SnapShot - not what I really thought it was for

Well, I just wasted several hours dealing with SnapShot only to discover that it doesn't really serve a useful purpose if your website is completely trashed or if you're trying to use it to move from one hosting provider to another. If you have been working on a WordPress website and have several SnapShots already backed up, I guess it can save you some grief because it gives you some type of "restore point" - similar to the Windows restore points.

But, if your WordPress website has been compromised so bad that you just want to delete it, reinstall a clean version of WordPress and then hit the restore function, fuuuuggggeeettt about it. it just will not do that. If it can, I haven't been able to figure it out.

Actually, I was moving a client's website from my hosting to their new hosting. They have FatCow - which I hate for other reasons, the main is because I can't access the MySQL database using Navicat and they will not make any changes so I can (FatCow's rules). I had the client put a fresh install of WordPress on the new hosting, changed their name servers, and copied the SnapShot files to the new hosting in the same folder as they were on the old server. SnapShot doesn't see these files even though the backup folder is set to this location. I'm assuming that something is placed in the MySQL database when a snapshot is made telling SnapShot that a specific backup is in the folder. Remember, I can't access the database.

This would be so much more functional as a backup/restore/transfer tool if it simply checked the /snapshots folder to see if snapshots existed and then put them in the list of "All SnapShots". Then, you could copy over a SnapShot back and restore it easily.

My question? Can this functionality be implemented? If not, then I'm not sure I see much value in SnapShot. If I'm wrong on how this works, please offer up the solution because I've already wasted too much time on a FREEBIE client. Thanks.

  • Patrick

    Hiya @James Dunn

    If you have been working on a WordPress website and have several SnapShots already backed up, I guess it can save you some grief because it gives you some type of "restore point" - similar to the Windows restore points.

    That's pretty much how it functions, yes.

    But, if your WordPress website has been compromised so bad that you just want to delete it, reinstall a clean version of WordPress and then hit the restore function, fuuuuggggeeettt about it. it just will not do that.

    That's a good point. Snapshot can restore your backups but, as far as I know, it cannot create new tables on a fresh install of WordPress.

    I believe you would need to first ensure that the tables included in the backup you wish to restore actually exist in your new install, then restore the backup.

  • Paul

    @James Dunn ,

    Thanks for your post. Yes, Snapshot has a ways to go. It is coming. Just takes development time.

    For your specific issue. If you totally re-install WordPress you can import the previous snapshot. Go to Snapshots > Settings. There is a panel for scan and import. This will basically read the default /wp-content/uploads/snapshots folder and import and found archive. From there you can restore.

    Correct Snapshot does NOT currently support functionality to restore your site from outside of WordPress. so if your system is trashed, hacked or whatever you first need to get WP working. This is mainly because Snapshot does not archive your core WP files. So your first step is to get WP running with the basic install.

  • James Dunn

    Thanks @Paul

    I'll go back to the site and try it that way. I couldn't figure out how to do that. It really wasn't intuitively obvious to the most casual observer on the scene. I consider my self pretty savvy, so I was under the impression that wasn't an option.

    I don't know of a single tool that will restore WordPress without an existing WordPress installation. But, if this tool will do what you just said - especially on this FatCow hosting - then I'll have to revise my original evaluation of the tool.

    I'll report back.

    James Dunn
    Athens, GA USA

  • Paul

    @James Dunn ,

    The import process on the archive is pretty harsh on the server. Since it needs to open the archive and read the manifest file to figure out if it is a valid archive. Part of the design issue I have with Snapshot is that all archives are stored in the wp-content/uploads/snapshot by default. This can fill up the directory rather easily.

    As for restore without WordPress I had actually started some PHP scripting to be part of the plugin. In a disaster you would be able to move the folder off your site root and initiate the restore process. Since Snapshot does not include the WP core file are part of the backup the script actually goes out to wordpress.org and pulls in the version of WP per the snapshot archive. It was pretty slick and seemed to work. But still needs some tweaks. I then jumped onto some internal projects and just this week getting back to Snapshot development. I have a long list of changes coming up over the summer. So stay tuned.

Thank NAME, for their help.

Let NAME know exactly why they deserved these points.

Gift a custom amount of points.