At UpdraftPlus, we really like Dropbox. Easy to use, a couple of gigabytes of free storage, easy sharing, reliable, and good documentation for us developers. UpdraftPlus supports more cloud storage options than any other backup plugin – but when someone says “do you recommend one in particular?”, and specifies no other specifics, we say “Dropbox”.

We know a lot of you feel the same. If you need more space in than Dropbox’s free tier, then you may find the following news very interesting. Dropbox have made a big drop of their prices, and you can now get 1 terabyte (i.e. 1024 gigabytes) of storage for only $9.99 a month – or $99 a year if paying up front. They’ve added a few other useful features too. Read more about it here.

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus)

UpdraftPlus is now on social media… please do follow/like/etc. us and keep in touch! We want to build a lasting relationship with our customers, and hope that you’ll use this opportunity to keep up with our future news and innovations.

Here are the links: TwitterFacebookGoogle+LinkedIn

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus)

UpdraftPlus 1.9.19 – our latest and greatest – is in the process of being released. You should see it in your dashboard shortly.

This is a low-impact update, and we recommend it to all. It contains a laundry list of minor tweaks for efficiency, performance, and coping with all the strange quirks that are found out there in real-world WordPress setups, the temperamental behaviour of real-world networks and the troubles of over-sold, under-resourced web hosting setups. We see all those dodgy servers out there as a challenge. The algorithms in the UpdraftPlus backup engine are very strong, and this set of minor tweaks will bring out even better performance from it.

Other than that, there are four main goodies:

  • It has been tested and is compatible with the upcoming WordPress 4.o.
  • We’ve re-organised a lot of the code, to make sure that if UpdraftPlus is not backing up, then it has absolutely minimal performance impact. WordPress plugins are invoked by WordPress on every page load, and even if they have nothing to do, then all their code usually gets checked by the PHP engine for syntactical correctness. (PHP is the programming language that WordPress, and hence all its plugins, is written in). This is very quick, but every little helps. So, we’ve re-organised UpdraftPlus so that none of its code needs to even get checked unless it’s backing up. (Use the very handy third-party P3 Profiler plugin on your site to check which plugins are having a performance impact).
  • If you create a file with the name “.donotbackup” (without the quotes) in any directory, then that folder will not get backed up. This is useful for preventing unnecessary data from being backed-up without needing to go into the UpdraftPlus settings. Developers especially may find this handy.
  • Translations have been updated: Hungarian, Swedish, Russian, Brazilian (Portuguese), Spanish, Czeck, Dutch, Turkish and German. Thanks very much to our excellent team. If UpdraftPlus is not yet available in your mother tongue and you’d like to translate, then please do let us know!

As we say – a recommended update for all. We’re confident it’s the best UpdraftPlus yet. Not yet got UpdraftPlus Premium, our flagship product? Please do take a look at it in our shop. As WordPress 4.0 is about to arrive, it’s a great time to get sorted out.

David Anderson (lead developer, founder, UpdraftPlus)

We’ve been taking a look at the upcoming WordPress 4.0 release (the 4th, and probably last, beta was released earlier this week).

It’s not going to be a very dramatic upgrade for users. Were you expecting that a big .0 release means a lot of changes? Not so – WordPress simply bumps the version number up by .1 each time, and rolls over to .0 after .9. So, 4.0 is the next release after 3.9 – the .0 doesn’t tell you anything about how big a change it is.

The main changes are some evolutionary rather than revolutionary improvements to the editing experience. Also non-English users are at last no longer made to read English in the installer; and there’s a new, more elegant, interface for searching and installing plugins (which alert observers will notice has been sculpted to give much more prominence to some of the plugins associated with WordPress’s commercial arm). There’s a decent 3 to 5 minute guide here, at Elegant Themes.

So, you shouldn’t fear updating, when it comes out. Just make sure you back up first, of course! (Now’s a great time to invest in our flagship, UpdraftPlus Premium, if you haven’t already).

The current release of UpdraftPlus is compatible with WordPress 4.0. This isn’t a surprise, as this WordPress release doesn’t bring in any significant changes under the hood at a level that a backup plugin is interested in. You can update with confidence – UpdraftPlus has got you covered.

David Anderson (lead developer, founder, UpdraftPlus)

Here’s a story from the IT press: Sony forgot to renew their domain name, sonyonline.net.

Not only that, but the renewal and expiry reminders were going to an email address that nobody was reading. Oops.

Eventual result: the domain name was suspended, and lots of game-connected activity stopped. And lots of Sony customers wondered how an entertainment behemoth could make such a basic blunder. The silliest thing is that domain registrars allow you to just tick one box to automate the renewal of your services… relying on seeing the manual invoices each year is completely unnecessary.

Life is full of mundane tasks which, when not done promptly, don’t bite us straight away. “I’ll do that tomorrow”. “I’ll check on that later, and there’s plenty of time.” But by the law of averages, that approach always bites us sometime. Sometimes the resulting problem is little (you get a reminder letter); sometimes it’s huge (you broadcast to thousands of customers that they can’t rely on you).

WordPress backups are one of those areas. You might not need a backup today. You might not need it tomorrow. So, it’s easy to put it on the “to do later, sometime” list. Big mistake: restoring your hacked or deleted WordPress site from a backup can take 5 minutes; rebuilding the entire site from scratch might take so long that you’ll have to close instead.

