Snapshot Backup Causing Hours of Downtime

I have a small multisite installation with 3 websites (one small gaming group profile site, a blank wordpress theme and a small multisite hub theme installed into the root site.

From the WPMU website I was prompted to run my first backup. It took me to my sites admin page and I set a schedule. I then decided to do a manual backup while I was there.

Hours later and the backup is still in progress (currently on step 86). The last step took about 4 minutes.

The problem is that the website is completely unresponsive until the end of each step. So users have to wait 4 minutes to load a page, for hours at a time, every time I backup.

Is there something wrong here?

Kind regards,


  • Sajid

    Hello Bakala,

    Hope you are doing good today!

    I am sorry to hear you are getting issues while using the snapshot plugin.

    The backup process can take some time according to the size of your website files and database. It also depends upon your server performance and maximum memory limit & execution time set by your server.

    Before digging, into this issue any further, try to increase the memory limit and maximum execution time as described by following article on our blog:

    Take care and have a nice day :slight_smile:

    Best Regards,

  • Charlie

    Hi Sajid,

    I have followed what you have suggested but I am unfortunately still having the same issue.

    The following is selections copied directly from my info.php. The first number is local value and the second is master value (local overwrites master - or so I have read).

    max_execution_time 300 300
    max_file_uploads 20 20
    max_input_nesting_level 64 64
    max_input_time 300 60
    max_input_vars 5000 5000
    memory_limit 3000M 128M
    post_max_size 64M 8M

    When I press "Backup Now" at the top, the backup successfully starts and reports what 'step' number it is on. The steps take a long time and nobody can load the website until each step completes (a few mins each step).

    The highest step I have reached is with a manual backup is 90 steps after many hours. I also had an automatic one set for about 5am this morning, at 10am it was still in progress so I stopped it (this automatic one was before I implemented the changes you suggested).

    Since making the changes I have started another manual backup (currently on step 18). Each step takes a few minutes and during this time nobody can load the website.

    My wpmu admin and snapshot plugin still says I have never made any backups.

    Please note, I am trying to backup my domain ending in .website not the one ending .network (although I did attempt this one too at one stage).

    I'm concerned as .website has very little data and should in theory be very fast to backup. As it is a multi-site I plan to host many users and sites off it in the future. Does backing up usually result in the entire website becoming inaccessible or is it meant to just run slower during the operation?

    Thanks for the help,


  • Sajid

    Hello Charlie,
    Hope you are doing well :slight_smile:

    Don't post the file link here or any public forum.

    Please enable support staff access so I could further troubleshoot this issue. During troubleshooting process, I will deactivate all of your plugins and switch to default theme temporarily. Yes, I will restore it back to where it is afterwards.

    To grant access, go to WPMU DEV -> Support -> Support Access -> Grant Support Access or see this manual. You can now leave the link to your php info file in the support staff notes section.

    Does backing up usually result in the entire website becoming inaccessible or is it meant to just run slower during the operation?

    It does not make the sites slower neither inaccessible when you create a new snapshot. We have not reported this issue before and also its working fine for me. This seems to be an issue with your server that is not handling the requests properly or not performing well.

    Take care and have a nice day!

    Best Regards,

  • Sajid

    Hello Charlie,
    Hope you are doing good today and no problem - I can understand that :slight_smile:

    Thanks for sharing the I can see that the execution time is correct but memory_limit,
    upload_max_filesize, and post_max_size values are very low.

    Could you please try to even increase these values ? On my own test site, here are the values:

    memory_limit	 600M
    upload_max_filesize	500M
    post_max_size	500M

    You can also confirm if these changes actually take effect in WPMU DEV -> Support -> System Info.

    Best Regards,

  • Charlie


    I increased those values (and confirmed with the wpmu system info) but unfortunately there is still an issue.

    Step 1 took about 5 mins (during this time the site would not load in another tab). Then I receive this which says "Aw shucks, something went wrong..." I don't think it even reached step two.

    I have granted you access for another 5 days if you want to take another look.

  • Nastia

    Hello Charlie , I hope you are doing well today!

    Please update the Snapshot version to the latest that is available. There've been a lot of fixes since the version 3.0.2.

    I tested you site and I do see this weird behavior, to exclude all reasons of this issue, please deactivate all other plugins and try to run the backup again. This way will know if there is a conflict with another plugin or not.

    The log file is show nothing to us. Please check your server.log for any errors.

    Would you please enable debug log in your wp-config.php by replacing define('WP_DEBUG', false); with this code:

    // Enable WP_DEBUG mode
    define('WP_DEBUG', true);
    // Enable Debug logging to the /wp-content/debug.log file
    define('WP_DEBUG_LOG', true);
    // Disable display of errors and warnings
    define('WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false);

    This will create debug.log file in your wp-content folder that could tell us what is going on.
    Can you run snapshot after that, save debug file as a .txt file and attach it here so we can check it out.

    Let us know how it went!


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