How To: Backup your WordPress site with BackupBuddy

Everyone knows they should backup their websites regularly incase of a hosting failure or hacking attack etc but how often do you really do it ? Unless you have setup an automatic solution, I doubt you do it as often as you should. I had my backups for WPLift arranged through my hosting but only had weekly backups set, I had a problem with my server and had to restore a backup but because it was weekly I had lost a few posts. Luckily I managed to retrieve them via Google’s cache and restored them to the site. It was then I went looking for a better backup solution and settled on BackupBuddy by iThemes.

Running on over ten thousand sites, BackupBuddy is an all-in-one solution for backup, restore, and migration. Back up to your server, Amazon S3, FTP accounts, or send backups by email. Use the backup with the Importing & Migrating script to quickly and easily restore your site on the same server or even migrate to a new server with a different domain and database. Whether you’re an end user or a developer, this plugin is sure to bring you peace of mind and added safety in the event of data loss. Our goal is to keep the backup, restoration, and migration processes easy, fast, and reliable.

In this guide I’m going to show you how to setup BackupBuddy for daily backups and how to automatically send them to Amazon’s S3 Cloud storage. First you will need to grab a copy of the plugin :

Install the Plugin

After you have purchased the plugin, login to your iThemes account and download the plugin. You will now have a file, in your WordPress admin go to “Plugins” > “Add New” > “Upload” and upload the zip using the “Browse” and “Install Now” button.

Activate the Plugin

Once the plugin is uploaded, click “Activate”, you will then be taken to the page listing all your active plugins. Under the BackupBuddy plugin, you will see a link called “Manage Licenses”, this is where you enter a license key to get automatic updates. Click the link and login with the details given to you when you purchased the plugin.

Once you have logged in and created the license key, you are ready to start setting up the plugin.

Configuring the Plugin

You will see the plugin has added a new menu to your WordPress admin called “BackupBuddy” this has a few items on it :

  • Getting Started
  • Backups
  • Scheduling
  • Settings

Getting started has some general information such as version history,  tutorials and support. I will now show you through the other options.


This is where all your backups, once they are created, will be stored. As you have just installed the plugin there isn’t anything here yet. Click the “Full Backup” button to create your first backup.

This will take a minute or so and when its finished, you will see the backup zip file listed – go ahead and download this so you have a copy of your site locally.


This section is where you can setup how often the backups should be created, I recommend you have daily backups done. Enter a name for this, I called mine “Daily Amazon” as I will be sending the backup to Amazon S3. Then from the dropdown choose “Full Backup (Files + Database)”, choose “Daily” from the interval dropdown. The next box is for Date / Time of first run, you can leave this as it is or pick another time for the backups to run, if you have a busy site then it would be best to choose a time when its a bit quieter. The final dropdown is “Send file after backup” – choose Amazon S3 from this box. Once these options are set, click “Add Schedule”.


The final menu option is “Settings” this is where we need to configure a few more things before we’re good to go. If you want notifications when the backup is completed, then enter your email in the top box.

We can ignore the FTP settings as we have chosen to store our backups on Amazon S3. If you haven’t allready, signup for an Amazon S3 account, then you need to create an Access key. Once that is created, copy the Access key and the Secret Access key to settings box. Now enter a “Bucket Name”, this is just a place on the service where your backups will be stored, you can name this the same as your blog name. “Directory Name” can again be anything, by default it is called “BackupBuddy” you can leave it as this. Click “Test S3” settings and if it says “Success” then your Amazon S3 settings are done.

The final part of settings is some Misc Options, how many backups to store, whether to use zip compression etc. You can leave this as the defaults. There is also an option to exclude any directories from the backup, again you can leave this so you have a full backup of everything on your site.


I really like this plugin, it works flawlessly and allows me to relax about my site backups; It’s very reassuring knowing that everyday a full backup of your site is sent off to Amazon’s storage as you know it will be safe there if anything happens to your site. Its also easy to restore your WordPress site using the same plugin from one of the backups.

I can’t recommend this plugin highly enough, with our coupon code it is a cheap solution at only $33 and the Amazon service is relatively cheap as well, you can see their pricing here.



Oliver Dale is the founder of Kooc Media, An Internet Company based in Manchester, UK. I founded WPLift and ThemeFurnace, find out more on my Personal Blog. Thanks!

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3 thoughts on “How To: Backup your WordPress site with BackupBuddy”

  1. Useful if you have a small site but one of mine is over 20Gig so S3 is on no use to me. Setting up ftp to a remote server in Arizona has so far not worked (test fails) and still trying to fix…

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