UpdraftPlus Premium contains a number of automation features: scheduled backups (from every4 hours up to every month), automatic deletion of your old backups so that your space doesn’t fill up (e.g. keep 30 backup sets and delete anything older), and automatic reporting (e.g. send you an email alert if the backup failed). And just in case Dropbox (etc.) is down on the day you really need your backups, you can send them to multiple locations.

Don’t wait until it’s too late – even Sony slip up when they try that.

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus)

 

WordPress 3.9.2 has just been released – a security release with some important fixes.

Most users will benefit from WordPress’s helpful automatic self-updating for minor, security releases, within the next 24 hours. But if not, then you should update straight away.

You’ll be glad to know that the current version of UpdraftPlus is fully compatible with this latest WordPress release.

The nature of complex software like WordPress is that new security issues will always be found. Keeping up to date is one important part of a strategy for keeping your website online; reliable backups are another. If you’ve not yet backed up, then now’s a great time to do so. And if you’re in the market for a leading backup, restoration and migration product, then please do take a look at our flagship, UpdraftPlus Premium.

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus)

Hunting for a WordPress plugin often means entering a jungle. There are tens of thousands out there… which to use? How to avoid getting burned?

Is the plugin going to be supported? Will it be maintained and compatible with next year’s WordPress? Does it appear to work, but under the hood is dangerous spaghetti?

Since we’re WordPress users, we have just as much experience, positive and negative, of these issues as our users. When we built updraftplus.com – in WordPress, of course – we did not take much time to research forum plugins. We did not want to delay the launch, so we used a solution we were already familiar with, without looking more closely.

This turned out to be a mistake; the plugin not long after stopped being officially supported entirely, and it needed a lot of manual attention to keep it going.

We’ve now replaced our forum with bbPress, which ticks a lot of boxes: been around for a while, made by the same authors as WordPress, widely used with over a million downloads, good rating (4.3 out of 5 from over 200 reviews), a responsive support forum of its own, a well-maintained changelog which charts the software’s progress. And (the icing on the cake for us), it had an importer for all our existing forum data – so the whole forum is still there. It’s even (with a little tweaking from us) the case that all the links that Google has indexed still work.

Now, if we’d gone with bbPress from day one, then we’d have saved a lot of work. “Quick and easy” is not the way to get your WordPress plugins, if you’re intending to still be around tomorrow. It always leads to trouble.

It’s our own experience with WordPress plugins that has shaped the development of UpdraftPlus. We believe that we tick all the right boxes too:

  • Provable pedigree (the original Updraft plugin was launched in February 2011; UpdraftPlus came in 2012. Our parent company has been going and working with WordPress since 2007).
  • Widely used – over a million downloads (in the top-50 all-time list of WordPress plugins)
  • Good rating (4.8 out of 5 for the free version, from nearly a thousand reviews)
  • Responsive support – which you can see on the public forums for both free and paid products (though most customers prefer to use the support ticket form).
  • A consistent history of innovation (changelog)

We intend to keep this up. We keep breaking our sales records and have recently hired, and you’ll here about that soon. If you’ve not yet taken a look at our flagship product, UpdraftPlus Premium, then please do so!

David Anderson (lead developer, founder, UpdraftPlus)

We’ve got limited information, but we do know that right now, Bitcasa are in the process of rolling out major server updates.

We are seeing random errors and other odd behaviour across a range of sites, which, from several hours of testing and debugging, we are sure are entirely at their end. We deduce that this must be linked to their roll-out.

As a result, if you are seeing unexpected behaviour on your Bitcasa-based backups right now, then there doesn’t seem to be much to do (apart from mention it on the Bitcasa forums, if you haven’t already) – we assume they’re working on these issues. Having spent some hours on these issues already, we’re as frustrated as you are!

Update 25th July: Bitcasa have now confirmed that they have fixed some relevant bugs in their new system, so hopefully things should now improve.

David Anderson (lead developer, founder, UpdraftPlus)

One little feature which we’ve added to our development version of UpdraftPlus is a new option for excluding directories from the backup.

UpdraftPlus already has the facility to configure items to exclude from the backup (in its settings page). But, sometimes a developer may wish to mark a directory to always be excluded every time his code is used, and may not even have access to the settings page.

The new feature causes any directory which contains a file called “.donotbackup” (without the quotes) to not be backed up – it will be skipped. Hopefully some users will find it useful!

David Anderson (lead developer, founder, UpdraftPlus)

UpdraftPlus 1.9.17 is in process of being released, and should appear in your WordPress updates dashboard soon.

This release mainly focuses upon small fixes and tweaks, plus updated translations (thanks once again to our team of translators). The main new feature is the ability to restore a backup created by WordPress Backup to Dropbox. Internally, various bits of work have been done to prepare the way for incremental backups – but that feature is not yet ready for release.

As ever, this release is a recommended update for everyone – and as ever, we remind Premium users to not update this (or any other Premium plugin) whilst it is inactive.

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus)

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UpdraftPlus is a trade mark of Simba Hosting Limited (www.simbahosting.co.uk), UK registered company number: 8570611

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