this helps!


  • Len

    @Tyler Postle

    I certainly don't mind your chiming in and appreciate the advice. It does seem that Snapshot can be difficult to set up on multisite, from what you are saying.

    (For example, in my case, I'm able to install and network activate the Snapshot plugin from the network dashboard, but it doesn't appear at all on my child sites. So where is the option to backup each individual site?)

    It seems rather complex, and I would love to see Snapshot or another plugin simplify and automate the multisite backup process. Thoughts on the above, other options, or ideas to improve Snapshot would be welcomed.

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey again Len!

    For example, in my case, I'm able to install and network activate the Snapshot plugin from the network dashboard, but it doesn't appear at all on my child sites.

    Yes, this is by design, it will only show on your network admin dashboard.

    So where is the option to backup each individual site?

    I have taken a screenshot to illustrate the area where you can backup each individual site.

    The all snapshots menu item will of course show all snapshots you have done and you will be able to restore snapshots from there as well.

    It may seem complex at first but it is actually quite smooth to use once you try it out :slight_smile:

    We actually have a blog post over on the WPMU Dev that lists some alternatives for MU as well, be good to check that out: 5 Backup Solutions for WordPress Multisite Networks. Check out the comments on that post too, some good feedback on various backup solutions.

    Let us know if you have any further questions!


  • Len

    @Tyler Postle

    Very helpful information! However, what you posted up thread gives me cause for concern for Snapshot:

    "On the other hand, it (Snapshot) is not ideal if the whole network needs to be restored."

    So, in other words, if you are having problems on the network itself, or within the main super admin network dashboard, that main control center of WordPress cannot be backed up or restored through Snapshot. Child sites and their accompanying tables, themes, and plugins can be backed up to be restored individually into a multisite network, but a network's tables, setup, and plugins cannot be backed up or restored. Is this correct?

    If so, it would be incorrect, in my mind, to claim that Snapshot is a complete multisite backup solution. To be so, it would have to include all the network files and settings, with an option of which child sites to include in the backup.

    Considering the above, I know of no automated solution for complete multisite backup, restore, and migrate besides VaultPress. Which I might add, seems like a robust and complete service, but can get to be insanely expensive as VP charges monthly or yearly per childsite, with no discount on bulk sites to an account.

    So, unless I'm mistaken here, I'm back to square one in my search for a complete, automated backup solution that is affordable. (And if cPanel backups were were the best and easiest method for full restore and migration, plugins like Snapshot and Backupbuddy would be unnecessary for single site installs.)

    Hopefully, someone may know of an alternative, affordable solution to multisite backups, or even better, Snapshot could be improved to include network backup and restores!

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey Len,

    It's true, snapshot is not a complete Multi-site backup solution. It is best paired with something server side, like cPanel. As far as affordable options go, I have to say that cPanel is likely your best bet since it comes with your hosting.

    It's just not as flashy as VaultPress and BackupBuddy.

    And if cPanel backups were the best and easiest method for full restore and migration, plugins like Snapshot and Backupbuddy would be unnecessary for single site installs.

    A lot of site owners/managers may not have access to cPanel, which makes plugins like BackupBuddy and snapshot all the more important; in addition, they are more user friendly and WordPress oriented.

    I asked some colleagues about it and another plugin that came up is Migrate DB Pro:

    Around same price point as VP.

    However, it could be a small price to pay if your network were to ever go down :p

    I know this isn't exactly what you were hoping for, but I hope it has provided some insight!

    Definitely let us know what backup solution you end up going with and how you are like it.


    PS. I noticed that the blog post I gave above is the exact one @Dharmendra posted earlier. Oops!

  • Len

    @Tyler Postle

    +1 for you shedding light on WP Migrate DB Pro! For Dev's, This seems currently like the ultimate migration tool.

    I guess it could be used for backups too, but it's not as dummy proof as VaultPress... meaning not automatic in backup creation, and a non-professional webmaster may have a difficult time with restoring individual tables that are corrupted.

    So, I'd say for a developer with dozens or hundreds of sites to manage, this may be a good option (although not automated), but for a non-technical webmaster (like myself) running a tiny multisite, VaultPress is still the the more convenient option, and it is the route I'm choosing to take for the time being.

    It really is a good service, allowing for real time backups, for any type of file changes (on the mid-tier plan)... and it allows you to restore certain tables or all, depending on the problem.

    And while you are correct in saying that it is a small price to pay if the site ever goes down, it just doesn't seem warranted to have to continually subscribe to a service like this that is multiplied by how many sites/blogs are on your network. I mean, something like VaultPress could be created to run as a stand alone plugin that could be purchased once, with backups stored to cloud sites like Dropbox. The model seems meant to gouge, while the technical hurdles seem to have been overcome.

    I'm sure more robust and stand alone plugin options will fill the vacuum as multisite becomes more prominent in the WordPress universe, but I still don't like having to pay and pay while waiting for more competitive and complete backup development. Hopefully the Snapshot programmers will consider these challenges, putting the 'MU' fully into WPMU DEV Snapshot. Certainly, the potential here to put the Automattic team and BackupBuddy fully on their heels would be ripe for the picking!

    For now, I anxiously await the moment for a complete and competitive alternative to the pricey subscription model with VaultPress, but at least feel safe with the powerful, simple, and complete protection this little plugin delivers.

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