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Configure Backup Buddy

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We installed BackupBuddy when we talked about understanding WordPress Plugins. Now it is time to configure BackupBuddy and then back up all the work that we’ve done so far. We’ve actually done a lot of work and there’s no reason why we have to throw that all away if we have a problem. The way to avoid losing your work is to just to back it up and then if we have a problem we can restore that backup.

Activate the Plugin

The first thing we need to do is activate it. And if it’s not active nothing really happens, it just sits there. And then the first thing to deal with is licensing. The product is already licensed to me.


I’m giving you a copy of it unlicensed. You will be notified of updates but you won’t actually be able to update it because the automatic update system requires you to have an active license. So, if you find that this works for you I encourage you to buy a license but you can use this is much as you want without that license.

What we have here is an unlicensed product but I’m going to license it now. If you have a valid license that’s what it looks like once you’ve done it.

I encourage you to enable quick release updates. You really want this to always stay up to date.

General Settings

Now that we’ve done that we’re going to come over to the BackupBuddy settings. There are other aspects to this but today we’re just going to go to settings and set up its initial settings.


ImportBuddy is the piece of software that we use if all hell breaks loose and your website dies and you can’t get back to it. ImportBuddy is a software that fixes that for you so what you want to do is include a password.

Why Use a Simple Password?

This does not have to be a secure password because it’s only going to be out there in the public space for a matter of minutes.

This password isn’t something that is going to be tested over and over again by somebody trying to hack your site. Really you’re the only one who’s ever going to have to enter it and I recommend you use a very simple default password, the one that you use when security doesn’t matter.

If you’re like me, you know security matters on financial transactions. Security matters on my main website, byobwebsite. Security matters in all kinds of places but it doesn’t really matter for my ImportBuddy password or for my Washington Post subscription or for things like that.

I use the same simple passwords when security doesn’t matter so I never forget them. I would do that here. If you need to use ImportBuddy the password needs to be easy for you to come by.

Access and Notifications

You can leave custom local storage blank. Really only an administrator should have access to BackupBuddy.

For notification after a period of no backups I will change to 45 days. Eventually we’re going to set up an automatic system for backing the site up and and so you’re never going to go 45 days without a backup unless you have a problem.

We are going to send notifications to a different e-mail address, rick@byobwebsite. And we’ll use that e-mail address everywhere.

Age and Number of Backups

The age limit of local backups can be zero. The number of full backups to keep we’ll make 10 for the time being. And then limit limit number backups to keep by type. For now we are going to keep all of these at zero. We’re not going to put a limitation on it now but when we set up the automatic system, we will.

Exclude from Backup

Now we have a choice of excluding things from the backup database that’s backed up. I would say backup all tables including non WordPress, not just the WordPress tables, since you have plugins that will create tables. You want to make sure those things get backed up as well.

Then file or and directory defaults. If you are like this website, you’re not going to need to exclude anything because all you have is a single WordPress website. However, I’ll show you an example where you would need to exclude.

Go to byobtutorial and look at the BackupBuddy settings. Really byob tutorial is in the root of the domain and inside that domain there are like sixty other websites. You don’t want BackupBuddy to try to back up those other sites. You want to only back up this site. If you let it try to back up other sites chances are it’s not going to work.

So what you want to do is come along here and exclude by checking all of these other sites. Once you exclude them you’ll see the list of sites to exclude over in this window. The only folders it should be included here are wp-admin, wp-content, and wp-includes. Plus these WordPress files.

It shouldn’t include anything else but that. We should exclude everything that’s not wp-content, wp-includes and wp-admin unless you know that you’ve put something relative to that website in a folder in the root of your website which is very uncommon. You generally won’t do that.

Once you’ve got it set like that you can save your general settings.

Create Your First Backup

Then the thing to do is to go over to backup and create a complete backup. There’s no reason not to do it. It doesn’t take any time at all. It’s very fast especially at this stage of a website. You can see the status of the backup as it works. It’s now zipping up files. It’s going to verify integrity, clean up and then it will tell you that it’s been successful. You’re watching it happen in real time now.

A larger site can take longer but here it is. The whole thing is set up and you could download the backup to your computer or you can just leave it here. For the time being we’re just going to leave it here. Come back over to backup and you’ll see that it shows up in this list of local backups. That’s how easy it is to backup your site as long as you’re using BackupBuddy.

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