Not at all clear how to do a basic full backup/snapshot

I've read through everything, reviewed all the settings but I just cannot quite understand how I do a plain and simple full backup of ALL of my site files and the full database?

The three options for each of the two sections (Files and Tables) don't really seem to explain things properly. For Files, the second option down says "common files" which implies not everything. The third option "Include selected" offers me Themes, Plugins, Media, wp-config and .htaccess but does this mean absolutely everything will be backed up - it seems not?!

The reason I ask is I often have various extra files and sub folders in my site root folder and judging by the Snapshot descriptions given, I assume these won't be included and there's no place to ADD selections that I can see?

It's the same sort of problem for the database Tables section. Second option implies just "blog" related things will be backed up. I have no idea what that really means and what will be included (or not!). It says it will automatically include "new tables" but again I have no idea what that actually means. The third option down "Include selected" gives me the option to choose "Core" and "Other" - Do I just select all and everything will be backed up (including whatever "new tables" is - it's not at all clear?

What I don't understand is why there isn't a simple "Backup entire site & DB" button somewhere?

I understand what Time Machine on a Mac does, and I know what differential backups are and use them in various backup regimes on my Windows and cloud backups systems but I just cannot work out what Snapshot's methodology of doing all this is?

I've got the S3 uploads working but what to do to actually fully backup my sites and then (incremental?) work stages with Snapshot Pro is beyond me.

Any guidance?

NB: Does Snapshot automatically ignore any large existing (failed) backups that seem to be in it's working folder? I have two lots currently in there that total over 200MB. Should I manually delete these and itemise Snapshot's working folder(s) on the global exclusions?

Many thanks in advance...

  • Kasia Swiderska

    Hello MrArtist,

    The reason I ask is I often have various extra files and sub folders in my site root folder and judging by the Snapshot descriptions given, I assume these won't be included and there's no place to ADD selections that I can see?

    That is correct - Snapshot creates only backup of WordPress without the additional (non WordPress) folders.

    When you choose common files it actually creates backup of all files needed to restore backup on fresh installation - so media/themes/plugins/htaccess/wp-config.
    With third option you can choose which one include from all that would be backuped with second option. When you create backup with "common files" option - then on the list of snapshots you will see that it has "all files" included.
    This is because you can only restore snapshot on installed WordPress with Snapshot there - it doesn't work like Duplicator. That is why it will not include wp-admin and wp-includes in the backup.

    Second option implies just "blog" related things will be backed up. I have no idea what that really means and what will be included (or not!). It says it will automatically include "new tables" but again I have no idea what that actually means.

    Second option will make backup of all tables - including new tables that will be created after you setup your snapshot. So if for example install new plugin, and this plugin will create new tables, those tables will be included in snapshot with the next run.

    When you choose third option and choose all tables there - and again install new plugin that will create new tables in database - those tables will be not included in the next run of snapshot.

    What I don't understand is why there isn't a simple "Backup entire site & DB" button somewhere?

    This is good question - I will drop line to developer about this - it could be a nice feature for future version of Snapshot.

    I've got the S3 uploads working but what to do to actually fully backup my sites and then (incremental?) work stages with Snapshot Pro is beyond me.

    If by incremental you mean mirroring/sync this option is only available for Dropbox at this moment.

    NB: Does Snapshot automatically ignore any large existing (failed) backups that seem to be in it's working folder? I

    Snapshot will ignore files of previous backups - there is no need to manually exclude them.

    kind regards,
    Kasia

  • MrArtist

    Thanks Kasia, nicely answered and quick too.

    I now more fully appreciate that Snapshot is not a full backup plugin. I had that rough idea already when it's described as: A WordPress Time Machine (a bit like on a Mac I guess). So am I right in saying that the main idea is that a full 'snapshot' could be copied over (or into) any standard WP install for a complete refresh/migration of a site? And then of course, for any selected snapshot of an individual table, or the plugins, themes or media (uploads) folders, if on the site one of those had been corrupted, lost or changed, then they could be restored in an instant?

    Just a few follow-up points:

    1) For the 2nd option of "Tables" backup. Calling it "blog database" tables is very confusing. Wouldn't it be simpler and clearer to describe that option as:
    "Full database backup including any new tables since Snapshot profile creation."
    and for the third option
    "Selectable backup not including anything new since Snapshot profile creation."

    2) For the "Files" snapshot 2nd option, that option literally means just the (full) themes & plugins folders/files, the entire Media (Uploads) folder, AND .htaccess & wp-config.php (they both are not mentioned in the list!!). No other files from site root will be copied whatsoever (robots.txt, google id stuff, etc.)

    In that case, isn't the description for that Files 2nd option description sort of written around the wrong way and missing a fact or two? Surely it should say "uncommom" because they are not "common" to all WP sites as it implies and also some important unique files might not be copied? Or am reading/understanding that wrong?

    Would a more complete description be: "Copy unique WordPress site files: all themes, plugins, media (wp-content/uploads), .htaccess and wp-cconfig.php folders and files only. Caution: any other unique folders and files will not be copied, e.g. robots.txt, etc, please back them up elsewhere).
    (NB Snapshot will safely ignore any of its previous backup files that may be in the WP uploads folder - there is no need to manually exclude them.)"

    3) By 'incremental' snapshots, I was meaning would Snapshot copy only those files that had changed since last backup (like in Win/Mac incremental backups) but I guess that's a bit difficult to keep track of in WP & Plugins. - No matter, I think I get the idea of Snapshot now.

    Many thanks again.

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